Rule 2.507 Conduct of Trials

(A) Opening Statements. Before the introduction of evidence, the attorney for the party who is to commence the evidence must make a full and fair statement of that party's case and the facts the party intends to prove. Immediately thereafter or immediately before the introduction of evidence by the adverse party, the attorney for the adverse party must make a like statement. Opening statements may be waived with the consent of the court and the opposing attorney.

(B) Opening the Evidence. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the plaintiff must first present the evidence in support of the plaintiff's case. However, the defendant must first present the evidence in support of his or her case, if

(1) the defendant's answer has admitted facts and allegations of the plaintiff's complaint to the extent that, in the absence of further statement on the defendant's behalf, judgment should be entered on the pleadings for the plaintiff, and

(2) the defendant has asserted a defense on which the defendant has the burden of proof, either as a counterclaim or as an affirmative defense.

(C) Examination and Cross-Examination of Witnesses. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, no more than one attorney for a party may examine or cross-examine a witness.

(D)   Court View. On application of either party or on its own initiative, the court sitting as trier of fact without a jury may view property or a place where a material event occurred.

(E) Final Arguments. After the close of all the evidence, the parties may rest their cases with or without final arguments. The party who commenced the evidence is entitled to open the argument and, if the opposing party makes an argument, to make a rebuttal argument not beyond the issues raised in the preceding arguments.

(F) Time Allowed for Opening Statements and Final Arguments. The court may limit the time allowed each party for opening statements and final arguments. It shall give the parties adequate time for argument, having due regard for the complexity of the action, and may make separate time allowances for co-parties whose interests are adverse.

(G) Agreements to be in Writing. An agreement or consent between the parties or their attorneys respecting the proceedings in an action is not binding unless it was made in open court, or unless evidence of the agreement is in writing, subscribed by the party against whom the agreement is offered or by that party's attorney.