Objections 101

Objections – what they are and how they work

The way you protect yourself in trial from evidence that could hurt you is to object. This video discusses how that all works.

When lawsuits are tried, they are normally decided by the evidence much more than any argument. That means that you want to control what gets seen and considered by the judge or jury. At the same time, the “flow” of the action can make a difference, and so there are times a party might not want to slow things down or stop them even if what is getting said isn’t necessarily within the rules. Therefore, the courts let you waive your objections.

To put that a little differently, if you do not make an objection, a judge will normally treat your silence as a decision not to object, as a “waiver” of the right to object. An objection is the way you let the court know you want it to follow the rules of evidence.

In debt law, there is almost never any reason to waive an objection. Your case will probably be determined on the basis of a few documents, and whether those documents come into evidence will almost always depend on whether you object to them. Therefore, learn the two most important rules of evidence for debt law: the rule against hearsay evidence, and the business records exception to the rule against hearsay. Learn how to object, and be ready to shoot down their attempt to use the business records exception.

2 replies
  1. Ken Gibert says:

    There’s a lot on this site – do a site search. But ultimately you will need to know your own jurisdiction’s rule, so I suggest that, after reading an article or two you just do this search: [your jurisdiction] and “business records exception.” The case law will be very clear about what is required for your state and what proves what is required.

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