Objection my lord! What is that all about?
In the legal field, an objection is a legal way in which an attorney seeks to disallow a piece of evidence or a statement from being made. A proper objection is timely and very specific so that no much time is wasted and the judge gets your reasons for the objection.
The judge can either sustain or overrule the objection. Sustaining means the judge conquers with the attorney for objecting while overruling implies that there is no valid reason as to why the evidence or statement should not be made.
Types of Objections
There are two kinds of objections namely; substantive and nonsubstantive objections.
Substantive objections are those raised against relevant questions that require inadmissible answers, i.e., answers that do not add any relevance to the ongoing trial.
Nonsubstantive objections mostly challenge the type of question asked. For example, if a question is leading the witness.
Reasons for objections
In a trial case, objections may arise due to the following reasons:
1. Where a question that has already been asked, is asked again.
2. Some questions may be misleading and ambiguous. Such questions may hinder a witness from giving a clear and concise answer.
3. A lawyer may be argumentative with the witness; which is not allowed in a courtroom.
4. Hearsay- this is where evidence is presented based on a second-hand source.
5. Speculative questions are not based on immediate facts and involve the witness to think and hence objected to.
6. Leading questions- these suggest an answer to the question and thus limit what the witness should have answered.
7. In case an attorney asks questions that have nothing to do with the court proceedings, an objection is raised.
8. Some witnesses may be given the privilege to answer questions of their choice. This may lead to a wrong verdict if not objected to.
The judge uses the above reasons to decide whether to overrule or sustain an objection.
Withdrawing a statement. An attorney may make a statement or present evidence which is objected to. Instead of the judge deciding on what action to take, the attorney may revoke his statement. They are said to have withdrawn their statement.
What happens when an objection is sustained?
The lawyer must rephrase the question or elaborate the question with evidence outlining its importance in the case trial.
An attorney needs a mock trial to be able to eliminate all possibilities of raising objections on his part as well as try and identify faults in the opposing attorney. Practice must be done to perfection.