motion for new trial

Primary tabs

A party’s post-trial request that the court vacates the judgment and orders a new trial to re-examine some or all of the matters from the concluded trial. The motion can be made by any party and following both jury trials and bench trials. The grounds for granting a motion for a new trial include a significant error of law, verdict going against the weight of evidence, irregularity in the court proceeding, jury misconduct, newly discovered material evidence, and improper damages. See California Code of Civil Procedure 657. In response to a motion for a new trial for either insufficient or excessive damages, a court may order remittitur or additur, to avoid holding a new trial. In many jurisdictions, a party must move for a new trial in order to raise the issue on appeal. In federal court, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59 governs motions for a new trial. Often a motion for new trial is made together with a motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) or judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV).

[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]