What are some common objections? (2023)

Here are some common reasons for objections that can arise when returning to your state.rules of evidence.

To jump to a specific section, click on the name of this objection:relevance,unfair/harmful,main question,compound question,Argumentative,asked and answered,inaccurate,foundation problems,does not reply,speculation,Opinion,rumors

You can dispute the relevance of the evidence if you believe the evidence or something a witness says is unrelated to the case or not important in determining who should win in court.

Example: The question of how many sexual partners someone has had would not be relevant in a protective measure process.

You can object to evidence, even if it is relevant, if the evidence unfairly influences the judge or jury against you. This is what it means to say that the evidence is conclusive.

Example: Evidence that one of the parties was in prison may be relevant, but that evidence may also be unfairly damaging by casting the party in a negative light to the judge or jury.

main question
If the other party asks a question in direct cross-examination that leads the witness to a specific answer, it may contradict the main question. This is often the case with "yes" or "no" questions. Keep in mind that the judge may allow a few leading questions during the face-to-face cross-examination to provide simple background information to help the testimony move more quickly. For example, suppose the other party's mother testifies that the judge might allow the question, "You are the defendant's mother, right?" instead of "How do you know the interviewee?" However, if someone asks questions directly related to the case, a witness is not admitted.

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Example: On direct inspection, one could argue with this trick question: "The car you saw leaving the crime scene was blue, wasn't it?" Instead, ask yourself, "What color was the car you saw leaving the crime scene?"

compound question
A compound question is when two or more questions are combined into a single question. Compound questions are not allowed as they may confuse the witness, judge and jury. Also, it may not be clear from court records which of the questions the witness is answering.

If you're asking a complex question, don't let the other party's objection piss you off and skip the subject altogether. Just separate the questions, ask them one at a time, and maybe they'll be allowed.

Example: Why did you go back inside and why did you think it would be a good idea to take the kids with you?

If the person asking the cross-examination questions begins to argue with the witness, known as "witness bullying", the other party may dismiss the cross-examination as argumentative.


  • Opposing attorney: "You're not afraid of my client, are you?"
    • She: "Yes, that's me."
  • Opposing attorney: "Oh come on, how can you be scared of a guy who weighs 120 pounds when you weigh 300 pounds?"
    • You: "I'm afraid of him, no matter how heavy he is."
  • Opposing Lawyer: "Well, you didn't look too scared when you went to court today."
    • Her: "Objection, Your Honor, argumentative."

asked and answered
Sometimes during cross-examination, the person asking the questions will ask the same question over and over again, possibly in slightly different ways, or will re-ask a question asked earlier on the stand. What is unique about this objection is that it can appear in two different scenarios. First, opposing counsel couldasking you or your witness the same question over and over again, expect conflicting responses. Second, opposing counsel couldRepeatedly ask your own customer the same questionin a slightly different way, hoping the customer will give a better response than before. In any case, a question can only be asked once and, once answered, any further attempts to ask the question are objectionable.

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  • Another part: "Remember when I wrote a check for $10,000?"
    • Her: "No, that never happened."
  • Another part: "Are you saying I didn't write a check for $10,000?"
    • Her: "No, you didn't."
  • Another part: "I'm talking about last year, you remember the check I wrote you, right?"
    • You: "Objection Your Honor, asked and answered."

A vague question is when it is difficult or impossible to know what the question is about. You want to dispute a vague question asked of your witness because there is a risk that the witness will misinterpret the question and say something detrimental to your case. If the question is questioned, the questioner can ask the question in a different way that makes more sense or is more specific.

Example: Suppose the other party asks, "Can you tell the court where you were before?" The term "before" is not specific enough; is vague After an objection, the question could be rephrased as follows: "Can you tell the court where you were this morning just before you appeared in court?"

Also, a question referring to "this" or "that" may be too vague if there is no context to which "this" or "that" refers.

foundation problems
A question or answer may be offensive if a person has not explained the underlying circumstances, how he knows the information he is witnessing or being questioned about. When responding to specific facts, the witness should prepare the ground and explain how he obtained the information he knows.

Example: A person cannot testify that it was the voice of a specific person on the phone without first explaining that he or she has spoken to that person many times over the last few years and that the call came from the same number.

does not reply
When a witness begins to answer a question with information unrelated to the question, he may object that he is "not answering." This can be especially important in interrogations when you are looking for very specific "yes" or "no" answers.

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  • You: "Isn't it true that you put your hands around my neck after pushing me to the ground?"
    • Another part: "Well, yes, I did."
  • You: "When I broke up, wasn't that when you got bruises on your arms?"
    • "Look, I didn't mean to hurt you, I was just trying to get your attention and..."
  • You: "Objection Your Honor, the response is unresponsive."
  • Judge: "Please answer the question sir."

Also, when a witness is questioned in direct cross-examination, he sometimes struggles to explain an incorrect answer to the next question, regardless of which question is asked. This is another case where you might disagree with the non-response answer.


  • Counsel for the opposing party: "How often have you seen your children in the last month?
    • Another part: "Once".
  • Advice to the other party: "When is your next visit planned?"
    • Another part: "The reason I've only seen her once in the last month is because her mom likes to play and hang the kids on my head and..."
  • You: "Objection, judge, no response!"

The speculation objection can be used in two different situations. First, when a witness does not know whether a fact is true or not, but testifies anywayTestimony would be contestablelike speculation. A witness must have personal knowledge of a fact in order to testify about that fact and include it in the court record.

Example: A witness cannot state that he or she believes a person left the house at 8:00 pm. M. unless you actually saw the person leave the house or have some other valid basis for that assumption.

Second, if a question asked can only be answered by speculation,the question would be offensive.


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  • Opposing attorney: "What do you think your sister was thinking when she left?"
    • You: "Objection, Your Honor, the question requires speculation."

If a witness gives an opinion that is technical in nature and not based on facts known to the witness firsthand, you may object by claiming that this is your opinion. Normally, only one witness who has been recognized asevaluatorby the judge can give an opinion.

Example: A perpetrator cannot testify that you are "crazy". You can report behaviors that you have observed that concern you. However, any statement that might suggest some kind of diagnosis would normally be objectionable as opinion. Likewise, you could not definitively testify that the substance found in the perpetrator's glove compartment was cocaine unless it was tested by a laboratory or the perpetrator admitted. Could you testify that "you saw a white powdery substance in a sachethe appearedbe cocaine" based on your understanding of the drug and what you've researched online. However, a judge may allow statements like "I'm a good mother" or "He's a good father" even if it's an opinion.

A person can only testify about what he believes to be true, not what he heard from someone else. If a witness tries to testify to what a spectator has told him or tries to produce as evidence something written by a spectator, then the written testimony or evidence is objectionable as hearsay. However, there are rumored exceptions that may apply. Learn more atWhat is a rumour?jWhat are some exceptions to rumors?

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