Civil Procedure II

Substantive Flaws

Substantive flaws are flaws where the jury returned a verdict they should not have.

There are two types of substantive flaws:

  1. Where the jury splits the difference in its verdict
    • E.g., jury must either return a verdict for $10,000 or $0 and it instead returns $5,000.
  2. Where "the verdict is against the great weight of the evidence."
    • Most common ground for a new trial based on a substantive flaw
    • This is a lower standard than for a (renewed) judgment as a matter of law.
    • It must be "quite clear that the jury reached a seriously erroneous result."
    • This standard is somewhere between requiring no reasonable basis and the judge substituting how he would would have voted.