After a jury or judge delivers the verdict at the conclusion of a trial either party can file what is known as a post-trial motion; a motion filed after the trial has finished. Most commonly, these post-trial motions include a motion for a new trial, a motion to nullify or amend the judgment, or a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV).
Winning these post-trial motions after the judgment has been delivered is extremely advantageous, and can be as important as winning the trial itself. They impact post-verdict negotiations and a party’s ability to prevail in an appeal.
This article gives a brief overview of the steps we may take in post-trial motions when we prevail in court, in order to give you the greatest advantage possible.
When We Prevail In Trial
- Immediately following a win in trial, we will ask the Court to enter judgment on the verdict, accompanied with pre-judgment interest and post-judgment interest. This creates the idea that there may be nothing at all wrong with the verdict that prevented prompt entry of the judgment. It also puts pressure on the opponent to have their post-motions filed and decided within 21 days.
- When defending against the opposition’s post-trial motions, which often raise doubts about admitted evidence, a jury instruction, or a closing argument, we will consult the transcript to determine whether there was an objection ruled upon by the trial court. In other words, if the issue was not raised in court in a timely and sufficient matter, it is not compelling enough to warrant a post-trial motion.
- We will remind the court that no litigant can “gamble on the verdict.” If the complaint that is being raised was not raised during the trial itself, we will remind the court of the injustice of allowing the opponent to complain only after they learn of the unsatisfactory result.
- We may remind the court that each person is guaranteed a fair trial, not a perfect one. The Supreme Court of Virginia recognizes that there is no such thing as a perfect trial.
- We will consider whether or not the trial record should be enhanced. While usually it’s the losing side that ensures the record is complete, we will still look it over to see if anything can be done to strengthen the correctness of the trial court’s ruling.
To read on about how we will handle post-trial motions if we receive an unsatisfactory result in court, click here.
James Parrish, the founding attorney of Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, works with northern Virginia residents in personal injury litigation. His veteran experience and intimate legal knowledge can give you the advantage you need in court. Call us today at 703-906-4229 or fill out a free case consultation.