You’ve heard it in just about every courtroom drama ever made. An attorney shouts, “I object!” and suddenly the scene gets intense. Or you may have seen parodies of courtroom objections in movies and TV. But what does “I object” mean? Why do lawyers say it? As we put the finishing touches on our legal jargon series, we’ll close it by looking at what does I object mean? Continue reading for more.
What Does I Object Mean?
First, of course we need to know the definition of a legal objection. Thus, most legal dictionaries define “objection” like this: “an objection is a formal complaint expressed in court during a trial to reject a witness’ testimony, or other evidence, which would be in violation of the rules of evidence or other procedural law.” In other words, if an attorney believes that some piece of evidence or a witness’ testimony should be dismissed or disallowed during the trial, then they’ll raise an objection.
Types of Objections
Second, now that we know broadly what does “I object” mean, we can list certain types of expressions. An attorney can’t simply say, “I object” just for any reason. So, here are reasons an attorney might object.
- Argumentative – during cross-examination, if an attorney makes an argument rather than asks a question of a witness.
- Badgering – an attorney blatantly mistreats a witness in order to provoke an emotional response.
- Hearsay – the witness provides a speculative answer rather than information that they know.
- Irrelevant – the question or the witness’ testimony has nothing to do with something involved in the case. Someone might provide irrelevant information in order to confuse or distract the jury.
- Lack of foundation – the authenticity or source of the evidence cannot be demonstrated.
Nevertheless, tons of other types of objections exist. These simply provide a brief review. Yet, if you’d like to read more about objections, click here.
Responses to Objections
Third, in order to fully understand what does “I object” mean, we also need to consider how the judge might respond. Usually the judge will respond with either “sustained” or “overruled.” Consequently, if the judge says “sustained,” then the objection is accepted. However, if the judge says “overruled,” then the objection is rejected. In other words, if an attorney objects to an irrelevant question and the judge sustains it, then the question is ignored. If the judge overrules it, then the witness needs to answer the question.
Don’t Object to Mark Catanzaro as Your Attorney!
Finally, we hope this has provided you everything you need to know about what does “I object” mean. Furthermore, if you need an attorney to defend your case, then contact the Offices of Mark Catanzaro!