Ruling – a determination made during the course of a trial, or the final decision in a case

     This page is continued from Court Proceedings >>>> Court Rulings, Orders, Decrees, Judgments, and Opinions:


n. (16c)

1. The outcome of a court’s decision either on some point of law or on the case as a whole. — aka legal ruling.  Cf. JUDGMENT (2); OPINION (1). [1]

1. A determination made by the court during the course of a trial, for example, a determination of the admissibility of particular evidence. State v O’Brien, 18 Mont1, 43 P 1091.  In some connections, the final decision in a case. [2]

1. A determination made by a judge or a hearing officer during the course of a trial or hearing.  EXAMPLE:  a determination with respect to the admissibility of particular evidence.

2. The final decision in a case, whether by a court or an administrative agency  of a statute or regulation.  EXAMPLE: a determination letter. [3]

     Excerpt from Robert E. Keeton’s Judging (1990):

     “A distinction is sometimes made between rules and rulings.  Whether or not a formal distinction is declared, in common usage ‘legal ruling’ (or simply ‘ruling’) is a term ordinarily used to signify the outcome of applying a legal test when that outcome is one of relatively narrow impact.  The immediate effect is to decide an issue in a single case. This meaning contrasts, for example, with the usual meaning of ‘legal rule’ (or simply ‘rule’).  The term ‘rule’ ordinarily refers to a legal proposition of general application.  A ‘ruling’ may have force as precedent, but ordinarily it has that force because the conclusion it expresses (for example, ‘objection sustained’) explicitly depends upon and implicitly reiterates a ‘rule’ -a legal proposition of more general application . . . . [4]



Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: Robert E. Keeton, Judging 67-68 (1990).


Back to Court Rulings, Orders, Decrees, Judgments, and Opinions

Back to Court Proceedings

Home Page

Like this website?

Please Support Our Fundraiser

or donate via PayPal:


Disclaimer: Wild Willpower does not condone the actions of Maximilian Robespierre, however the above quote is excellent!

This website is being broadcast for First Amendment purposes courtesy of

Question(s)?  Suggestion(s)?
We look forward to hearing from you!