Objection! On television, it seems like us lawyers are always objecting all the time.
But what are we objecting about?
Lawyers generally object for one of two reasons.
- First, we object because we don’t think the question asked of a witness is proper.
- Second, we object because we don’t think the answer the witness is giving is proper.
After a lawyer objects to a question, the judge either sustains or overrules the objection. If the judge sustains the objection the lawyer cannot ask that question and must move on.
The most common objection is hearsay. Hearsay is when a witness is asked to repeat something said outside of the courtroom.
So for example, if the husband is on the stand and the question is, “Mr. Husband, tell us what your wife told us after the police left.” That’s hearsay and an objection to that question would be sustained because it is not proper for the husband to testify to what the wife said when the wife is not even there to be crossed examined.
Another common objection is relevance. The question asked of a witness must be relevant to the case at hand. Often, attorneys will ask questions of my clients just to make them look bad and so the objection would be to relevance.
For example, in a car accident case, if the question was, “Is it true that you cheated on your wife?” The objection would be as to relevance. That has nothing to do to the car accident or my client’s injuries.
Unlike what you see on television, the proper way to make an objection is to stand, state your objection and wait for the judge’s ruling.
And there you have it, objections. Try objecting next time you get into an argument with your spouse. Tell me how it goes. 🙂