Topics: Appellate Review

Appellate Review of Evidentiary Issues: Q & A

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Appellate Review of Evidentiary Issues: Q & A

1. After Plaintiff’s attorney asks a question, Defendant’s counsel objects, but only say the single work, "Objection," and does not say what the objection is. The judge overrules the objection, and allows the witness to answer the question. Assume the question was in fact objectionable. On appeal, what will the court do if Defendant’s counsel argues that admission of the evidence over her objection was error?

The general rule, set forth in Rule 103(a) (1), is that error may not be predicated on the trial court’s admission of evidence unless “a timely objection or motion to strike appears of record, stating the specific ground of objection, if the specific ground was not apparent from the context.” Here, Defendant’s counsel made an objection, but it was not specific as to the ground. Thus, unless the ground of the objection is clear from the transcript the appellate court has before it, the court will decline to review the alleged error.
2. During trial, Plaintiff’s attorney asks a question that calls for inadmissible evidence. The witness answers the question before Defendant’s counsel realizes that the question was objectionable. What should Defendant’s counsel do now?

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