In 1998, the first edition of New York Objections was hailed as a “detailed and comprehensive guide to the entire trial process … filled with in-depth practical advice, [that] will serve as a great resource for the litigator.” Joel Slawotsky, New York Law Journal. That endorsement holds true, to an even greater degree now, more than two decades later.
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.
In sum, “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
REVISION 22 HIGHLIGHTS
In this 22nd Edition of New York Objections, Justice Gerald Lebovits has updated every chapter in the book with new and revised text and dozens of new case summaries. The new cases span a broad range of topics, from Attorney Conduct to Witness Competence. The highlights include a Foreword by esteemed New York Judge Barbara S. Jones (ret.) and expanded coverage of:
Objections and Procedures: Harmless error in civil and criminal cases; making a timely objection; motions in limine in civil and criminal cases; sufficiency of offers of proof.
Jury Selection: Exploring prejudices during voir dire; challenging prospective jurors for cause.
Opening Statement: Statements not supported by the evidence.
Relevance, Materiality, Presumptions: Rebuttal of presumption; specific presumptions: legitimacy, negligence in a rear-end collision, ownership by possession, proper execution of a will, spoliation.
Hearsay: Declarations against interest; dying declaration; prior inconsistent statements; business, hospital and medical records; police records; excited utterance; 911 calls.
Confusing, Prejudicial, Cumulative: More prejudicial than probative; missing witness charge; expanded commentary and legal analysis of cumulative evidence, with supporting case law.
Character and Habit: Prior uncharged crimes.
Photographs, Recordings, X-rays: Civil cases – photo of accident scene; criminal cases – photo identification, photo of victim, of crime scene, of defendant; surveillance tapes; surreptitious audio recordings; transcripts.
Documents: Summaries; best evidence rule; public documents; business records; electronic evidence, including social media and email.
Demonstrative Evidence: Maps; sketches; diagrams; charts; models; reenactments.
Witness Competence: Dead Man’s statute; mental and physical impairments; juror as witness; judge as witness.
Expert Witnesses: Conduit hearsay; accident reconstruction; domestic violence; DNA; eyewitness identification; medical causation; false confessions.
Judicial Conduct: Judicial notice; expanded commentary and case law re: judicial discretion to regulate the trial; judicial power to adjourn or continue; judicial power to ensure decorum.
Objections During Deposition: Privilege; irrelevant and/or burdensome line of questioning; outrageous conduct warrants sanctions.
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 AUTHOR
Justice Gerald Lebovits began writing the annual supplements to New York Objections in 2018. Each year, he updates every chapter and adds dozens 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 Helen E. Freedman wrote the first edition of New York Objections in 1998 and updated the work annually through 2015.