The closing argument in a trial. Formerly known as Summing Up.
The act of making a speech before a court and jury, after all the evidence has been heard, in favor of one of the parties in the cause, is called summing up. When the judge delivers his charge to the jury, he is also said to sum up the evidence in the case. In summing up, the judge should, with much precision and clearness, state the issues joined between the parties, and what the jury are required to find, either in the affirmative or negative. He should then state the substance of the plaintiff's claim and of the defendant's ground of defence, and so much of the evidence as is adduced for each party, pointing out as he proceeds, to which particular question or issue it respectively applies, taking care to abstain as much as possible from giving an opinion as to the facts. It is his duty clearly to state the law arising in the case in such terms as to leave no doubt as to his meaning, both for the purpose of directing the jury, and with a view of correcting, on a review of the case on a motion for a new trial, or on a writ of error, any error he may, in the hurry of the trial, have committed.