Category Archives: Uncategorized

Standards of Review in the Appellate Courts (continued – Section C)

C. REVIEW OF LEGAL DECISIONS 1. When an order under review rests purely on legal matters, that order is subject to full, or de novo, review on appeal. See Germ v. St. Luke’s Hosp. Ass’n, 993 So.2d 576 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008); Smith v. Coalition to Reduce Class Size, 827 So.2d 959 (Fla. 2002) (review … Read More

Standards of Review in the Appellate Courts (continued – Section B)

B. REVIEW OF FACTUAL DECISIONS 1. Generally, upon direct review, where the judgment or order appealed is based entirely on resolution of a factual dispute, the appellate court must affirm if the trial court’s decision is supported by competent substantial evidence. Bellino v. W & W Lumber and Bldg. Supplies, Inc., 902 So.2d 829 (Fla. … Read More

Standards of Review in the Appellate Courts

Starting this month, we will be addressing the “standards of review” relied upon by the appellate courts in reviewing the different types of orders and decisions issued by the trial courts. The different standards of review are as follows: A. Presumption of Correctness B. Review of Factual Decisions C. Review of Legal Decisions D. Review … Read More

Land Mine #10: Motion for New Trial

Land Mine #10: Motion for New Trial A motion for new trial and order entered thereon is a prerequisite to challenging the sufficiency (manifest weight) of the evidence on appeal. The same rule exists for challenging the inadequacy or excessiveness of the verdict. Merely alleging in a motion for a new trial that the verdict … Read More

Land Mine #9: Jury Verdict

Land Mine #9: Jury Verdict To preserve for appellate purposes any error created by the receipt of an internally inconsistent verdict, an objection must be made before the jury is discharged. Inadequate verdicts are challenged by motion for new trial. A major land mine regarding jury verdicts is the two-issue rule. That rule provides: “[W]here … Read More

Land Mine #8: Jury Instructions

Land Mine #8: Jury Instructions Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.470(b) mandates that no party may claim the giving of a jury instruction as error unless that party objects thereto at the charge conference, or the failure to give any instruction unless that party requested the same. Any objection to a jury charge must be timely … Read More

Land Mine #7: Misconduct of Counsel

Land Mine #7: Misconduct of Counsel Challenging attorney misconduct requires close attention to specific procedures. When a party objects to attorney misconduct during trial, including improper argument, and the objection is sustained, the party must also timely move for a mistrial or request a curative instruction in order to preserve the issue for a trial … Read More

Land Mine #6: Mistrial

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

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

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

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