U.S. Capitol building

Overruling Her Own Objection

Jamison KoehlerTrial Advocacy

Midway into my cross-examination of the police officer, the judge calls the prosecutor and me up to the bench so that she can talk to us outside the hearing of the jury.

“That line of questioning is objectionable,” she tells me.

We spend a few minutes debating this, and I ultimately convince her that the government opened the door to my line of questioning on direct.  So she sends us back to continue the cross-examination. She has in effect overruled her own objection.

But the damage is done.  She took me out of my rhythm.  She signaled to the jury that she thought I was doing something wrong.  And she put the prosecutor on notice that the court thought he should be objecting more.  Sure enough, the prosecutor objects on my very next question.