If you start to offer evidence and, before you can get it before the court, the other side objects and the judge sustains your opponent’s objection, you must move the court to allow you to make clear on the record what your evidence was going to be and what it would tend to prove!
This is making an offer of proof.
Expect your opponent to try to stop you.
Be prepared to make an offer of proof immediately … or risk losing needlessly!
- What the offered evidence is and
- What the evidence tends to prove
Failure to get evidence admitted is fatal!
If you don’t get your evidence admitted and don’t make an offer of proof, you’ll have nothing to appeal if you lose!
If you don’t make an offer of proof, the record will not show the appellate court what the evidence would have been. There’ll be nothing in the record for the appellate court to review! Appellate courts will not examine evidence that wasn’t made part of the record at the trial level.
You can’t introduce evidence for the first time on appeal.