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Trial Objections

Trial Objections

I tried a homeowner case defending a pest control company in Judge Caroline Baker's courtroom when she first became a judge back in the 1990s.  Opposing counsel was very inexperienced and would make sheepish objections and then want to approach the bench to explain his reasoning.  I had never seen anything like it.  He would object.  The opposing attorney would respond and he would respond by requesting to approach the bench.  It became such a reflexive habit that the judge started moving the bench approach out into the hallway.  Out in the hallway and before that, at the bench, the "request to approach" was unmerited and should not have been allowed.  Well it was and these conferences kept retreating into the hallway. 

I had a peripheral defendant and felt pretty good about not getting hit in the case so I started hanging back.  I didn't "approach the bench" or go outside.  I stayed at the counsel table to watch the jury.  They didn't seem irritated. 

This process really slowed the case down and eventually, after four weeks of trial, the case ended.  They jury didn't touch my client but did hit a bank that sold the house.  When asked if they minded the length of time, they all responded "No"  it didn't bother them at all. 

Luckily, I have never had to repeat that "Approach the bench and move out into the hallway" system again. 

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