24 March 2004

I must admit that I would not have thought it necessary to reargue every single pretrial motion if there is a mistrial and the case goes back for a second trial. However, Virginia's Supreme Court has set forth this rule:
[A] defendant may not assert that rulings made on pre-trial motions prior to a mistrial are binding upon the trial court in a subsequent trial unless the trial court adopts those rulings on its own motion or in addressing a motion of one or both of the parties. In the absence of a ruling in the second trial adopting the rulings of the aborted trial, the defendant is required to renew his motions with specificity in order to preserve the record of the trial court's rulings and the defendant's objections thereto for any subsequent appeal of the retrial.

Elliot v. Commonwealth (2004)
The question which now comes to mind is this: If you argued a two hour motion to suppress and were denied in the first trial are you ethically obligated to reargue the matter in the retrial (rather than just sending an order for the judge to sign recognizing the rulings of the first trial)? I think you are probably so obligated. Jeepers, won't that be fun and such a boon to judicial efficiency?

No comments: