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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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Is there any precedent for a court setting aside a legal judgement

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Is there any precedent for a court setting aside a legal judgement in a civil case if the attorney can be shown to have diminished capacity because of old age and dementia? The attorney did not notify clients of existing court orders prior to the trial.

Hello Thermador. Sorry to hear about your predicament. Civil cases are not usually appealable on the grounds of competency of counsel. Your remedy, if any would be in motions to the trial court to reopen the trial for new counsel to do whatever you think the old counsel should have done in order to opposed the judgment. There could be motions to vacate the judgment to permit additional evidence, or to reconsider the prior judgment in some way. You would have to raise these issues on the grounds of equity and justice. You would have to show conclusively that had you been notified of the orders, the end result of the case would have been different. Also, please note that this information is not based on any Mass. case research which would have to be done by a Mass. attorney.

I hope that this information is helpful. If you need further information, please just send me a reply asking for clarification. After that, I hope you will enter a positive rating so that I will be credited for assisting you. Also, be sure to verify this information with a local attorney who is familiar with your local laws and procedures. Thanks again for using this service. Your business is appreciated.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.


Do you know of any civil cases where a judge has gone back and vacated his original judgement to permit presentaion of additional evidence? We do have documentary evidence that refutes the premises that the judge used in explaining his opinion.


My present counsel will certainly present the new motions, along with the failures (probably related to dementia) of my previous attorney.

I appreciate your very positive rating. While I'm sure that there are individual cases where this has been done, they would not be binding precedent unless the procedure was appealed to a higher court and became reported decisions. You current counsel would be the person who could search for any such decisions. Good luck.