civ pro JMOL/motion for new trial question

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estefanchanning

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civ pro JMOL/motion for new trial question

Postby estefanchanning » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:36 am

A retailer brought a federal diversity action against a wholesaler, alleging breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation. After the parties presented their evidence at trial, the court instructed the jury on the law. Neither party filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law before the case went to the jury.

The jury found for the retailer on both claims. After the court entered judgment on the verdict, the wholesaler moved for a new trial and for judgment as a matter of law, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support the jury verdict on either claim. The court acknowledged that there had been problems with some of the evidence, but it denied the motions. The wholesaler appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence.

Should the appellate court consider the wholesaler’s challenge?

A- No, because a determination of the sufficiency of the evidence is solely within the jury’s province.
B- No, because the wholesaler did not raise the sufficiency-of-the-evidence issue in a motion for judgment as a matter of law before the case went to the jury.
C- Yes, because the challenge was raised and ruled on by the trial court before the wholesaler filed the appeal.
D- Yes, because, as the trial court acknowledged, the wholesaler has strong arguments on the challenge.

Answer
[+] Spoiler
B is the correct answer. To preserve an error for appellate review, the appropriate objection or motion must be made at the correct time in the trial court. A challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence should be made as a motion for judgment as a matter of law before the case is submitted to the jury. The motion must then be made again, as a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law, after the verdict. This preserves the issue for appeal. In this case, the wholesaler failed to move for judgment as a matter of law before the case was submitted to the jury. Therefore, the wholesaler was not able to move for a renewed motion of judgment of law after the verdict. The argument concerning the sufficiency of the evidence is a legal argument, which must be made to the trial court. After the trial court rules on the issue, it is subject to appellate review. Because the issue was never ruled on in the trial court, the appellate court cannot consider the challenge.

A is incorrect. This is the correct conclusion, but incorrect logic. The appellate court may hear an appeal concerning the sufficiency of the evidence if the argument was made and ruled on at the trial level. In this case, the argument was not properly preserved in the trial court.

C is incorrect. The issue of sufficiency of the evidence was not properly raised. An argument on the merits was never heard by the trial court. Therefore, the issue cannot be appealed.

D is incorrect. This answer choice is appealing because the reasoning is a true fact; however, it is a red-herring fact meant to lead you astray. The judge's comment is irrelevant, as a formal motion on the issue was never properly made or argued.


My question- obviously the man can't appeal renewed JMOL bc he didn't raise it during trial. But why can't he appeal the motion for a new trial? From my understanding, the man made two motions 1) renewed JMOL and 2) motion for new trial.

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RCSOB657

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Re: civ pro JMOL/motion for new trial question

Postby RCSOB657 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:54 am

He's trying to appeal a weight of evidence issue without bringing it up before deliberation to preserve appeal. Trier of fact is the stop to that and it wasn't done in time. There is no assignable error for an appellate court to review.

estefanchanning

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Re: civ pro JMOL/motion for new trial question

Postby estefanchanning » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:46 pm

RCSOB657 wrote:He's trying to appeal a weight of evidence issue without bringing it up before deliberation to preserve appeal. Trier of fact is the stop to that and it wasn't done in time. There is no assignable error for an appellate court to review.


Ah, got it.



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