Go to navigation Go to content

I ask a question during cross-examination. Defense attorney says "Objection Judge! That question is not phrased properly." Will Judge help me rephrase my question?

The answer is no.

He won't.

The judge is supposed to be impartial.

The judge is NOT supposed to take sides during the trial.

The judge is not to give the appearance he favors one side or another.

The judge is not to help the attorneys.

Sometimes it may appear as if an attorney is foundering when questioning a witness.

The defense lawyer jumps up and screams out "OBJECTION JUDGE, THAT'S IMPROPER."

"Objection sustained," the judge says, meaning that the question is improper and the attorney must ask another question.

"OBJECTION JUDGE! THAT'S A LEADING QUESTION!"

"Objection sustained," the judge says again.

"OBJECTION JUDGE! THAT'S A COMPOUND QUESTION!"

"Objection sustained," the judge says again.

The attorney is now getting frustrated.

It appears as if every question he asks gets an objection from the defense lawyer.

To make matters worse, every objection is getting sustained, meaning the judge is agreeing with the defense lawyer.

This attorney has a problem.

Maybe he's a novice.

Maybe he's inexperienced.

Maybe he's getting his chops and learning what he can and cannot do.

Maybe.

Then again, maybe he has lots of experience.

Maybe he's been around the block many times.

Maybe he just has no clue how to rephrase a question to prevent getting an objection.

Maybe he's not that creative.

Maybe he's not such a great lawyer after all.

This same attorney, after struggling for many minutes to rephrase his series of questions, reaches the breaking point.

In a screech like sound, he turns to the judge and in a high pitch pleads with him to rephrase the question for him.

"Judge, would you please tell me how I can ask this question without getting an objection?" the attorney begs.

First, do you think a judge will do this and second, how does it make the attorney look in front of the jury to ask this question?

The answer?

First, no judge will do what he asks.

Second, it makes the attorney look very weak.

That's a very bad position for an attorney to be in.

He should know better.

He should be able to rephrase a question 20 different ways.

The fact that he's whining and complaining to the judge makes him look pathetic and ineffective.

To learn more, I invite you to watch the quick video below...


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer