Legal Memorandum: Motion for a New Trial–US

Issue: What is the standard for granting a motion for a new trial in Minnesota?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion for a new trial; Standard; Miscarriage of justice
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 171 F.3d 1155; 572 F.3d 532; 83 F.3d 942; 561 F. Supp. 2d 1052; 243 F.3d 452; 961 F.2d 776
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(a)
Date: 08/01/2013

The standard for a motion for a new trial as follows:

A new trial should be granted only if the verdict was against the weight of the evidence and allowing it to stand would result in a miscarriage of justice. Moring v. Arkansas Dept. of Corr., 243 F.3d 452, 455 (8th Cir.2001) (quoting Van Steenburgh v. The Rival Co., 171 F.3d 1155, 1160 (8th Cir.1999)). On a motion for a new trial, the Court may interpret the evidence and judge the credibility of witnesses, but it may not usurp the role of the jury and grant a new trial merely because it believes other inferences and conclusions are more reasonable. White v. Pence, 961 F.2d 776, 780–81 (8th Cir.1992).


Infinity Prods., Inc. v. Premier Plastics, LLC, No. Civ. 00-36 (PAM-RLE) (D. Minn. July 13, 2002), aff’d, 93 F. App’x 90 (8th Cir. 2004).

"Miscarriage of justice" is the ultimate standard for the motion.  "The true standard for granting a new trial on the basis of the weight of the evidence is simply one which measures the result in terms of whether a miscarriage of justice has occurred."  White v. Pence, 961 F.2d 776, 780 (8th Cir. 1992), cited in M.M. Silta, Inc. v. Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc., 561 F. Supp. 2d 1052, 1059 (D. Minn. 2008), aff’d, 572 F.3d 532 (8th Cir. 2009).