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Mock Trial Objections

The basics of every objection allowed in the Mock


Trial universe.

Questions calling for a Narrative


answer/Narrating

Questions that are vague and allow for a long, drawn


out answer are inappropriate

Ex.) Attorney: Tell us what you know about the case.

When objecting, the attorney should stand and say


Objection. This question calls for a narrative
answer. or Objection. The witness is narrating.

Relevance

Relevant evidence is evidence presented that tends


to prove or disprove any fact related to the case.

Ex.) Attorney: What did you have for breakfast?

When objecting, the attorney should stand and say


Objection. This question is irrelevant.

Character of the Witness

Character evidence is evidence that concerns some


trait about the witness other than honesty or
truthfulness.

Ex.) Attorney (crossing a lay witness): Miss, can you


please explain to the court why you received a
speeding ticket 5 months ago?

When objecting, the attorney should stand and say


Objection. This question calls for improper
character evidence.

Lack of Personal/Professional
Knowledge

Questions that call for hearsay testimony or a lay


witnesss opinion are inappropriate as they call for
something that the witness has no knowledge of.

Ex.) Attorney: Do you think that the driver was drunk at


the time of the hit and run?

When objecting, the attorney should stand and say


Objection. The witness does not have the
personal knowledge to answer this question.

Leading Questions

Only allowed during cross-examination and when


laying foundation, leading questions are questions
that suggest the answer.

Attorney: The money was under the hay bale, correct?

When objecting, the attorney should stand and say


Objection. Counsel is leading the witness.

Beyond the Scope

Questions that cover information outside of what the


crossing attorney/re-directing attorney brought up in
questioning are considered beyond the scope.
When objecting, the attorney should stand and say
Objection. Counsel is asking a question which is
beyond the scope of my cross/re-direct
examination.

Hearsay

Perhaps the most common objection, Hearsay is an out


of court statement being offered in court to prove the truth
of the matter asserted.

Ex.) Attorney: Now Ms. Smith, you say that you heard your
neighbor say that he was going to kill his wife?

When objecting, the attorney should stand and say


Objection. This question calls for hearsay. or
Objection. The witnesss answer is based on
hearsay.
When objecting to hearsay, be ready for a fight as there
are a plethora of ways to get around a hearsay objection.

Argumentative

Argumentative questioning is when the opposing


attorney questions the witness roughly or in a harsh
tone.

Ex.) Attorney: You killed your wife!!

When objecting, the attorney should stand and say


Objection. Counsel is being argumentative.

Badgering

Similar to argumentative questioning, badgering the


witness is when the opposing attorney asks the
same question several times in order to harass the
witness, usually done in a harsh manner.
When objecting, the attorney should stand and say
Objection. Counsel is badgering the witness.

Asked and Answered

Asked and answered is when a question that has


already been asked and answered is being asked
again. Most often, attorneys do this when they dont
get the answer they wanted.
When objecting, the attorney should stand and say
Objection. This question has already been
asked and answered.

Assumes Facts Not in


Evidence

Questions that assume facts not in evidence jump


straight to the point without showing how they got
there. In other words, they ask about facts that have
not been shown to exist.

Ex.) Attorney (without proving there was a pie in the


first place): You stole the pie, didnt you?

When objecting, the attorney should stand and say


Objection. This question assumes facts not in
evidence.

Lack of Foundation

Lack of foundation is an objection that arises when


an attorney begins to question a witness about a
certain subject without first proving that (s)he is
qualified to answer questions about said subject.

Ex.) Attorney: Can you tell the court a little about how
the bomb was built?

When objecting, the attorney should stand and say


Objection. Counsel has not laid the appropriate
foundation.
NOTE: The opposing party may ask for you to
explain how the appropriate foundation has not been
laid.

Speculation

Closely tied to Lack of Personal Knowledge,


speculative questions ask a witness to testify to the
motives, intentions, or reasons behind the actions of
another without knowledge of said motives,
intentions, or reasons.

Ex.) Attorney: Why do you think he did it?

When objecting, the attorney should stand and say


Objection. This question calls for speculation.

Unresponsive

The attorney directing or crossing a witness may


object if the witness does not directly respond to the
questions put to him/her. Witnesses may also be
unresponsive if their testimony goes beyond what is
asked.
When objecting, the attorney (who should already be
standing) should say Objection. The witness is
being/has become unresponsive.

Unfair Extrapolation

Unfair extrapolation is when a witness includes


testimony that was not originally included in the case
materials and this testimony can potentially affect the
trials outcome.
When objecting, the attorney should stand and say
Objection. The witness is unfairly
extrapolating. or Objection. The witnesss
testimony is going beyond the information
provided in the case materials.
NOTE: This objection should only be made if the
extra information has a profound impact on the trial.

Something to remember with


objections in Mock Trial

Most of the time in Mock Trial, attorney will say


Objection followed by just the objection. They then
offer a brief explanation.

Ex.) Objection, assumes facts not in evidence. There


is no evidence that my client knew this Mrs. Smith that
opposing counsel is referring to.

Read the following excerpt from the affidavit of


Rankin Bass carefully, then decide on the
appropriate objections for the upcoming scenarios.

On one occasion, I overheard a man who was selling homemade pastries at the market telling his wife that the reason no
one was purchasing their goods was because the Spree Party
made them outcasts. He said that he thought the Spree had
spies coming to the Knave Party organization meeting that
reported who was in attendance. He felt that it was not just a
coincidence that his business declined shortly after he started
going to the meetings. In my opinion, his pastries were not very
good. Maybe that had something to do with his lack of
customers.

Directing Attorney: Rankin, how did you know this


pastry salesmans political affiliation?
Rankin: Well apart from hearing him say he was a
Knave, he had a sign saying I Hate Oprah Xram!
(the ruler at the time), who was a Spree, and after
someone walked by and claimed they were a Spree,
he threw a pastry at them.
ANSWER
Crossing Attorney: Objection. Unfair
extrapolation.

Crossing Attorney: Now, Miss Bass, what color were


these pastries?
ANSWER
Directing Attorney: Objection. Relevance.

Crossing Attorney: You said this man was selling homemade pastries?
Rankin: Yes.
Crossing Attorney: He sold pastries?
Rankin: Yes, home-made.
Crossing Attorney: So, he was a pastry salesman?
Directing Attorney: Objection. Asked and
answered.
ANSWER

Crossing Attorney: Do you think this pastry salesman


was a Unabomber?
ANSWER
Directing Attorney: Objection. Speculation.

Crossing Attorney: How can you say his pastries were


not good!? Are you familiar with the Freedonian
customs and food choices?
ANSWER
Directing Attorney: Objection. Argumentative.

Crossing Attorney: Miss Bass, what was this pastry


salesmans financial situation?
ANSWER
Directing Attorney: Objection. Lack of Personal
Knowledge.

Directing Attorney: Miss Bass, lets go back a little to


something we forgot to talk about my first time around
questioning you
ANSWER
Crossing Attorney: Objection. Beyond
the scope.

Rankin: Well, let me start from the beginning(talks for


1 minute)
ANSWER
Crossing Attorney: Objection. Narrative.

Crossing Attorney: Miss Bass, do you have a criminal


record?
Rankin: No.
Crossing Attorney: But I have here that youve been
busted for speeding, and it looks like you received a
ticket.
Directing Attorney: Objection.
This question calls for ANSWER
improper character evidence.

Crossing Attorney: Miss Bass, this pastry salesman


allegedly attended Knave meetings?
Rankin: Of course he sold pastries.
Crossing Attorney: But he did attend Knave meetings?
Rankin: Well, yes and no. I heard him say something,
but I cant really tell for sure.
Crossing Attorney: So is that a yes or a no?
Rankin: Well
ANSWER
Crossing Attorney: Objection. Unresponsive.

(Usually the attorney does not say objection for this.)

Directing Attorney: And what, if anything, did this


salesman say?
ANSWER
Crossing Attorney: Objection. Hearsay.

Crossing Attorney: Miss Bass, what hand did you hold the
gun in?
Directing Attorney:
Objection! Assumes facts
not in evidence.
ANSWER

Directing Attorney (1st Question): Miss Bass, will you


please tell the court about the incident concerning the
pastry salesman.
Crossing Attorney: Objection. Lack of foundation.
ANSWER

Crossing Attorney: You heard this pastry salesman say


business had gone down?
Rankin: Yes.
Crossing Attorney: Youre telling me that you heard him
say his business had gone down?
Rankin: Yes.
Crossing Attorney: How can you be sure of this? Were
you part of his business?
Directing Attorney: Objection. Badgering.
ANSWER

Directing Attorney: Rankin, you said the pastries tasted


bad, right?
Crossing Attorney: Objection. Leading.
ANSWER

One final note

Keep in mind that the vast majority of objections in


the Mock Trial universe will not be even close to this
easy or clear cut. Most objections can be
overlapped. Other things may seem objectionable
when in actuality they are not.
Keep practicing the objections and hopefully you will
have them mastered by the time the competition
comes around.