Essential Courtroom Language You Should Know

Courtroom hearings can be very confusing, which is why it's so important to have an attorney to help guide you through the process. Even though you may have representation, you should still understand what is going on in the court room. Here are the important terms used in the courtroom that you should be aware of so that you can follow along with what your lawyer is doing.

What Are Objections?

An objection occurs when an attorney feels they need to prevent something from happening in the courtroom. It may be that they feel the way a witness is being questioned is out of line or something irrelevant is being introduced to the case.

If the judge agrees with the lawyer's objection, then it will be sustained. If the judge disagrees, the objection will at least be preserved in the courtroom records and be used as evidence for a potential appeal if they lose the case. Failing to make objections will not allow courtroom rule violations to be used for an appeal.

What Are Common Objections?

With there being so many rules in the courtroom, objections can be made for a variety of reasons. These are ones that you'll typically hear in court.


When the other lawyer is making arguments to a witness rather than asking questions, it's considered argumentative. Sustaining the objection will require the lawyer to change their strategy to one that will elicit a testimony.


It's possible for a lawyer to act hostile or aggressive in the courtroom, which is considered badgering. This may be in the tone of their voice, using sarcasm when talking to a witness, commenting directly about a testimony, and outright yelling can be called badgering at the judge's discretion.


A witness can only relay information that they know from firsthand experience. If a witness is giving a testimony based on secondhand information, it is considered hearsay.


It's important that everyone in the courtroom process only discusses things that are relevant to the case. Evidence or testimony that is not relevant to the case at all could be considered immaterial. For example, a lawyer may try to bring up a previous conviction of yours to the jury to try to harm your character. The previous conviction could be irrelevant to the case and considered immaterial by the judge.

If something comes up in court that you do not understand, make sure to ask your lawyer afterward so you can better understand the courtroom proceedings.

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