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In a legal trial, summation refers to the final, closing argument articulated by a litigant to a judge or jury concerning the merits of their side of a case. In contrast to an opening statement, in which a litigant may only preview what the evidence is expected to show, a litigant may argue the facts and ask the trier of fact to draw inferences in a summation. In a jury trial, subsequent to summations, a judge will instruct the jury on the law governing the case.  

[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]