(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.)
A NEW TRIAL SHOULD BE GRANTED ON THE GROUND OF ERROR IN LAW, BECAUSE THE COURT ERRONEOUSLY EXCLUDED EVIDENCE AT TRIAL, THUS MATERIALLY AFFECTING PLAINTIFF’S SUBSTANTIAL RIGHTS
A motion for a new trial may be granted for an error in law occurring at trial and excepted to by the party making the application. (Code Civ. Proc. § 657(7).) Errors of law occurring at trial may include erroneous rulings on evidence. (Richard v. Scott (1978) 79 Cal. App. 3d 57, 63.) That there was an error in law must be established by the minutes of the court. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 658.) If the error could possibly have been prejudicial, the court must consider its probable effect and decide the motion accordingly, and if it concludes that the error is prejudicial, a new trial is properly granted. (Brown v. George Pepperdine Foundation (1943) 23 Cal. 2d 256, 262.)
A new trial may be granted on the ground of error in law if the trial court erroneously excludes certain admissible evidence and that exclusion results in prejudice to the moving party. (See Richard v. Scott (1978) 79 Cal.App.3d 57, 63 n.2; Burroughs v. Ben’s Auto Park, Inc. (1945) 27 Cal.2d 449, 456.) If an error of law has occurred in the admission or rejection of evidence, the trial judge may consider all the circumstances surrounding the ruling, including the weight that may be accorded to the questioned evidence, the attitude of the interrogator, and any other fact tending to show the importance of the admission or rejection of the evidence. (De Victoria v. Erickson (1948) 83 Cal. App. 2d 206, 208-209.)
A court’s ruling sustaining or overruling an objection to evidence is deemed excepted to without formal objection. (Code Civ. Proc. § 647.)
Evidence in this sexual harassment case that was excluded includes: (1) a letter written by Tony Anson in support of Plaintiff that would have impeached Mr. Anson’s testimony that Plaintiff made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature, which were unprofessional, and
(2) testimony from a human resource expert regarding standards for investigating discrimination and harassment allegations, that anonymous complaints of discrimination and harassment should be investigated, and the impact of the uneven enforcement of XYZ’s sexual harassment policy on men. (See Part 10 of 12.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.