Legal Dictionary

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Argument

To argue is to present an argument. In criminal law, argument refers to the persuasive statements either the prosecution or defense make to the judge or jury on behalf of a client. For example, an attorney goes to court to argue a motion or to argue an appeal of a court order. A Memorandum of Points and Authorities in a brief, which sets forth the party's analysis of the law in relation to the facts and explains why the judge should find in that party's favor is referred to as a “Legal Argument.”

An “Oral Argument” is a lawyer's spoken presentation to the court detailing the legal and factual reasons why the judge should make a decision favoring the lawyer's client. “Oral Argument” also refers to a type of hearing where the judge hears arguments from both opponents. Finally, at the end of a trial, the prosecution and defense will give a “Closing Argument,” where they are allowed to summarize their case in front of the jury.