Ensuring Justice: The Essential Guide to Preservation of Error for Appeal
Strickland Webster, LLC unpacks the critical steps of preserving errors for appeal, ensuring your trial missteps are documented for a fair review. Dive into our guide for professional insights.
Even if you have valid grounds for an appeal, failing to preserve errors during your trial proceedings can result in the dismissal of your appeal. You certainly want to avoid finding yourself in such a fix. In this article, our experienced lawyers at Strickland Webster, LLC, with an appropriate understanding of sentencing errors and appeals, will provide you with a guide on the preservation of error for appeal and how to avoid the subtle mistakes regarding error preservation.
For instance, an attorney cannot claim the misconduct of an opposing party’s counsel as grounds for an appeal when they did not object to that conduct at the trial court. So, when an attorney notices any errors in the trial proceedings, they should quickly draw the court’s attention to them.
Underestimating the Significance of Motions in Limine:
A motion in limine is a good way of preserving the record for appeal/errors. Motion in limine seeks to prevent certain arguments or exclude/allow specific evidence from being presented during trial. Its purpose is to address potentially irrelevant and inadmissible evidence that can hinder justice.
When attorneys maximize motions in limine, they can avoid any potential prejudice arising from the allowance of specific evidence and arguments. However, despite being a pre-trial motion, having the court reporter transcribe the motion in limine hearing is helpful.
When a party offers evidence contrary to the trial court’s prior ruling on excluding such evidence, the opposition party must object to that evidence in order to preserve error.
The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed this in the case of Williams v. Harvey (Case No: S20G1121). The Supreme Court held that contemporaneous objection was required when the plaintiff’s lawyer violated the court’s ruling regarding the motion in limine bordering on the exclusion of arguments.
An appellant cannot raise objections to errors for which they are responsible. For instance, your attorney would not be permitted to raise objections to a verdict form you submitted or their requested jury instructions at the trial courts. Recognizing and preventing self-invited errors is vital.