Flashcards in Trial Deck (21):
What are the 11 steps of trial?
1) Motions in Limine
2) Jury Selection;
3) Opening Statements
4) Plaintiff's case
5) Defendant's Case
6) Rebuttal Case
7) Motions for Judgement as a Matter of law
8) Jury Instructions/ Preparation and Conferences
9) Closing Arguments
10) Instructions given to Jury;
What are the two types of juror challenges?
1) Challenge for Cause: Juror should be excused because they cannot be fair and unbiased in this case.
2) Peremptory Challenge: Can be used for any juror that is not discriminatory.
Can the same court hear both legal issues and equitable issues in the same case?
Under Beacon Theaters v Westover, yes. A case that deals with both issues will have the money damages (legal issues) sent to the jury for a verdict and the equitable claims will be heard and decided by a judge.
Does every case require a jury under the 7th amendment?
No. Juries are not the exclusive method of deciding cases. An administrative body can run their own process with finding and the like, as long as it is a fair way to determine the truth and come to a verdict.
Rule 38: Right to a Jury Trial; Demand
Demand: On any issue triable by right of a jury, a party may demand a jury trial by:
1) Serving the other parties with a written demand no later than 14 days after the last pleading; and
2) Filing the demand.
Under Rule 39, when a jury demand is filing according to rule 38, does it have to be granted?
Yes. Once a demand is correctly filed, it must be granted unless the parties otherwise stipulate.
Under rule 39, when no jury trial demand is made, what occurs?
The issues will be tried by the court, unless the court determines a jury trial is better for the situation using the following factors:
1) Whether the issues involved are best tried before a jury;
2) Whether the courts schedule or that of the adverse party will be disrupted;
3) The degree of prejudice to the opposing party;
4) The length of the delay;
5) The reason for the moving parties tardiness in demanding a jury trial.
Does the verdict from a jury have to be unanimous?
Almost always yes, unless the parties otherwise stipulate.
How many jurors are required?
A minimum of 6 and maximum of 12.
What is the difference between Quotient verdicts and compromise verdicts?
Quotient Verdicts: Occurs when the jurors don't deliberate on the issues or have any discussion in that regard, but just write down on a paper what they think the verdict should be, then add it up and divide it by 12 to give the final verdict. This is not allowed because there must be some sort of deliberation.
Compromise Verdicts: After deliberation on the issues and the case, the jurors write down what they believe the verdict should be and then add it up and divide it by twelve to get the final verdict. This is allowed because deliberation occurred.
What does it mean to "Mould" a verdict?
A judge can mould a verdict to ensure the jury's verdict fits within the applicable law or statute of the jurisdiction.
What is judgement as a matter of law from Rule 50?
If a party has been fully heard on an issue during a jury trial and the court finds that a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the party on that issue the court may:
1) Resolve the issue against the party; and
2) Grant a motion for judgement as a matter of law against a party on a claim or defense.
When can a motion for judgement as a matter of law be made?
At trial anytime before the case goes to the jury for deliberations.
What does Rule 50 allow if the judge does not rule on the motion prior to the jury deliberations and the verdict comes back against the movant?
If the court does not grant the motion for judgement as a matter of law, the party has 28 days following the judgement to renew the motion and can also combine i t with a Rule 59 motion for new trial.
What can a court do on a renewed motion under Rule 50?
1( Allow judgement on the verdict;
2) Order a new trial; or
3) Direct the entry of judgement as a matter o law. .
What may the court consider when ruling on a motion 59 for new trial?
1) Any legal issue or error;
2) Weigh the evidence to determine if it supported the jury's finding;
3) Juror Misconduct;
4) Witness Credibility.
Which motion is allowed to be the most broad? Rule 50 or 59 and why?
Rule 59 is allowed to be broader than Rule 50 because rule 59 allows the judge to consider almost anything that occurred or is related to the trial, including witness credibility.
What is Additur?
Jury returns an inadequate verdict so the judge will tell the other party that either they agree to a higher, more adequate verdict or the judge will grant the motion for new trial.
What is Remittitur?
The verdict is too high based on the evidence, so the defendant files a motion for new trial under Rule 50. The judge will then tell the plaintiff that either they agree to a new lower amount of damages or the judge will grant a new trial.
Do the federal courts recognize both additur and Remittitur? Why?
No. The federal courts recognize the remittitur but not the additur. This is to protect the jury and deliberation process because the jury may have considered a lower amount, but it is difficult to know if they considered a higher verdict.