Thursday, May 08, 2008

Objection! Objection!

Some lawyers think if they just object to everything, whether their objections have any merit or not, they can win by turning every hearing into a war of attrition. My husband's analysis of a recent frustrating hearing he had:

"Objection, your Honor! I think I heard some argument in his argument!"

"Sustained."

"Objection, your Honor! He's citing to case law!"

"Sustained. Counselor, please restrain yourself."

9 comments:

Billy Dennis said...

Good post

C. J. Summers said...

Interesting!

Diane Vespa said...

very insightful.

Jennifer said...

Hmmm... so are you saying some attorney's are very similar to 2 year olds?

Anonymous said...

The problem arises when the judge treats the two year old like his own child and sustains all his objections.

Billy Dennis said...

I am not sure that I can completely understand your comments. Would you be so kind as to expand on your reasoning a little more before I comment.

dd said...

Reading this post would lead to one of two conclusions. Either a) the lawyer is a 2 year old; or b) the lawyer had a valid objections, and we cannnot tell what that valid objection was because of the limited context given. While most of the responses have opted for a, my money is on b. For example, is it possible that when the lawyer simply mis-spoke and ment to say "I heard some argument in his question?" Eyebrows, you would agree that an argumentative question (one that does not seek information from the witness but rather makes an argument to the jury in the guise of a question) is improper. As to citing case law in a question to a witness, I am trying to think of a circumstance under which that would be appropriate, but I can't think of one. Citing case law is, by its very nature, argumentative and should be adressed to the judge, not a witness. I think there is far too much lawyer bashing going on and most of that comes from a lack of understanding of what we do. Remember, when Shakespere said "first, we should kill all the lawyers" he was talking about the steps that a despot would need to take to impose his rule. The defense rests.

Anonymous said...

My comments were, as my wife's post indicates, directed to a hearing (i.e., a motions hearing being argued before a judge), not a jury trial. The objections were not valid, though they were being sustained. (Opposing counsel was also older than two.) I was simply using humor to express frustration at an untenable position. If you find any wit therein, laugh and move on. If not, chuckle politely and move on.

Mr. McGee

dd said...

Sorry, didn't realize no discussion allowed. i'll move on.