New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

What does the “Objection” Mean when Stated by an Attorney in Court

Posted on Oct 26, 2014 in Legal Terminology

During the course of a medical malpractice or accident case trial, several objections are raised by both lawyers. The lawyer raising the objection will have to give a reason for the objection, and the judge will have to make an on the spot decision about it. If the judge feels the objection is appropriate, he will rule, “objection sustained”, and if he feels the objections is improper, he will say, “objection overruled”.

Trial in Progress

Some information needs to be kept from the jury to avoid any prejudices from being instigated.

When the objection is sustained by the judge, the witness is not allowed to answer the question, and when the objection is overruled, the witness is instructed to answer the question. The objection could also be about, whether or not certain information can be introduced, so that the jury can see it.

“Objection that is privileged”

An attorney might stand up and say “Objection judge, that material is privileged”. This type of objection usually means, the lawyer is asking the witness questions about a conversation that has gone on between the witness and the attorney. When there is attorney-client privilege, it means the conversation or information exchanged between the client and his attorney, can be prevented from being disclosed to the jury.

Attorney-Client Privilege

When you hire an attorney, you will be discussing various strategies about what you will be doing during the course of the trial. Now if someone asks what you and your attorney have talked, there will be an objection because those conversations are confidential and privileged. If someone else wants to acquire information about what you and your attorney discussed, then that will not be permitted. When the objection from the other lawyer is due with privilege information, the judge will rule objection sustained, which means the question is not permitted, and the witness does not have to respond to the question.

What is permitted under the Law?

The law permits an attorney and his client to have confidential conversations and exchange of information. The client has the freedom to speak freely with his lawyer, and tell him whatever he pleases, and no one else can access this information. Such freedom is allowed, so that the lawyer and his client can form strategies in fighting the case and improve their chances of winning at the trial. If things that are discussed between a lawyer and client were made accessible, they can be easily misinterpreted or misrepresented, since they serve the particular purpose of favoring the client.

If information exchanged between the lawyer and his client is revealed at a trial, the jury can be easily made prejudiced towards the client. The information could contain strategies of how to make the other party look guilty or about revealing certain information in a manner that is more conducive to the client. All such things can be highly prejudicial, if it is revealed in court. Therefore, the law permits such information to remain confidential, and if the opposing lawyer is trying to invoke this information, the client’s attorney can raise the objection of the information being privileged or kept under wraps.

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