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What is the purpose of a motion-to-reconsider form?

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Quick Answer

The purpose of a motion to reconsider form is to request a court, a government or a decision-making entity to reassess a decision, states USLegal. Differing state and federal laws determine the use of a motion to reconsider.

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Full Answer

Lawyers file a motion to reconsider in cases where they feel a court has made a procedural error or overlooked critical legal grounds, explains Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. State laws typically outline the conditions and provide time constraints for filing a motion to reconsider. For example, Washington law allows lawyers to use a motion to reconsider for one of nine causes to contest a court decision. These causes include misconduct, new evidence, an objection that was incorrectly overruled at trial, awarded damages that indicate bias, and procedural irregularities that prevented a fair trial.

Lawyers sometimes use a motion to reconsider before taking the next step, which is an appeal, notes Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. Unlike an appeal, a motion to reconsider requires no filing fee, and lawyers do not have to assemble a new record. A motion to reconsider relies on persuading a court to enter a new ruling based on accurate law, new considerations or factual interpretation. Lawyers do not use these motions frivolously, simply to ask a judge to change her mind, but only when specific errors occur. Consequently, motions to reconsider briefly and effectively summarize the particular mistakes of a case, which allows courts to avoid the time and expense of an appeal.

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