Wednesday, January 27, 2010



A new trial may be granted for several reasons following a verdict decided upon by a jury or judge. A new trial may be granted for errors in the trial which are serious enough that they affected the substantial rights of the parties. Another common ground for granting a new trial is that the trial judge erroneously admitted or excluded evidence. It is important to note that for most types of errors at the trial court level, the party injured by the error must make a timely objection, or immediately object to the error. A new trial may also be granted because of improper conduct by a party, witness, or attorney, that posed a substantial risk that an unfair verdict was reached. A trial judge or appeals court may set aside a verdict if it was reached against the weight of evidence (this is used to curb the influence of improvident jury decisions). A new trial may be granted where a verdict is excessive or inadequate. In other words, the damages awarded did not align with the facts presented. A trial may also grant a partial new trial which is a retrial of a particular issue. This generally occurs when the trial judge believes that the jury verdict was reasonable as to liability, but not regarding damages. Thus limiting the retrial to the issue of damages. Lastly, a trial judge may grant a new trial because of newly discovered evidence that would likely produce a different result. This circumstance seems highly unlikely given the fact that the party only has 10 days to file a motion for new trial after receiving judgment.

Disclaimer: This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. If you have questions or need specific advice relating to the matters contained herein, please contact Lovaas & Lehtinen, P.C.

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