(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this workplace discrimination/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
THIS TRIAL COURT HAS BROAD DISCRETION TO GRANT A NEW TRIAL AND THE EXERCISE OF THE COURT IN GRANTING A NEW TRIAL IS ACCORDED GREAT DEFERENCE
Although denials of motions for new trial are reviewed on appeal de novo, grants of such motions by the trial court are accorded great deference. (See, e.g., Andrews v. County of Orange (1982) 130 Cal. App. 3d 944, 954-55; Gray v. Robinson (1939) 33 Cal. App. 2d 177, 184-85.) Thus, it is well settled that the granting of a motion for a new trial rests so completely within the discretion of the trial judge that an appellate court will not interfere with his [or her] action unless a manifest and unmistakable abuse of discretion clearly appears. (Weathers v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (1971) 5 Cal. 3d 98,109 (quoting Mazzotta v. Los Angeles Ry. Corp. (1944) 25 Cal. 2d 165, 169) [emphasis added].) Such discretion is very wide and every presumption is indulged in support of the action of the court in passing upon the motion [citation], and a stronger showing is required to justify interference with an order granting than one denying a new trial. (Gray, 33 Cal. App. 2d at 184-85.) The rationale for the different standards lies in the California Constitution which secures to all the inviolate right to a trial by jury. (Andrews, 130 Cal. App. 3d at 953.)
PLAINTIFF IS ENTITLED TO A NEW TRIAL BASED ON IRREGULARITY IN THE PROCEEDINGS WHEN DEFENDANTS AND/OR THEIR ATTORNEY HAVE ENGAGED IN MISCONDUCT IN THIS SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASE
A motion for new trial may be granted if there is an irregularity in the proceedings by the adverse party. (Code Civ. Proc. § 657(1).) An irregularity is any overt act of the adverse party that violates the right to a fair and impartial trial and amounts to misconduct (Gray v. Robinson (1939) 33 Cal. App. 2d 177, 182.) When one party is mislead by the acts of another, justice requires that a new trial should be granted. (See Pinkham & McDonough v. McFarland & Elrod (1855) 5 Cal. 137, 138.) The irregularity must materially affect the substantial rights of a party (Code Civ. Proc. § 657(1); Gay v. Torrance (1904) 145 Cal. 144, 148.) If the court gives conflicting instructions that contain inconsistent ideas that may have confused the jury, a new trial may be granted on the ground of errors in law occurring at trial (Brown v. George Pepperdine Foundation (1943) 23 Cal. 2d 256, 262.)
It is the ethical obligation of an attorney admitted to practice law in the State of California that he or she [s]hall not seek to mislead the judge, judicial officer, or jury by an artifice or false statement of fact or law. (Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 5-200.) It also is the ethical obligation of such an attorney to not intentionally misquote to a tribunal the language of a book, statute, or decision. (Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 5-200.) (See Part 4 of 12.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.