WHEN THE JUDGE RESERVES RULING
March 31, 2011 § Leave a comment
So you just made the most brilliant objection of your legal career and the blankety-blank judge reserved ruling. How could this be? You begin to stew and fret, so much so that you let the witness conclude her testimony and be excused.
Guess what. Your brilliant objection went out the window as the witness left the courtroom. Why?
Uniform Chancery Court Rule 3.04 deals with objections to testimony. It specifically states, “If the Chancellor shall reserve his ruling, counsel interposing the objection shall make a note thereof and renew his objection at the conclusion of the testimony; otherwise he shall be deemed to have waived his objection.” You didn’t renew the objection, so it is waived.
It is fairly common for Chancellors to reserve ruling on an MRCP Rule 41(b) motion to dismiss at the conclusion of the plaintiff’s or petitioner’s case. If the judge reserves ruling, you must renew your motion at the conclusion of your case, or it is deemed waived.
In similar fashion, if the judge reserves ruling on a question or line of questions, be sure to renew that objection in a timely fashion, or you may be “procedurally barred” from raising the point on appeal.