law of the case

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Law of the Case

The principle that if the highest appellate court has determined a legal question and returned the case to the court below for additional proceedings, the question will not be determined differently on a subsequent appeal in the same case where the facts remain the same.

The law of the case expresses the rule that the final judgment of the highest court is the final determination of the rights of the parties. The doctrine of "law of the case" is one of policy only, however, and will be disregarded when compelling circumstances require a redetermination of the point of law decided on the prior appeal. Such circumstances exist when an intervening or contemporaneous change in the law has transpired by the establishment of new precedent by a controlling authority or the overruling of former decisions.

Courts have ruled that instructions—directions given by the judge to the jury concerning the law applicable to the case—are the "law of the case" where the appealing defendant, the petitioner, accepted the instructions as correct at the time they were given.

law of the case

n. once a judge has decided a legal question during the conduct of a lawsuit, he/she is unlikely to change his/her views and will respond that ruling is the "law of the case."

law of the case

noun conclusion, conclusion of the matter, decision, decree, determination, dictate, final judggent, finding, holding, judicial decision, maxim, opinion, order, order of the court, outcome, precedence, precedent, precept, principle, pronouncement, pronouncement by a court, resolution, result, settled holding, underlying basis, upshot, written order
See also: holding
References in periodicals archive ?
Both at the trial and appellate level, the related doctrines of the law of the case, res judicata, and collateral estoppel enforce the finality of a court's work and discourage relitigation.
5) The trial court's initial rulings on an issue do not establish the law of the case and will not prevent the court from revisiting an issue.
13) To determine the extent to which a final judgment precludes subsequent litigation, one must look to the judicial doctrines of the law of the case, res judicata, and collateral estoppel.
In the litigation that follows within the same case, the law of the case will require that those "questions of law actually decided on appeal must govern the case in the same [appellate] court and the trial court, through all subsequent stages of the proceedings.
This is contrary to the trend of many courts that do allow "experts" to render opinions that are remotely supported by the facts and law of the case.
The company believes this verdict is contrary to the facts and the law of the case.
As a result of the Supreme Court's ruling, the February 2005 decision of a United States Circuit Court of Appeals, which confirmed General Cigar's exclusive ownership of the COHIBA(R) mark in the United States, is final and is law of the case.
The law of the case doctrine generally applies to preclude parties from relitigating any issue previously resolved by the appellate court.
The law of the case is a procedural bar that protects judicial resources and preserves the integrity of appellate rulings.
The law of the case doctrine is a "rule of convenience designed to prevent repetitious lawsuits over matters which have once been decided and which have remained substantially static.
The Court noted in the twenty five page opinion that "Because we previously affirmed the district court's refusal to compel arbitration of RICO conspiracy and aiding and abetting claims in a decision not disturbed by the United States Supreme Court, the law of the case doctrine compels us to affirm the district court's order.
The question now before the Federal Circuit is whether the Warner-Jenkinson decision on the patent law doctrine of equivalents has any effect on its 1995 re-affirmation of its 1983 liability judgement, which remains the law of the case pending the court's consideration.