Trial-Related Issues (Including Motions in Limine)

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, Review of (Jury Matters)

Except as indicated, all indented material is copied directly from the court’s opinion. 

Decisions of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Decisions of the Tennessee Court of Appeals

State v. The Witherspoon Law Group PLLC, No. E2021-01343-COA-R3-CV, p. 23 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 21, 2022).

The Tennessee Supreme Court has explained that “[a]n appellate court shall only set aside findings of fact by a jury in a civil matter if there is no material evidence to support the jury’s verdict.” Creech v. Addington, 281 S.W.3d 363, 372 (Tenn. 2009) (citing Tenn. R. App. 13(d); Whaley v. Perkins, 197 S.W.3d 665, 671 (Tenn. 2006)). “In determining whether there is material evidence to support a verdict, we shall: ‘(1) take the strongest legitimate view of all the evidence in favor of the verdict; (2) assume the truth of all evidence that supports the verdict; (3) allow all reasonable inferences to sustain the verdict; and (4) discard all [countervailing] evidence.” Id. (quoting Barnes v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 48 S.W.3d 698, 704 (Tenn. 2000) (citation omitted)). We “shall neither reweigh the evidence nor decide where the preponderance of the evidence lies.” Id. (quoting Barnes, 48 S.W.3d at 704). “If there is any material evidence to support the verdict, we must affirm it; otherwise, the parties would be deprived of their constitutional right to trial by jury.” Id. (citing Crabtree Masonry Co. v. C. & R. Constr., Inc., 575 S.W.2d 4, 5 (Tenn. 1978)).

State v. The Witherspoon Law Group PLLC, No. E2021-01343-COA-R3-CV, p. 8-9 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 21, 2022). 

On appeal, “our review of a jury’s factual findings in a civil action is limited to determining whether any material evidence supported the verdict.” Potter v. Ford Motor Co., 213 S.W.3d 264, 268 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006) (citing In re Estate of Brindley, No. M1999-02224-COA-R3-CV, 2002 WL 1827578, at *2 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 7, 2002); Tenn. R. App. P. 13(d)). We “do not determine the credibility of witnesses or weigh evidence on appeal from a jury verdict.” Id. at 268-69 (citing In re Estate of Brindley, 2002 WL 1827578, at *2; Conatser v. Clarksville Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 920 S.W.2d 646, 647 (Tenn. 1995); Benson v. Tennessee Valley Elec. Coop., 868 S.W.2d 630, 638-39 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1993)). “Where the record contains material evidence supporting the verdict, the judgment based on that verdict will not be disturbed on appeal.” Id. at 269 (citing Reynolds v. Ozark Motor Lines, Inc., 887 S.W.2d 822, 823 (Tenn. 1994); Whaley v. Rheem Mfg. Co., 900 S.W.2d 296, 300 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1995)). Additionally, we review questions of law de novo with no presumption of correctness accorded to the trial court’s conclusions of law. Eberbach v. Eberbach, 535 S.W.3d 467, 473 (Tenn. 2017) (citing Barnes v. Barnes, 193 S.W.3d 495, 498 (Tenn. 2006); Taylor v. Fezell, 158 S.W.3d 352, 357 (Tenn. 2005)).



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