“There are numerous treatises, books and articles on evidence and trial tactics, which include coverage of making and responding to objections. However, few publications combine these subjects in as clear and useful a way as New York Objections.” —David M. Epstein, New York Law Journal
Specially Designed for Courtroom Use
Winning at trial means getting your evidence in and keeping the opposition’s evidence out — or at least minimizing its impact. Most evidentiary rulings are within the judge’s discretion, and are made in seconds. Bad rulings are almost never reversible. In sum, victory goes to the lawyer who can prevail on the big objections in the heat of battle. The key is knowing why, when and how to object and how to respond — at a moment’s notice — with supporting authority at your fingertips. That’s where New York Objections comes in. Like no other resource, New York Objections uses a courtroom-friendly format to cover more than 100 trial objections with clear, concise explanations, practice tips, and cautions — plus the rules, statutes, and cases that comprise and construe New York’s rules of evidence.
Model language for more than 100 objections. Use the language provided — or tailor it to fit your specific situation. You can turn to the model language you need in seconds.
Author comments are included for each objection. The authors explain the practical application, scope, and purpose of the governing rules, and describe the circumstances in which each objection is proper and most effective.
Practice Tips & Cautions
The text includes an abundance of practice tips and cautions, alerting you to common mistakes and important strategies.
The facts and holdings of 1500 cases (about 15 per objection) are summarized so you can quickly find supporting authority.
Opposing counsel objects — and thanks to New York Objections, you have the ammunition to respond. Better yet, you know how to anticipate and preclude objections before they are made. You also know what reactions to expect from the judge, how to meet alternative admission procedures, and more.
New York Objections tells you how to meet the foundation requirements for specific types of evidence. You’ll find instructions on how to lay your foundation and spot weaknesses in your opponent’s.
Anticipate evidence problems and plan your strategies. The authors’ advice and insights from the bench give you the best chance of success. They include alternative arguments, judicial perspectives and preferences, and what you need to put on the record.
New York attorneys must marshal far-flung rules, statutory provisions, and ever-developing common law. Other evidence books are full-blown academic treatises — not well-suited for handling courtroom exigencies. New York Objections bridges the gap. Organized by topic, it explains New York’s evidence rules, citing all the state’s relevant rules, statutes, and more than 1,500 New York cases directly on point. Don’t let opposing counsel’s objection block the admission of critical evidence, and don’t be caught off guard when opposing counsel offers evidence you could have kept out, had you just made the proper objection. Whether you’re in the courtroom or preparing for trial, New York Objections will help you use the rules of evidence to your best advantage. Written by respected New York trial judges, this book has the most comprehensive coverage of New York objections ever published. New York Objections is what you need to:
- Preclude trial objections through motions in limine.
- Evaluate the admissibility of the opposition’s evidence.
- Decide when to object, and when to remain silent.
- Preserve the record for appeal.
- Respond to objections — on the spot, and with authority.
- Draft briefs on evidentiary objections and motions.
- Prevent jury exposure to adverse inadmissible evidence.
REVISION 19 HIGHLIGHTS
In this 19th Edition of New York Objections, Justice Gerald Lebovits has updated every chapter in the book with new and revised text and dozens of new citations to authority, including new cases on:
- Jury Selection
- Character and Habit
- Business Records
- Parol Evidence
- Demonstrative Evidence
- Witness Competence
- Witness Examination
- Expert Witnesses
The new text and cases cover a broad range of evidence and potential objections, including objections related to:
- Voir Dire: implicit bias; permissible topics; time limits; discriminatory use of peremptory challenges.
- Opening Statements: personal attacks; inflammatory statements; failure to set forth a claim; repairs.
- Privileges: self-incrimination; scope of the attorney/client privilege; physician-patient privilege; spousal privilege; material prepared for litigation.
- Character and Habit: scope and substance of New York’s Rape Shield Law.
- Real Evidence: challenges to the chain of custody; photos of an accident scene or victim; inflammatory or prejudicial photos.
- Documents: admissibility of photocopies, summaries, printouts; public documents; business records; electronic evidence; secondary evidence.
- Witness Competence: oath or affirmation; lack of personal knowledge, mental impairment; juror as a witness.
- Witness Examination: judicial and juror examination of witnesses; impeaching own witness; prior bad acts; adverse witnesses; narrative testimony; argumentative questions; prior criminal convictions.
- Expert Testimony: conduit hearsay; admissibility of fingerprint, medical, safety, meteorological, and valuation expertise; compelling expert testimony.
- Juror Misconduct: juror bias; inconsistent verdict; conducting independent research; visiting the scene.
ABBREVIATED TABLE OF CONTENTS
CH. 1 OBJECTIONS & RELATED PROCEDURES
CH. 2 JURY SELECTION
CH. 3 OPENING STATEMENT
CH. 4 RELEVANCE & MATERIALITY
CH. 5 HEARSAY
CH. 6 CONFUSING, PREJUDICIAL, & CUMULATIVE
CH. 7 PRIVILEGES
CH. 8 CHARACTER & HABIT
CH. 9 REAL EVIDENCE
CH. 10 PHOTOGRAPHS, RECORDINGS, & X-RAYS
CH. 11 DOCUMENTS
CH. 12 PAROL EVIDENCE
CH. 13 DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE
CH. 14 WITNESS COMPETENCE
CH. 15 WITNESS EXAMINATION
CH. 16 EXPERT WITNESSES
CH. 17 JUDICIAL CONDUCT
CH. 18 ATTORNEY CONDUCT
CH. 19 SUMMATION
CH. 20 SUBMISSION TO JURY
CH. 21 OBJECTING DURING DEPOSITIONS
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Justice Gerald Lebovits wrote the 2018 and 2019 supplements to New York Objections, updating every chapter and adding hundreds of new case citations throughout the book.
Justice Lebovits has been a New York City judge since 2001. An acting Supreme Court justice in Manhattan, he is president of the 300-judge New York State Association of Acting Supreme Court Justices. Before that he was president of the 120-judge Board of Judges of the New York City Civil Court and the 50-judge New York City Association of Housing Court Judges. Justice Lebovits has been an adjunct professor of law for 32 years, currently at Columbia, Fordham, and NYU. The students at Fordham, New York Law School, and St. John’s have each elected him Adjunct Law Professor of the Year. Justice Lebovits has a B.A. in law (1976), two certificates in law (1978), and a license in law (1979) from Canada (where he is from), and two graduate law degrees, from Tulane (1980) and NYU (1986), in the United States.
Justice Lebovits gratefully acknowledges the expert research assistance of Julian Rodriguez, an associate of the New York City-based law firm of Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman, LLP. Mr. Rodriguez graduated with honors from St. John’s University School of Law in 2015, where he served on the Law Review. He is a 2012 honors graduate of SUNY Binghamton University.
Justice Helen E. Freedman wrote the first edition of New York Objections in 1998 and updated the work annually through 2015.
Justice Freedman has served as a mediator/arbitrator with JAMS in New York since 2015 and continues to serve as Vice Chair of the Pattern Jury Instructions Committee. Justice Freedman served as a trial judge from 1979 to 2008 and as an appellate judge from 2008 through 2014. She was the Mass Torts Judge in charge of all New York City asbestos personal injury and New York State silicone gel breast implant, latex glove, and diet drug cases. Justice Freedman was assigned to the Commercial Division for eight years. She retired from the bench in 2014.