Mission Viejo, CA asked in Appeals / Appellate Law and Business Law for California

Q: We are a pro per plaintiff. We prevailed in civil trial. After judgment FINALLY entered (defendant kept objecting to pro

proposed judgments) they filed for new trial. One base was newly discovered evidence. We had filed an unrelated suit against other party 3 months AFTER verdict on completely different grounds. Defendants claim this undercuts our credibility and shows our awarded damages are excessive since new suit shows poor financial ability (going to lost income portion of award). Does this even qualify as new evidence that would have effected? Other than than distinguish any other recourse?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Appeals & Appellate Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Based on the information provided, it seems unlikely that the defendant's claim of newly discovered evidence would qualify as grounds for a new trial in California. Here's why:

1. Timing: The new evidence (your unrelated lawsuit) was filed three months after the verdict in the original case. For newly discovered evidence to be considered, it generally must have existed at the time of the trial but was not discoverable with reasonable diligence.

2. Relevance: The new lawsuit appears to be unrelated to the original case and based on different grounds. It's questionable whether this information would have been admissible or relevant to the issues in the original trial.

3. Materiality: For new evidence to warrant a new trial, it must be material, meaning it would likely have changed the outcome of the trial. The defendant's argument that the new lawsuit undercuts your credibility and shows the awarded damages were excessive seems tenuous, especially if the lawsuits are unrelated.

To distinguish any other recourse, you should focus on these points in your response to the defendant's motion for a new trial. Emphasize the lack of connection between the two lawsuits, the timing of the new evidence, and its lack of materiality to the issues decided in the original trial.

You may also want to consult with a legal professional or seek legal aid resources in your area for more specific guidance on how to respond to the motion for a new trial and protect your judgment.

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