NEW YORK OBJECTIONS -6
New York O bjections is a state trial lawyer’s book written by state trial judges—rst by New York Justice Helen
Freedman, who served with distinction for decades as a trial and appellate judge, and, since 2018, by New York
Justice Gerald Lebovits. It is also a powerful resource for trial judges, who will quickly nd in this 21-chapter volume
denitive answers, with authoritative citations, to hundreds of evidentiar y and procedural issues that arise at trial.
I rst met Gerry Lebovits in 1996 when we were both active in the New York County Lawyers Association’s
American Inn of Court. He was the law clerk to Justice Edward J. McLaughlin in Supreme Court, Criminal Term,
Manhattan. I had recently been appointed to the federal bench after serving as rst assistant district attorney in
the Manhattan DA’s Oce. Fittingly, one of the Inn of Court programs Gerr y put on was a fun, and educational,
presentation on evidence called Evidence Squares.
Gerry has since served as a trial judge in Manhattan for more than 20 years. Currently in Supreme Court at
the iconic 60 Centre Street courthouse, he previously served in Civil Court, Housing Court, and Criminal Cour t.
He also nds the time to teach as an adjunct professor at Columbia, Fordham, and NYU Law Schools. As a trial
judge, Gerry has seen it all. As a teacher, he explains complex concepts with accuracy, c larity, and grace. Gerry brings
all that experience to bear in New York Objections, and you, dear reader, reap the rewards.
New York Objections is an indispensable part of a trial judge’s and trial lawyer’s toolbox. It is comprehensive
in scope, covering civil and criminal and trials in the New York courts from start to nish: from jury selection and
opening statements, to summation and submission to the jury.
e chapter on the hearsay rule exemplies the book’s user-friendly and practical approach. e chapter begins
by dening hearsay, with citations to the leading New York cases. It then catalogues the exceptions to the rule,
setting forth the foundation requirements, citing cases, rules, and statutes, and providing tips for practitioners. Every
objection covered includes pattern language (“Objection, Your Honor: e writing is hearsay and does not fall
within the past recollection recorded exception”); arguments and strategies to support the objection (e.g., “Argue
that the memo was made too long after the event to be accurate”); and potential responses to meet the objection.
In the hearsay chapter – indeed, in every chapter – Gerry gives judges the basis on which to rule on objections,
and he teaches lawyers when to object and how to raise objections in a way that makes it easy for the judge to
decide in the lawyer’s favor. He also puts these lessons on objecting into the procedural contexts of each part of a
civil and criminal trial.
As a litigator and former trial judge myself, I know how important it is for lawyers to have thought through
their strategy for the trial as a whole before the trial begins. Gerry’s book will help lawyers integrate into their overall
case strategy their thinking on when and how to raise procedural and evidentiary objections at each stage of trial.
New York O bjections is a valuable, practice-focused, and handy aid for New York judges and litigators. It will
help judges rule correctly and fast. And it will help lawyers with evidentiary and procedural issues present to the
court clear and succinct arguments to advance their client’s cause.
If you’re going to trial, New York Objections should go with you.
Hon. Barbara S. Jones
- Partner, Bracewell LLP
- Judge (ret.), U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York