Skip to main content

The Groundhog Day Objection

By April 15, 2004Uncategorized

I just finished watching the movie Groundhog Day, which is a cute romantic comedy in which Bill Murray plays a cynical weatherman who gets stuck reporting on Puxatawny Phil’s celebrated appearance on, yes, Groundhog Day. The crux of the plot is that Bill Murray finds out that he is trapped in this one day, which keeps repeating itself over and over.

Watching the movie reminded me of the greatest trial objection I ever heard. The case involved a disgruntled franchisee who had sued her former franchisor, claiming that she didn’t get the operaional support that she needed and that’s why her business failed. The judge was a nice fellow who didn’t interfere much with the lawyers, even if they were obviously wasting time with repetitious matters. The plaintiff was therefore allowed to sit in the witness box for 3 days, complaining ad nauseum about the defendants. Finally, in the late morning of the 3rd day one of the defense lawyers rose slowly, taking additional time to fasten his coat, and said “You’re honor, I would now like to interpose what I shall refer to as ‘the Groundhog Day’ objection.”

“What’s that?” the judge inquired. “Well,” said the lawyer, “every day I come to court and Mrs. XXXXX is testifying, and then I go home, go to sleep. The next day I wake up and come to court and think that something new is going to happen and it never does. She’s always right there in the witness box testifying. So, I feel like I’m in the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ and I object.”

The judge denied the objection, but the jury thought the objection was funny –as did most of the people in the courtroom, with the obvious exception of the witness and her lawyers.

P.S. If you're a practicing lawyer, check out this Law Practice Assessment . After answering a few questions, you'll get detailed recommendations for improving five key areas of your practice.
Skip to content