After Unitherm Food Systems, Inc. v. Swift-Eckrich, Inc., a court of appeals has no power to order either the entry of judgment for an appellant or a new trial based on the legal sufficiency of the evidence where that appellant failed to move for such an order pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure after the civil jury returned a verdict for the appellee. According to the Seventh Circuit in Fuesting v. Zimmer, this rule does not affect its ability to order a new trial where it finds prejudicial error in the trial court’s erroneous admission of evidence, even though the appellant did not renew its objection in any post-verdict motion. In its view, a party’s compliance with Federal Rule of Evidence 103 in preserving its claim of error on appeal would be rendered meaningless if a court of appeals could not review the error because it was “handcuffed” by the Federal Rules of Procedure. Agreeing with the Seventh Circuit and arguing that a post-judgment motion is not a prerequisite to all appeals, this Note expands on the court’s reasoning in Fuesting by examining the Supreme Court’s Rule 50 jurisprudence and assessing Rule 103’s impact on established federal court procedures.
Post-Verdict Motion Practice after Fuesting v. Zimmer,
Seventh Circuit Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/seventhcircuitreview/vol2/iss1/4