June 01, 2019 From the Bench

The Evidence Rules Every New Trial Lawyer Should Know

Hon. Joseph A. Greenaway Jr. (originally published in Summer 2010)

View downloadable PDF of article.

I rise to give my opening statement. I stand tall and confidently before the jury, and I deliver the goods. The jury is with me. I explain my case, reciting what I believe the evidence will show. I sit down, satisfied that I have set the table properly for a just verdict—a verdict for my client. The parade of witnesses now begins. My first witness is on the stand. I am not five minutes into my examination, in the middle of a question, and then it comes. The word at first jolts me—“OBJECTION.” Of course, I have heard the word before. Of course, I know its import in this context; yet, I am frozen. I try to collect myself, but nothing comes. The judge says impatiently, “Mr. Greenaway, Mr. Greenaway.” I muster up the courage to say “Your Honor, . . . ” and then I wake up.

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