Tuesday, October 11, 2011

List of Objections


Proper reasons for objecting to a question asked of a witness include:

  • Ambiguous, confusing, misleading, vague, unintelligible: the question is not clear and precise enough for the witness to properly answer
  • Arguing the law: counsel is instructing the jury on the law.
  • Argumentative: the question makes an argument rather than asking a question
  • Asked and answered: when the same attorney continues to ask the same question and they have already received an answer. Usually seen after direct, but not always.
  • Asks the jury to prejudge the evidence: the jury cannot promise to vote a certain way, even if certain facts are proved.
  • Asking a question which is not related to an intelligent exercise of a peremptory challenge or challenge for cause: if opposing counsel asks such a question during voir dire.
  • Assumes facts not in evidence: the question assumes something as true for which no evidence has been shown
  • Badgering: counsel is antagonizing the witness in order to provoke a response, either by asking questions without giving the witness an opportunity to answer or by openly mocking the witness.
  • Best evidence rule: requires that the original source of evidence is required if available; for example, rather than asking a witness about the contents of a document, the actual document should be entered into evidence
  • Beyond the scope: A question asked during cross-examination has to be within the scope of direct, and so on.
  • Calls for a conclusion: the question asks for an opinion rather than facts
  • Calls for speculation: the question asks the witness to guess the answer rather than to rely on known facts
  • Compound question: multiple questions asked together
  • Hearsay: the witness does not know the answer personally but heard it from another
  • Incompetent: the witness is not qualified to answer the question
  • Inflammatory: the question is intended to cause prejudice
  • Leading question (Direct examination only): the question suggests the answer to the witness. Leading questions are permitted if the attorney conducting the examination has received permission to treat the witness as a hostile witness. Leading questions are also permitted on cross-examination, as witnesses called by the opposing party are presumed hostile.
  • Narrative: the question asks the witness to relate a story rather than state specific facts
  • Privilege: the witness may be protected by law from answering the question
  • Irrelevant or immaterial: the question is not about the issues in the trial

Proper reasons for objecting to material evidence include:

Proper reasons for objecting to a witness's answer include:

  • Narrative: the witness is relating a story in response to a question that does not call for one
  • Non-responsive: the witness's response constitutes an answer to a question other than the one that was asked, or no answer at all

Example: “Did your mother call?” “Ya. She called at 3:00." Opposing counsel can object to the latter part of this statement, since it answers a question that was not asked. With some concern for annoying the court, counsel will selectively use this to prevent a witness from getting into self-serving answers.

Types of Motions

Add Additional Party (ADDP)

Amend (AMND)

Change Of Venue (CHVN)

Claim Exemptions (CDEX)

Compel (CMPL)

Consolidation (CNSL)

Contempt (CNTP)

Continue (CNTN)

Default Judgment (DEFJ)

Deposition (DEPO)

Designate A Mediator (DSMD)

Disburse Funds (DFND)

Dismiss (Involuntary) (DISM)

Entry Of Default (EODF)

Ex Parte Restraining (EXPR)

Exempt From Arbitration (EXAR)

Exempt/Waive Mediation (EXMD)

Extension Of Time (EXTM)

Failure To Join Necessary Party (FJNP)

Failure To State A Claim (FASC)

Improper Venue/Division (IMVN)

Increase Bond (INBN)

In The Cause (INTC)

In Limine (ILIM)

Insufficiency Of Process (INPR)

Insufficiency Of Service Of Process (INSP)

Interplead (INTP)

Intervene (INTR)

Join (JOIN)

Judgment On Pleading (JOPL)

Jury View (JRVW)

Lack Jurisdiction (Subject Matter) (LJSM)

Lack Jurisdiction (Person) (LJPN)

Limit Deposition (LDEP)

Modification Of Alimony (MALI)

Modification Of Custody (MCUS)

Modification Of Support (MSUP)

Modification Of Visitation (MVIS)

More Definite Statement (Rule 12) (MDST)

New Trial (NTRL)

Objection Of Exemptions Claimed (OEXC)

Other (OTHR) (Describe on front)

Preliminary Injunction (PREL)

Quash (QUSH)

Release From Stay Of Execution (RSEX)

Sanctions (SANC)

Selection Of Mediator By Agreement (SMAP)

Set Aside (VCMD)

Sever Issues Or Claims (SICL)

Show Cause (SHOW)

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