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1.2-7 Ruling on Objections

Revised to January 1, 2008

Attorney ____________________ has just objected to the admission of certain evidence and I have (sustained/overruled) the objection.  When I sustain an objection, that means that the evidence will not be allowed to be presented to you for use in deciding this case.  When I overrule an objection, that means that the evidence will be allowed.  My decision whether to sustain or overrule an objection is based on the rules of evidence that govern this trial.

When evidence is offered, a lawyer has the right and sometimes the obligation to object and seek a ruling as to the admissibility of proposed evidence under the rules, or whether evidence already admitted should be stricken.  You should not hold it against a lawyer, or the party that lawyer represents, if the lawyer objects to evidence, regardless of whether the objection is sustained or overruled.  Just because evidence is admitted after an objection, you are not required to treat that evidence as true, but you should weigh and consider it in the same way as other evidence.  You should not infer from my rulings on evidence that I favor or disfavor any party or lawyer; the court is neutral and is merely enforcing the rules of evidence so as to assure a fair trial.  Do not speculate as to what the answer would have been had I not sustained an objection to the question and do not place any emphasis on a piece of evidence merely because I overruled an objection as to it.

Notes

Many trial court judges find this instruction to be most useful if given together with its ruling on the first objection as to the evidence.  If given at that time, or otherwise during the trial, the trial court judge may decide that the final charge to the jury may not require its repetition.
 


 

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