New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Understanding Objections when there is not any Foundation to the Question

Posted on Oct 5, 2014 in Legal Terminology

If you suspect that you have been a victim of personal injury in New York, you need to understand the trial process better apart from consulting with a personal injury attorney. For instance, during a trial, the defense attorney can object to a question raised by your lawyer saying that a proper foundation has not been laid.

Right to Object to Questions

During a trial, lawyers on both sides have the right to object to questions asked by the other. They also have to provide a reason for their objection and the judge will then either sustain the objection or overrule it. However, the lawyer should take care to ensure that the objections are not too frequent as the jury might otherwise suspect them of trying to prevent facts from being placed in the open.

No Foundation Rule

Court Trials

Personal injury trials can be complicated, intriguing, stressful, and time consuming. 

Sometimes the defense lawyer will object to a question saying that no proper foundation has been laid. This means that the defense lawyer is saying that there is no clear information about why the question is being asked. For instance, if your medical malpractice lawyer asked the doctor if they had operated on the wrong side of the patient’s brain as the first question, it could be considered as lacking in foundation.

In that case, you lawyer will have to ask a series of questions to obtain the same information. These could include questions such as whether you were a patient of the doctor, how long had they been treating you, what was the medical procedure suggested, who performed the medical procedure, and what exactly was done during it.

This series of questions and the answers will help establish facts such as that you were a patient of the doctor concerned, that a medical procedure or surgery was suggested, that the doctor wanted to remove a tumor on the right side of the brain, that the doctor performed the surgery, that the doctor removed a portion of the left side of the brain instead of the tumor on the right, and that this was medically wrong.

Rationale for the Rule

The objection based on no foundation or no proper foundation helps ensure that the jury has a clear picture of the events leading to the medical malpractice. In order to prove medical malpractice, your lawyer has to prove that a patient doctor relationship existed, that medical negligence occurred, and that the patient suffered because of this. The series of questions will help establish all of these facts or similar chains of evidence.

The witness, in this case, the doctor accused of medical malpractice, will have to answer only those questions for which the judge overrules the objection. A trial attorney will develop a sense of which questions can be asked directly and for which a foundation has to be laid.

If you have questions regarding medical malpractice or personal injury cases in New York, you are welcome to call us. Your situation will be taken serious and our firm has been around the block before.

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