Definition - What does Recess mean?

Recess refers to a break in a trial or court proceeding. This break is usually short; it can be a matter of hours or days.

Recesses typically occur when there is need for someone involved in the trial to take a break. For example, there could be a family emergency in a plaintiff's family, or inclement weather could impact the trial.

Justipedia explains Recess

Recesses are sometimes confused with adjournments. However, the two are different. Unlike recesses, adjournments wrap up court proceedings.

A lawyer may request permission for a recess from the judge if they have a personal need for it, or if their client has a need for it.

During a recess, lawyers may attend to personal business, or may even go over the trial strategy. However, no official legal proceedings take place during a recess. They wait until the court is reconvened.

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