Title 51, Chapter 11, Section 1
If the defendant in a tort action was authorized to do the act
complained of, he may plead such authorization as justification. The
effect of such plea is to admit that the act was done and to entitle
the defendant to all the privileges of one holding the affirmative
of the issue. Such plea, however, shall not give the defendant the
right to open and conclude the argument before the jury unless it is
filed before the plaintiff submits any evidence to the jury.