How to Preserve Issues for Appellate Review via Effective Objections

wisconsinappealslawyerenewsoct13This is the theme of our FREE Wisconsin Appeals E-News for this month. Other topics this month include New Wisconsin Supreme Court Certifications from the Court of Appeals and Wisconsin Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Act 10 Appeal. To view the full newsletter, click here.

Anticipating an Appeal:

Preserving Objections for Appellate Review

Even the best trial attorney may find himself in the unenviable position of hoping to win, yet expecting to lose. While trial attorneys should always operate with the record on appeal in mind, it is especially important when an appeal is likely. Success at the appellate level depends on preservation of appellate issues at the trial level via effective objections.

An effective objection has three qualities: (1) it states the basis for the objection, (2) it is on the record, and (3) it is timely made.

A full and proper objection states the basis for the objection on the record. In Air Wisconsin, Inc. v. North Central Airlines, Inc., 98 Wis.2d 301 (1980), trial counsel objected on the record but explained the basis for the objection in an off-the-record discussion with the judge and opposing counsel. The Wisconsin Supreme Court held that this was not sufficient to preserve the objection for appellate review.

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