Land Mine #6: Mistrial A party who objects, receives a ruling sustaining the objection, and receives a corrective instruction should still move for a mistrial if he or she believes the instruction has not remedied the problem. A party must move promptly for a mistrial, although not necessarily in the next breath following the comment. … Read More
Land Mine #5: Directed Verdict To challenge the sufficiency of the evidence to go to the jury, a motion for a directed verdict must be made at the close of the plaintiff’s case and renewed at the close of the evidence. Like evidentiary objections, motions for directed verdict must state specific grounds, and only those … Read More
Land Mine #4: Objections As a general rule, objections must be specific, and they must be timely. Objections must be contemporaneous, or the alleged error will be waived. The objection also must state the specific legal grounds, and only those grounds will be considered by the appellate court. This principle is based on fairness to … Read More
Land Mine #3: Admission and Exclusion of Evidence If the trial judge denied your pretrial motion in limine, and the evidence that was the subject of your motion in limine is offered during trial, you still need to object. A contemporaneous objection must be made when the evidence is offered to preserve the issue for … Read More
The second potential landmine in civil litigation exists in selecting a jury. Land Mine #2: Jury Selection In order to preserve your right to challenge errors in the manner used to select the jury, you must object at trial to the jury as finally composed. Otherwise, you waive your right to complain on appeal. To … Read More
I begin this blog by sharing with you a few litigation practice tips which I have encountered over the past several years. Over the next few weeks we will address some of the key “land mines” to be wary of while treading through the murky world of civil litigation. Land Mine Number 1: Motion for … Read More
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