Print Version
Previous PageFile uploaded: 5/11/2016

Rule50. Judgment as a matter of law in a jury trial; related motion for a newtrial; conditional ruling.

(a)?Judgment as a matter of law.

(a)(1) If a party has been fully heard on anissue during a jury trial and the court finds that a reasonable jury would nothave a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the party on thatissue, the court may:

(a)(1)(A) resolvethe issue against the party; and

(a)(1)(B) grant amotion for judgment as a matter of law against the party on a claim or defensethat, under the controlling law, can be maintained or defeated only with afavorable finding on that issue.

(a)(2) A motion for judgment as a matter oflaw may be made at any time before the case is submitted to the jury. Themotion must specify the judgment sought and the law and facts that entitle themoving party to the judgment.

(b)Motion for judgment notwithstanding theverdict. If thecourt does not grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law made underparagraph (a), the court is considered to have submitted the action to the jurysubject to the court later deciding the legal questions raised by the motion.No later than 28 days after entry of judgment? or if the motion addresses a jury issue not decided by a verdict, nolater than 28 days after the jury was discharged, the moving party may file arenewed motion for judgment as a matter of law and may include an alternativeor joint request for a new trial under Rule 59. Inruling on the renewed motion the court may:

(b)(1) allowjudgment on the verdict if the jury returned a verdict;

(b)(2) order a newtrial; or

(b)(3) direct theentry of judgment as a matter of law.

(c)Granting the renewed motion;conditional ruling on a motion for new trial.

(c)(1) If the court grants a renewed motionfor judgment as a matter of law, it must also conditionally rule on any motionfor a new trial by determining whether a new trial should be granted if thejudgment is later vacated or reversed. The court must state the grounds forconditionally granting or denying the motion for a new trial.

(c)(2) Conditionally granting the motion fora new trial does not affect the judgment?s finality; if the judgment isreversed, the new trial must proceed unless the appellate court ordersotherwise. If the motion for a new trial is conditionally denied, the appelleemay assert error in that denial; if the judgment is reversed, the case mustproceed as the appellate court orders.

(d)Time for losing party?s new‑trialmotion. Any motion for a newtrial under Rule 59 by a party against whom judgment as a matter of law is rendered mustbe filed no later than 28 days after entry of the judgment as a matter of law.

(e) Denying the motion for judgment as amatter of law; reversal on appeal. If the court denies the motion for judgment as a matter of law, theprevailing party may, as appellee, assert grounds entitling it to a new trialif the appellate court concludes that the trial court erred in denying themotion. If the appellate court reverses the judgment, it may order a new trial,direct the trial court to determine whether a new trial should be granted, ordirect the entry of judgment.

Advisory Committee Notes

Effective May 1, 2016