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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69938 Find in a Library
Title: Art of Objecting (From Criminal Law Seminar, 1977, Tape 5 - See NCJ-69932)
Author(s): J R Jenner
Corporate Author: California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Sponsoring Agency: California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
Oceana Publications, Inc
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Sale Source: Oceana Publications, Inc
75 Main Street
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
United States of America

Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The defense attorney's dilemma concerning the desirability of objecting for record preservation purposes and the dangers of antagonizing the jury by too frequent and strident objections is discussed.
Abstract: Part of a five-audiocassette series containing the proceedings of the 1977 statewide California Criminal Law Seminar, sponsored by the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and primarily intended for defense attorneys and law students, this is a presentation, in a humorous vein, of the art of objecting as a successful courtroom strategy, with frequent references to the corresponding section of the printed syllabus provided with the cassettes, which contains the substance of this lecture (i.e., guidelines, a complete bibliography of relevant cases, and other instructional material). The speaker, a specialist in first-degree murder cases, identifies the roots of the objection dilemma in the fact that, should defense counsel fail to object to particular evidence, the admissibility of that evidence cannot be raised in appeal. The incentive to object in order to have one's objections preserved in the record is offset, on the other hand, by the justified fear of turning off the jury by continuous, obstreperous objections. The solution recommended by the speaker is essentially to maximize the number of objections raised in the absence of the jury. Approaching the bench and whispering one's objections, along with resorting to objections in chambers, are undesirable substitutes because they make the jury suspicious and are, therefore, self-defeating in terms of jury persuasion. So-called anticipatory objections in the jury's absence are the most effective. The speaker also deals with the style of objecting (e.g., precision, concision, and politeness are recommended) and with the undesirable consequences of failing to place a properly timed and presented anticipatory objection. A film is shown (only the audiopart of which is recorded on the cassette) illustrating a defense attorney's belated and ineffective reactions to the surprise presentation of a gruesome film showing his client's horribly mutilated murder victims. The film determined the unfavorable (for the defendant) outcome of that particular trial. The anticipatory objection allows defense counsel to preserve his record without alienating the jury.
Index Term(s): Allied Law Enforcement Radio Tie; Criminal proceedings
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Price listed is for one cassette tape. 1977.
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