Skip to Content

Objection, Interrupted


It’s a cardinal rule that to preserve an argument at trial, counsel must make a contemporaneous objection. Even cardinal rules, however, have their exceptions.

In US Bank National Association v. Tranumn, No. 1D16-491, 2018 WL 267276 (Fla. 1st DCA Jan. 2, 2018), the Florida First District Court of Appeal acknowledged such an exception. There, the trial court entered a “Final Judgment” that denied US Bank the relief of foreclosure, instead ordering the borrowers to pay the bank a money judgment. The trial court also awarded the borrowers’ counsel attorney’s fees. The bank appealed. Although the First District found the Final Judgment to be a non-appealable non-final order due to a pending counterclaim, it granted the bank’s petition for certiorari and reviewed the Final Judgment.

The bank argued that the borrowers’ counterclaims, which the trial court had severed, were inextricably intertwined with the bank’s complaint for foreclosure. As a result, the bank argued, the trial court’s severance of the counterclaims departed from the essential requirements of the law. 

The borrowers argued that the bank failed to preserve the issue because it did not make a contemporaneous objection to the severance. The First District disagreed, finding that counsel for the bank had attempted to address the issue of severance, but was cut off by the trial judge. Logically, the court concluded, the bank would have objected had it been allowed to continue. As a result, the First District found the issue preserved for purposes of US Bank’s petition. It granted the writ, quashed the judgment, and remanded for all the claims to be tried together. 

Preservation Issue

  • “[A]n issue may be preserved without a contemporaneous objection if ‘it appears from the record that the trial court may have interrupted a proper objection.’”


  • We advise making contemporaneous and specific objections, whenever possible. But there are times where the failure to do so may not be fatal. This case presents one such example. In a similar vein, section 90.104 of the Florida Evidence Code presents another. See 90.104, Fla. Stat. (if a court makes a definitive ruling on the record admitting or excluding evidence, you do not need to renew objections on that point to preserve it for appeal).
©2024 Carlton Fields, P.A. Carlton Fields practices law in California through Carlton Fields, LLP. Carlton Fields publications should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information and educational purposes only, and should not be relied on as if it were advice about a particular fact situation. The distribution of this publication is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship with Carlton Fields. This publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication or proceeding without the prior written consent of the firm, to be given or withheld at our discretion. To request reprint permission for any of our publications, please use our Contact Us form via the link below. The views set forth herein are the personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the firm. This site may contain hypertext links to information created and maintained by other entities. Carlton Fields does not control or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this outside information, nor is the inclusion of a link to be intended as an endorsement of those outside sites.


The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.