Chesterfield, VA asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia

Q: If the judge says he's not going to hear a case for modification only the case for contempt then makes a ruling on both

Is that legal

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1 Lawyer Answer
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Judges have a great deal of discretion in how they run their courtroom. Some judges even change their minds during the course of a proceeding. If a litigant does not like how a judge rules in a particular case, the litigant can either object with reasons to create a record for appeal, if the order is interlocutory or nonappealable at the time, or appeal to a higher court. Trial work is an art, not a science, and the best trial lawyers try to persuade the judge to their clients' position. The best trial lawyers are rather likable. Openly opposing the judge, appearing antagonistic or disrespectful in arguments, and/or complaining about how he or she runs his or her courtroom is a surefire way to blow a case. Judges are human, after all.

Anyone involved in litigation in Virginia should consult with an experienced Virginia trial lawyer.

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