Padilla Law Group, LLP

Why proper objections and responses are so important

If you've ever watched a courtroom drama on television, then you've probably seen countless objections made. So frequently, in fact, that you may feel like you know the basic objections and what they mean. This is true for many Californians who believe they may understand the definition of hearsay or why a fact is or isn't relevant.

However, the act of making and responding to objections has far more meaning than whether or not a witness will be allowed to answer a question. This is because an objection, or its response, can preserve the issue for appeal. Essentially, this means that if a party receives an adverse judgment, then he or she can appeal the case, but only those issues that were preserved can be considered by the court of appeals. When a party fails to make an objection, the issue is considered waived on appeal, meaning that the court cannot consider it.

The same holds true for responses to objections. Even if a party responds to an objection and the judge sustains the objection, thereby disallowing the question or answer, the court of appeals can consider the issue, particularly if the responding party made an offer of proof, which we may discuss more in depth in another post. Either way, what this means for those who are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is that they need to be prepared with strong legal arguments that not only increase their chances of success at the trial court level, but also at the appellate level.

Failing to make proper and timely objections, as well as neglecting to adequately respond to objections, can lead to a lost case, which could mean that an individual may not recover compensation to which he or she would otherwise be entitled. For this reason alone, car accident victims need to carefully consider whether having the legal assistance of a skilled legal advocate furthers their best interests.

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