Trial Judge's Discretionary Dec's, Appeal, Res Judicata
& Collateral Estoppel
Trial Judge's Discretions
- Trial w/o Jury
- No Rt. 2 Trial w/o Jury
- Dif. from Jury Trial
- Faster b/c no jury charge / instruction
- More evid. let in b/c judge not as prejud.'al
- Series of findings of fact & concl's of law
by Rule 52 instead of jury verdict
- Ez'er appeal than jury's verdict
- Day v. Rosenthal (p. 868 3/18)
- Judge need 2 do findings of only ultimate facts
- Judge is fact finder so can ignore any evid.
- Jgmt as Matter of Law & Renewed Motion
4 JMOL: Rule 50
- Burdens (3/18)
- Gen'ly P has both burdens of production &
- Burden of producing evid.
- Present suff. evid. 4 jury / jury could rsbly
find that element exists
- Judge dec's whether met this burden
- If judge finds not met this, then can grant jgmt
as matter of law
- Burden of persuasion
- Gen'ly prepond. of evid. / more likely than not
- If party w/burden loses if jury dec's both side
- Jury dec's
- Burdine Case (p. 824 3/18) & Hicks (p. 387
- Burdens from P, D, then P w/ultimate proof burden
- Compare 2 Sum Jgmt (4/1)
- Rule 56, 50)a, 50)b all have same stand.: grant
when no legally suff. evid. 4 jury 2 dec. / no material fact
- Sum jgmt is pre-trial motion based on written
doc. v. JMOL after live W
- Rule 50)a
- Motion must B made before submission of case
- Any X a party has been fully heard on an issue
(all evid. in)
- No legally suff. evid. basis 4 rsbl jury 2 find
4 that pary (not meet b/prod.)
- May grant JMOL
- Rule 50)b: Renewed Motion 4 Jgmt After Trial
- Must have made JMOL @ close of all evid.
- Judge not granted JMOL @ that X
- Then, after submit 2 jury, judge could later
dec. legal quest's raised by motion
- Renew motion in 10 days after jury verdict
- Reexamination cl. of 7th (4/1) so renew but not
- Rsns 4 not granting earlier JMOL: if judge rt,
build on jury's verdict (4/1)
- Penn. RR Co. v. Chamberlain (p. 878 3/21)
- Granted Jgmt as Matter of Law 4 D
- Use of Circ'al Evid.
- Not meet b/prod. b/c no rational jury could concl.
4 P when evid. unbelievable b/c phys'ly impossible
- When inconsistent inference so neither side est.'ed
firmly, then jgmt against party w/B/P
- Credible dir. evid. is stronger than inferences
from circ'al evid.
- Lavender v. Kurn (p. 885 3/21)
- Denied JMOL 4 D by Sup Ct
- New Trial
- Rule 59
- Motion made 10 days after entry of jgmt
- Granted @ end of trial
- Proced.'al error if it was subst'l / prejud'al
- Adm. / excl. of evid.
- Inconsistent spec. verdicts (Conway)
- Improper jury instruction
- Unfair surprise(Conway w/new W)
- Verdict contrary 2 great wt. of evid.
- Excessive / inadeq. verdict
- 7th Amend. reexam. cl. prob.
- Newly discov'ed evid.
- Must B something that U couldn't access before
in trial (4/11)
- Strong likelihood that will affect the case
- Ope Shipping v. Underwriters (p. 906 4/11) winning
party actively concealed the evid. in trial
- Jury miscond.
- Jurors can't impeach own verdict & can't
testify 2 anything in course of delib. (Multiflex p. 909 4/11)
- Jurors can testify whether extraneous prejud.'al
info was brought 2 jury's attn. / outside influence
- Spec. punish. on D
- Improper quotient if before delib. verdict, add
up & div.
- Atty miscond.
- Stand. 2 Grant New Trial by Trial Ct.
- Great wt. of evid. / shocks the conscience
- Not enough 4 judge 2 disagree w/jury
- Stand. of Rev. by Appellate Ct.
- Abuse of discretion 4 grant / denial (Gasperini
4/8 p. 389 supp)
- If any way 2 justify judge's axn, can't overturn
- Conway v. Chem. Leaman Tank Lines Inc. (p. 897
- Can't imm'ly appeal granting of motion 4 new
- Can grant new trial based on unresolved pending
- Remittitur & Additur
- In fed., remittitur Const'al -ordering new trial
unless agree 2 'er award
- Additur unConst'al - ordering new trial unless
agree 2 'er award
- Additur ok in CA state cts
- JMOL & New Trial Motions: Rule 50)c
& d (4/11)
- Making Post-Trial Motions Together
- Within 10 days after verdict
- Rule 50)d: Denying JMOL
- JMOL denied & new trial granted, then can't
- JMOL denied & new trial denied, then can
appeal raising both issues @ once
- Rule 50)c: Grant JMOL
- Grant JMOL & new trial granted conditionally,
then can appeal JMOL b/c not affect finality; if jgmt rev'ed on
appeal, then go on w/new trial
- Grant JMOL & new trial denied conditionally,
can appeal both
- Neely v. Martin K. Eby Construction Co. (p. 912
- Denied JMOL & Denied New Trial
- Appellate rev'ed so verdict rev'ed & no new
trial 4 P
- Party that wins in jury verdict, JMOL, &
new trial motion should move 4 new trial in case appellate rev's
verdict @ trial level otherwise, waived motion 2 make new trial
- Rule 60)b: Relief From Jgmt / Order
- Hard & Rare 2 Get: More So Than New Trial
- Pre-req's 2 Appeal
- Final Jgmt Disposing All Claims Except
- Rule 54)b
- More than 1 claim / party in case
- Trial ct. may dir. entry of jgmt 4 less than
all the claims in case
- Trial ct. expressly det. no just rsn 4 delay
& expressly dir. 4 entry of jgmt
- Then certified as final
- Section 1292)a
- Prelim. injunctions
- Section 1292)b: Interlocutory Appeal
- Trial ct. can certify controlling quest. of law
where there's subst'l ground 4 dif. of opinion +
- Imm. appeal would advance term. of case
- Then appellate ct. in its discretion may take
- Ex's R subj. matter jxn / preemption
- Collateral Order Doc. (Cohen v. Beneficial Ind'al
Loan Corp. (p. 951))
- Interloc. rev. when dec. finally det's claims
of rts. sep. from axn
- It's 2 imp. & 2 indep. 2 not rev. in interloc.
- Ex. of immunity
- Preservation Reqt: Rule 46
- Contemp. obj. 2 errors otherwise waived rt. 2
- Didn't have opp. & won't prejud. other party
- Plain errors where so blatant no need 4 obj.
(not in fed. / CA)
- Must cont'ly obj. whenever the pt. arises
- Rule 51 specif'ly 4 jury instruction
- Error Affects Subst'l Rt.
- Rule 61 harmless error is when not affect subst'l
rt. / not matter 2 much
- McDonough Pwr Equip. v. Greenwood (p. 786 4/15)
where juror's presence isn't affecting subst'l rt.
- But denial of rt. 2 jury is never harmless
- Stand.'s of Rev.
- Rule of Law by Trial Ct. (like error of law in
- Rev'ed de novo
- No deference 2 trial judge's ruling
- Findings of Fact (like material fact in sum jgmt)
- Clearly erroneous rev. where must do more than
disagree w/trial ct.
- More deferential rev.
- Anderson v. Bessemer (p. 929 4/15)
- Appellate can't rev. the basis of fact finding
(W v. doc's)
- Trial Judge's Discretionary Rulings (sanctions
& most motions)
- Abuse of discretion stand.
- Most deferential stand. where only rev. if trial
ct. comes 2 wholly indefensible result
Res Judicata (Claim Precl. ) & Collateral
Estoppel (Issue Precl.)
- Res Judicata
- Finality Doc.
- Valid Final Jgmt On the Merits
- Abs. Bar 2 Subseq. Axn
- Btwn Same Parties
- On Same Claim / C/A
- Tests 2 Det. Same Claim / C/A (rel. w/scope of
- Smith v. Kirkpatrick (p. 965 4/22)
- Legal theories, relief, rts & wrongs
- Stand.'s of proof / evid.
- Extent of inconsistencies of results
- Trxn'al Approach (O'Brien v. City of Syracuse
p. 968 4/22)
- Possibility / opp. 2 raise before, then should
- Part of same fact / trxn / factually rel'ed nexus
- Compulsory Joinder in Fed Cts
- Bogard v. Cook (p. 971 4/25)
- Exception where res judicata won't forfeit rt.
2 pers'al redress
- Collateral Estoppel
- An issue
- Actually fairly litigated & det'ed by a valid
& final jgmt
- Essential / nec. 2 jgmt / case
- Same / dif. claims
- Cromwell v. County of Sac (p. 974)
- Dif Parties, Dif C/A
- Use of Collateral Estoppel 4 Dif. Parties (4/29)
- Defensive Collateral Estoppel
- D in 2nd suit uses P's loss in 1st suit as defense
- Offensive Collateral Estoppel
- P in 2nd suit uses D's loss in 1st suit offensively
- But P2 can't use offensive collateral estoppel
if (Parklane p. 986 4/29)
- Could ez'ly have joined /
- 4 other rsns the applic. of it would B unfair
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Ms. Haeji Hong
January 15, 1998