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Law from a legal assistant’s point of view, week 15: Objections.

By Quinton Lister, legal assistant

I think one of the least understood facets of the legal system by lay people (like myself, a new legal assistant) is the concept of an objection in a trial. I have been to a couple trials now since I started this job, and I am still unsure about all the different ways someone can object. Sometimes I think lawyers object even when they themselves are unsure on what grounds they are objecting. They just go off of a gut feeling (and my boss tells me my impressions are accurate). As someone who is preparing to go to law school, I have been trying to pay attention to objections when they are raised and why they are important. I believe it’s a good thing that there are rules for what evidence is presented in court and how it is presented. That is the best way to ensure we separate facts from mere allegations, how we generate good arguments, and all of it—when done right—enables the judge to make an impartial decision. Now the judge will not always rule impartially just because the rules of evidence have been observed, but following the rules of evidence helps keep everyone honest, including the judge. Knowing the rules of evidence and their purposes, including objections, is vital.

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