The closing argument for an unemployment appeal hearing is supposed to be a summary of the laws and facts in support of a directed conclusion. Unfortunately, a lot of applicants appealing benefits believe their closing argument is an opportunity to spit new information. This is false.
Unemployment Tip # 014 – Facts, whether in the form of testimony, documents, or otherwise needs to be shared with the unemployment law judge BEFORE the closing argument. If an ULJ asks an applicant to give a closing argument and the applicant has more to say or offer, people involved in a hearing are encouraged to beg and plead for an opportunity to present more evidence.”
Closing Argument: Begging and Pleading
It is stressful representing oneself pro se, but when doing so, applicants are not literally begging and pleading for an opportunity to offer more information prior to their final statement or argument. From a practical perspective, it is as easy as asking for another opportunity to give testimony share evidence.
On the other hand, this opportunity comes near the end of a hearing. A lot of people are not able to recognize an opportunity to advocate on their own behalf. Whether this is due to stress, anxiety, or otherwise, the key issue is knowing what to look for as the final bell.
Elements of a Good Closing Argument
In my experience, I believe a good or even exceptional closing statement does the following:
- Identifies the issues being discussed,
- Makes note of specific unemployment laws,
- References legal cases to support a decision in the employee’s favor,
- Summaries the facts, and
- Is crystal clear on the appropriate conclusion.
In case it is not obvious, a closing argument does not need to be memorized. Certainly, having notes and practicing beforehand (like you did in your high school speech class) is a great way to iron out bugs. For those who do not prepare, this can make a good case look bad or a bad case look worse.
Thus, get everything important onto the record before the closing argument takes place.