§ 6.01 Introduction

JurisdictionNorth Carolina
§ 6.01 Introduction

"Objection. Sustained." "Objection. Overruled." If you have not observed this dialogue at a trial, you probably have seen it in countless movies or TV shows. An objection or motion to strike evidence is used to exclude evidence an attorney believes is inadmissible. An objection must be made to preserve a challenge to the admissibility of that evidence on appeal. In contrast, when an attorney's proffer of evidence has been excluded by a trial judge's ruling, an offer of proof is required to preserve the issue for appeal. In other words, objections (and motions to strike) are used to contest the admission of evidence, while offers of proof are used to contest the exclusion of evidence.

To be precise, this requirement is a forfeiture, rather than a waiver, rule: "Whereas forfeiture is the failure to make the timely assertion of a right, waiver is the 'intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right.'"1 Nevertheless, most courts and lawyers do not make this...

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