Planning Strategic Post-Trial Motions: Legal Options After the Verdict

March 19, 2018 — by John Conger
Tags: Legal Motions Appellate Law

Stopping dominoes from fallingThe attorneys at our Sacramento, CA law firm always strive to provide clients with expert legal counsel. If an unfavorable legal outcome occurs, we will consider various legal options that can help achieve more favorable outcomes. This is a key aspect to appellate law and other matters following the conclusion of a trial. Remember that our fight does not necessarily end once a verdict is delivered. There are additional options and strategies to keep in mind.

Post-trial motions are one legal strategy that can result in better legal outcomes for clients who have been convicted. Let’s consider the basics of post-trial motions and what legal strategies may be used to help you.

How Post-Trial Motions Can Help Clients

Say that your trial ends and despite the best efforts of your attorney, verdict is unfavorable. You may feel as if all is lost, but that’s where post-trial motions come into play. These requests to a judge can potentially reverse a judgement or lead to acquittal. While a post-trial motion may not be granted, the strength of your case and the nature of the motion can lead to a much more favorable outcome for you and your loved ones.

There are a few different post-trial motions to consider. Let’s consider the most well known motions following trial.

Motion for a New Trial

If granted, this means that the court vacates the arrived at judgement of the recently concluded trial and allows a new trial to take place. These motions must demonstrate some kind of mistake in the way the court handled the trial.

These motions are rarely granted, but should be sought if key evidence or witness testimony was not admitted, or if the jury was not given proper instructions when asked to deliberate the case.

Motion for Judgement Notwithstanding the Verdict (N.O.V.)

This motion asks a judge to reverse the jury’s verdict. This is done if the judge believes there was no legal basis for the jury’s verdict, or if the verdict is contrary to state or federal laws. In these cases, judges can render their own judgement to ensure that an injustice was not carried out in the courts.

This motion is known as judgment N.O.V. for short, The abbreviation is for the Latin phrase “non obstante veredicto”, which means notwithstanding the verdict.

Motion to Set Aside Judgement

A motion to set aside a judgement may be sought to overturn a verdict or judgement. These motions may be sought years after the case has been ruled, but may not be based on the same grounds as a any previous appeals that were sought.

Planning These Strategies as Your Case Unfolds

Knowing which post-trip motion to pursue requires a sharp legal mind and an understanding of both the circumstances of your case and the procedures of the trial that concluded. A skilled attorney will be able to determine the right post-trial motion to pursue, and when the motion should be filed.

This peace of mind is essential when you are going through a difficult period associated with your case.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

To learn more about post-trial motions and whether or not they are in your legal interests, be sure to contact our experienced team of attorneys. We will work with you in your time of legal need.