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"Judge, I Object! He's Harassing My Witness!" I Yell During the Middle of My Opponent's Cross Examination

It's true.
The defense's lawyer was being a jerk.
To my expert who was on the witness stand.

This was cross examination.
Of my medical expert.
In this medical malpractice trial being held in Brooklyn.

My opponent was a good trial lawyer.
He was experienced and knew what he was doing.
He represented the doctor whom my client had sued.

She sued her doctor claiming that he violated the basic standards of medical care.
She sued claiming that his carelessness caused her injuries.
She also claimed that her injuries were permanent.

She had not one but two treating doctors who confirmed each one of those things.

The defense lawyer had a strategy for cross examination.
He was going to be a huge pain in the ass as he could.
He was trying to be as obnoxious as he could.

He wanted all the attention focused on him and not my expert.
My medical expert hurt his case. Badly.
There's a saying in law that if you have the law on your side, you argue the law.

If you have the facts on your side, you argue the facts.
If you have neither, then you pound your fist on the table and yell and scream as loud as you can.
Looks like we know what strategy this lawyer decided to use.

"Doctor, I asked you a simple question. Are there other doctors on the face of this earth who would disagree with you?"
"Objection Judge! How is he to know what all the doctors on this planet would or wouldn't do?" I argued.
"Objection sustained!" the judge said. That meant the question was improper and the defense lawyer should ask his next question.

"Doctor, I'd like you to show me a single article, just one, that supports your opinion," the lawyer screamed.
"There's lots of literature out there that does," my expert said.
"Doctor, I didn't ask you about 'lots of literature'. Instead, I want you to tell us about one single authoritative article, among millions and millions of peer-reviewed articles that supports your opinion that you took fifteen minutes to tell us about!" the defense lawyer said with scorn.

"What's the matter doctor, you can't do it?" he screeched.
"You don't like being exposed like this, do you Doctor?" he said antagonizing my medical expert.
"Doctor, come on now. You can admit it...you made all this crap up, right?" the defense attorney yelled.

"OBJECTION JUDGE! HE'S HARASSING MY EXPERT!"

Indeed he is.
Everybody in the courtroom knew it.
Everybody in the courtroom saw it. They heard it. They felt it.

There was no need to stand up and highlight that fact.
It was obvious for all to see.
But I had to do it.

I couldn't let this obnoxious behavior continue unanswered.
What do you think the judge said?
"Objection sustained. Counselor, stop doing that!" is what he said.

"Ok Judge," my opposing attorney said.
Then two minutes later, he was back to his same old antics.
Screaming. Yelling. Arguing.

This was turning into a freak show.
The jury was only paying attention to the lawyer wondering what crazy antics he'd use next.
The jury didn't yet realize this was a key strategy to divert their attention.

They were captivated.
This was entertaining to them.
This was really interesting.

What did it show the jury that I had to stand up and complain that the defense lawyer was harassing my expert?
It showed a moment of weakness.
It showed I couldn't do anything to stop this madman at trial.

That's really an ineffective objection.
It's not a legal objection.
I consider it to be a 'whining' objection.

(Say it in a whining and sing-song voice...)

"Judge...the big bad defense lawyer is bothering my witness. Make him stop!"

The judge telling him to stop has the same effect as when you tell your kids in the back seat to stop fighting while on a long road trip. It might work the first time, but after the fifth time, your screaming and threats just don't work. Same in court.

To learn more about different trial objections that you're likely to see over and over again, I invite you to watch the quick video below...


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer