9/11/18 Posttrial motions
Motions filed after the jury has rendered its verdict are known as posttrial motions. Posttrial motions include the motion for a new trial and the motion for judgment as a matter of law.
Motion for a new trial
The losing party may make a motion to set aside the adverse verdict and any judgment and to hold a new trial. After looking at all the evidence, the judge will grant the motion for a new trial only if they believe that the jury was in error and that it is not appropriate to grant judgment for the other side. Usually, this occurs when the jury verdict is obviously the result of a misapplication of the law or a misunderstanding of the evidence presented at trial. A new trial can also be granted on the grounds of newly discovered evidence, misconduct by the participants during the trial or an error by the judge.
Motion for judgment as a matter of law
The losing party may file a motion requesting the court to gran judgment in their favor arguing that, even if the evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the other party, a reasonable jury could not have found in that party’s favor. Such a motion will be granted only if the jury’s verdict was unreasonable and erroneous. If the judge grants the motion, then the jury’s verdict will be set aside, and a judgment will be entered in favor of the opposing party.