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Can a Judge Refuse to Reconsider his Ruling

July 12, 2015 Legal Terminology

A lawyer asks the judge to reconsider his ruling. The judge refuses and inform the attorney that if he does not like his ruling he can take it up on appeal. Can a judge say this?

The Judge can Refuse to Reconsider


A judge makes decisions during the trial all the time and the judge has a right to change or radify their decision.

The answer is yes; a judge can make a snap decision and stick to it such as this. For instance, your lawyer is questioning a witness, the defense objects to a particular question, the judge says, “objection sustained”, and stops the witness from answering the question. Here the judge has made a snap decision about whether your lawyer can question the witness about a particular topic.

If your lawyer does not like the judge’s ruling, can he ask the judge to reconsider his ruling? Yes, you lawyer can ask the judge to reconsider. However, what is the likelihood of the judge reversing his decision, immediately after he has ruled that the lawyer cannot ask that question? The chances are extremely small. This is just human nature and it is unfortunate.

When your lawyer raises the argument for the judge to reconsider, and starts to whine and complain, what is the judge most likely going to do? This can be compared to a child, who is clearly upset and complaining, and the adult ignoring the child. However, here the judge cannot ignore the attorney and has to provide guidance. The judge can tell the attorney that if he does not like his ruling, the attorney can take this up on appeal, if he loses the case.

The Judge has to make Quick Decisions

During the course of trial when an attorney objects, the judge has to make a snap decision about whether to allow a particular question to be answered, or whether to allow a particular piece of evidence to be presented to the jury. Now, if the lawyer has case point to support his position, he can present it to the judge. The lawyer can tell the judge that he has certain case(s) on point that supports his position about why he can ask the witness these particular questions.

This will put the judge in a bit of a quandary. Should he take the time to actually read and analyze the cases that the lawyer is talking about, or should he simply stick to the ruling that he has already given and allow the case to move forward. Well, it can go either way, and it will mainly depend on the case and point raised by the lawyer.

The Judge is More Likely to Reconsider if the Lawyer Presents Case Points

If the lawyer is able to put forward important case points while asking the judge to reconsider, then there is more likelihood of the judge reconsidering his decision. The judge will at least listen to what the attorney has to say, and he might even take time to analyze the case points presented by the lawyer who wants to derive this information out of the witness, if the judge feels they are important to the case. However, the judge is also entitled to simply reject all case points, adhere to his original ruling, and inform the attorney to proceed.