Some Oklahoma lawyers will tell that Opening Statements are the most important part of the case. They claim by the end that the jurors have already made up their mind. Maybe? In my experience, jurors try really hard and listen to the evidence. The statements of the lawyers are not evidence and jurors understand the lawyers are advocates for their clients.
The Wewoka Worldwide attorney did a fine job. He was clearly skilled, smooth, and comfortable in the courtroom. He told the jury the evidence would show that Bubba submitted an inventory of damages that was fraudulent and that Wewoka denied the claim to protect its other policyholders from rate increases. The jurors listened attentively as he explained the inventory list of the contents in Bubba’s house had more guns than socks. He concluded his remarks by stating ” the evidence will prove Bubba engaged in false swearing in the submission of an insurance claim. ”
Bubba’s opening statement was slightly less polished, ” Folks, taint’ one bit a truth to it! My swearin’ ain’t dishonest! I go to cussin’ when I git a little heated up or sometimes if I smash my thumb, but it’s honest cussin’ for sure! ”
” As to insurance fraud, why thet squirrel that burnt’ down my house, ain’t no fraud. Found em’ sittin’ in the toilet after the fire. Crawled into the water to git outa so he didn’t git burnt!”
” More guns than socks, duh? You don’t wear but two socks at at time! That boy’s a few fries short of a Happy meal if he’s a sayin’ them guns weren’t in the fire! ”
It wasn’t eloquent, but Bubba had just given his first Opening statement. It ended with three of the jurors on the front row grinning. Wonder what’s in their minds?