Argument

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Argument

A form of expression consisting of a coherent set of reasons presenting or supporting a point of view; a series of reasons given for or against a matter under discussion that is intended to convince or persuade the listener.

For example, an argument by counsel consists of a presentation of the facts or evidence and the inferences that may be drawn therefrom, which are aimed at persuading a judge or jury to render a verdict in favor of the attorney's client.

An attorney may begin to develop an argument in the Opening Statement, the initial discussion of the case in which the facts and the pertinent law are stated. In most cases, however, an attorney sets forth the main points of an argument in the closing argument, which is the attorney's final opportunity to comment on the case before a judge or jury retires to begin deliberation on a verdict.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

ARGUMENT, practice. Cicero defines it ii probable reason proposed in order to induce belief. Ratio probabilis et idonea ad faciendam fidem. The logicians define it more scientifically to be a means, which by its connexion between two extremes) establishes a relation between them. This subject belongs rather to rhetoric and logic than to law.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.