I was thinking this morning about issues that a trial defense counsel ought to be aware of and/or know about for appeals.

This evening I got a VACLE “tip,” entitled, Did You Know? What’s the most common reason arguments on appeal are not heard on the merits?  The following was included.

Proffer excluded testimony and exhibits for the record: One of the least understood practices essential to preserving error concerns proffers. If testimony is excluded, the appellate court generally cannot address an appeal on that point unless the party offering the testimony proffers the testimony so that it is part of the record. Likewise, exhibits that are excluded need to be marked “excluded” and included in the record, and the offering party must demonstrate in the record not only an objection to the exclusion but the reasons supporting the objection.

Never ever try a case for appeal.  You want to WIN at trial.  But, there is no harm in keeping in mind there could be an appeal and that issues need to be preserved with either a proper objection, or as the tip points out a proffer.

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