Updated: Jan 30
Please take a moment to review some of the most common objections used in the courtroom. When a judge makes a decision, it is based on the court record. Objections are a useful tool to keep certain types of information out of the Court record.
As soon as you hear the other party introduce evidence or ask a question of a witness that you want to object to, say “Objection!” Even if the judge rules against you, it’s important to have that objection in the court record in case you later file an appeal.
When to Use This Objection
When evidence is irrelevant to the case, meaning it has nothing to do with the issue the judge is ruling on. For example, asking about sexual partners in a restraining order case.
When a question is asked on direct examination that leads a witness to a particular answer, usually “yes” or “no.” For example, “I was with you on X date, right?” Leading questions are for cross-examination only.
When two or more questions are combined into one. For example, “Why did you go into the house and who was there?”
When a question is asked to harass or argue with the witness rather than to get information.
Asked and answered
When the other party keeps asking a question of the witness, trying to get a different answer or to emphasize the answer provided.
No foundation laid
Some testimony or evidence requires background information to explain it, known as “laying a foundation.” For example, to introduce a voice recording, the witness must first testify to how they recognize the voice(s) in the recording.
When a witness responds to a question with unrelated information that you don’t want in the court record.
When a witness can’t answer the question without guessing or assuming facts that they don’t actually know.
When a witness testifies about their opinion as opposed to facts, they have first-hand knowledge of. Only an expert witness can provide their opinion.
An out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. The most common example is trying to testify about what someone else who is not a party to the case said in the past.
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