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"Law of the Case"

LAW OF THE CASE

doctrine whereby courts will refuse to consider matters of law that have already been adjudicated by motion or appeal in the same cause; reflects the courts’ unwillingness to reopen issues already finally determined in a suit. EXAMPLE: a judge schedules a pre-trial hearing to decide what evidence will be allowed at trial. Each party is given an opportunity to make arguments, and the judge decides not to allow a statement by one of the plaintiff’s witnesses. At trial, the plaintiff attempts to argue for the introduction of the statement. Because of the pre-trial decision, the judge applies the law of the case doctrine and refuses to allow the introduction of the statement Compare collateral [COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL]; double jeopardy. Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016

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