November 06, 2015 practice points

Making and Responding to Objections

Tips for thinking on your feet when it comes to making and responding to objections

By Hon. Mark A. Drummond

"Need more training on making and responding to objections." This is the number one feedback comment I have seen after a trial training program.

Attorneys like certainty. For the most part, you have a plan for opening, direct, cross and closing. However, for making and meeting objections, here are some tips.

The View from 30,000 Feet

I believe great trial lawyers work backwards from the appeal. For what the trial court may giveth, the appellate court may taketh away. Reviewing appellate decisions will give you an idea as to issues the higher court looks at and, more importantly, what objections must be made to avoid waiver.

Second, you have to have on the tip of your tongue the phrasing of a proper objection or a proper response. You just have to learn them. Type "common trial objections and responses" into any search engine and a whole bunch of handy guides will pop up.

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