If the jury’s verdict in your case disappoints you, you might wonder if there’s anything you can do in order to challenge the verdict. The answer just might be yes. There are a few different ways that we help clients find success reversing defense jury verdicts after trial.
When we begin to review a case after a defense verdict, we start by talking to you. We want to hear from you about what went wrong and what went right in your trial from your perspective. This is our jumping off point for finding grounds for appeal. Then we look for ways that the jury verdict is legally inadequate.
One of the ways that we work on reversing defense jury verdicts is to examine the admissibility of evidence. In some cases, the court might allow the jury to consider evidence that they shouldn’t consider. In other cases, they might leave out evidence that works in your favor.
The judge needs to conduct the trial in compliance with the California Evidence Code. These rules control whether the jury can look at certain pieces of evidence. They control whether a jury can hear from experts and under what circumstances.
Sometimes, judges make mistakes when they oversee a case. Whether that happens intentionally or unintentionally, the jury verdict might not be accurate or reliable, and you may have an avenue for reversing defense jury verdicts under these circumstances. In addition to showing that the court should have allowed the evidence, we demonstrate that the error likely influenced the jury’s verdict.
In addition to identifying points of legal error, we look for other irregularities in the trial or signs of bias. If the judge makes off-hand remarks or tries to steer the jury in a certain way, the verdict might be invalid because of bias. In some cases, certain trial proceedings should happen outside of the presence of the jury. If they don’t, these proceedings can influence the jury to make an incorrect decision.
Jurors can show bias, too. Perhaps the court should have struck someone from the jury panel that showed signs that they couldn’t be fair. Perhaps a juror accessed outside evidence that influenced their decision. If anything happened that prevented the jury from making an unbiased decision based only on admissible evidence, we can seek to overturn the defense verdict.
To succeed in reversing a defense verdict, you need to be able to cite how California law applies to the facts. It’s not enough to simply allege that the trial verdict is inaccurate. You need to cite the specific facts as well as how they apply to California law. In addition, you need to file your request in the right time frame and with the appropriate court.
This is often technical. Our experienced legal team helps deserving clients navigate these murky waters. You may have grounds for appeal that you aren’t aware of. We not only help you identify these avenues for success, we help you draft legal documents and make arguments in a way that the court can understand. We make sure that we meet deadlines and requirements for serving all of the other parties properly.
If you need help reversing defense jury verdicts, please contact us. At the law office of Valerie T. McGinty, we specialize in helping victims preserve judgments in their favor and reverse or amend judgments against them. We offer a range of skilled and comprehensive services that can help you pursue your case after trial to the fullest extent of the law.