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At a civil trial, when an attorney objects to a question with the following comment "I object. It assumes facts not in evidence," what does that mean?


A: It means that the attorney raising the objection believes that the witness is being asked a question that asks him or her to assume facts that have not been introduced into evidence. If true, then the witness would be answering questions based on speculation or guessing. To remedy this problem, an attorney can ask a witness hypothetical questions. "Assume Mr. Witness that the car was 10 feet away and also assume that it was a blinding snowstorm. In that circumstance is there any way you would have seen that car..." Or in a malpractice case we ask the accused doctor whether there were departures from good care with hypothetical questions. These hypothetical questions bear directly on our case, since our client has testified (or will) that these facts are true and existed at the time of the event.