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A recent study has confirmed that first impressions are persistent and can be difficult to overcome. The opening statement of the adjudicator and of the parties at the beginning of a hearing is that first impression and will often set the tone for the entire proceeding.
For an adjudicator, the primary audience is the parties to the dispute. The secondary audience for the adjudicator may be those in attendance at the hearing. If the hearing is recorded or transcribed, the audience may be broader and include a judge in the event of a judicial review of their decision.
For the parties, the primary audience should be the adjudicator. An audience of almost equal importance for each party is the opposing party. Another audience for each representative is their own client. If the hearing is recorded or transcribed, the representatives also have a broader audience, including a judge on judicial review.
The adjudicator will also want to demonstrate that he or she will treat the parties fairly. Each party will want to convey to the adjudicator that they understand their case and that they are organized.
Opening Statement by the adjudicator An adjudicator should start with introducing his or herself and explaining their role in the hearing. The adjudicator should clearly identify who the parties are and the purpose of the hearing. He or she should also identify any preliminary issues that need to be addressed.
It is also useful to clearly communicate expectations in terms of the schedule, including when breaks will normally be held.
I also state the expectations of the length of the hearing day and ask the parties if there are any accommodations required in terms of ending times to allow for family-related responsibilities, for example. With the pervasiveness of smart phones, it is also worth reminding all of those at the hearing that phones should be turned off or put on silent mode.
You may save someone the embarrassment of having their phone play the theme from the Exorcist in the middle of the hearing, as happened at the Conrad Black trial.
The Employment Insurance Board of Referees has a sample script for an opening statement that is tailored to their tribunal, but is a useful template for all adjudicators. This tribunal has many self-represented parties and it is suggested that the chair of the panel emphasize the independence and impartiality of the tribunal: The Board of Referees is an independent, impartial tribunal consisting of three members from the community.
We are not employees of the Department. We are trained to provide fair hearings and are knowledgeable in the Employment Insurance legislation. Be assured we have come to the hearing with an open mind; we will treat you fairly and with courtesy and we will make the hearing as informal as possible.
We will make an impartial well-reasoned decision based on all of the evidence provided to us while applying the Employment Insurance legislation. That assumes, of course, that the hearing will unfold in a pre-ordained manner. A hearing is more like a road trip with multiple drivers and a conductor the adjudicator who can order a change in direction.
I think a better travel analogy is an itinerary — an intended path that may have little side trips and unexpected layovers. And that may be subject to negotiation among family members.
The Justice Education Society of British Columbia has a guide on how to prepare for a hearing and includes the following suggestions on opening statements: The purpose of the opening statement is to: You do not actually submit your evidence at this point.
Opening statements by the parties are not required. As noted in Manpel v. In Manpel, the Divisional Court found that preventing a party from giving an opening statement contributed to the overall finding of unfairness of the hearing.
The party that goes second at the hearing has the option of holding off on an opening statement until the commencement of its case. However, it is usually advisable not to do so, since the party will be missing the opportunity to shape how the adjudicator sees the case.
If one party asks to make an opening statement and the other party was not aware that he or she would have such an opportunity, the adjudicator will have to explain what an opening statement is and perhaps provide a short adjournment to allow the unprepared party to draft a brief statement.
Otherwise, there may be a perception of procedural unfairness if only one party provides an opening statement.To give you an idea of what makes a good cover letter introduction (as well as a bad cover letter introduction), take the following examples into consideration when learning how to start a cover letter.
SAMPLE OPENING STATEMENT (POSITION PAPER) Country: Zongolia Committee: Political. Honorable chair, fellow delegates: In this new millennium we hope for a new world, one without bloodshed and injustice.
Zongolia believes that this can be the year in which 50 years of bloodshed in Palestine can be ended with the effective mediation and support. Cover Letter Tips: How to Write a Winning Opening Statement January 6, By Samuel Mojica When it comes to your cover letter, the way you introduce your document, greet your employers, and summarize your career story can make or break your ability to grab employer attention and get you one step closer to landing the job.
Opening Statements The purpose of opening statements by each side is to tell jurors something about the case they will be hearing. The opening statements must be confined to facts that will be proved by the evidence, and cannot be argumentative.
How to Make an Opening Statement for a Mock Trial By Kristina Barroso ; Updated June 25, If you need to write an opening statement but aren’t a lawyer, you might be getting ready to take part in a mock trial. Trying to write the perfect opening or closing statement for your mock trial case, but unsure where to start?
How to Write Mock Trial Opening and Closing Statements. October 25, The opening statement is the place to present a side’s theory of the case and any important facts that will come to light during trial.