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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Motion for a New Trial

The court may grant a motion for a new trial for several reasons:

  • Fundamental error (including a judge's error of including or excluding evidence when it was improper, or when incorrect instructions burdening the wrong party are given).
  • Error by counsel (including ex parte communication with a juror).
  • Error by the parties (including ex parte communication with a juror).
  • Newly discovered evidence.
  • Insufficient evidence.
  • Juror nondisclosure

Intentional juror nondisclosure occurs:   

  1. When there exists no reasonable inability of a prospective juror to comprehend the information asked in a question.
  2. When a prospective juror actually remembers an experience, or it was of such significance that the juror's purported forgetfulness of an experience is unreasonable.

Nondisclosure of information may only occur after a clear question is asked on voir dire.

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Date Created: August 7, 2023