Post-Trial and Post-Judgment Matters

New Trial, Motion for

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

Besses v. Killian, No. M2021-01121-COA-R3-CV, p. 4 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 27, 2023). 

“A trial court’s decision regarding whether to grant or deny a motion for a new trial is discretionary in nature, and we accord such rulings great deference. We will only disturb such a decision if it amounts to an abuse of discretion.” Buckley v. Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, Inc., 639 S.W.3d 38, 46 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2021), appeal denied (Oct. 14, 2021) (quoting Ali v. Fisher, 145 S.W.3d 557, 564 (Tenn. 2004)).

“An abuse of discretion occurs when a court ‘causes an injustice to the party challenging the decision by (1) applying an incorrect legal standard, (2) reaching an illogical or unreasonable decision, or (3) basing its decision on a clearly erroneous assessment of the evidence.’” Id. (citing Funk v. Scripps Media, Inc., 570 S.W.3d 205, 210 (Tenn. 2019) (quoting Lee Med., Inc. v. Beecher, 312 S.W.3d 515, 524 (Tenn. 2010))).

TMS Contracting, LLC v. SmithGroup JJR, Inc., No. M2020-01028-COA-R3-CV, p. 7 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 9, 2022). 

We review the trial court’s denial of a motion for a new trial for an abuse of discretion. Ali v. Fisher, 145 S.W.3d 557, 564-65 (Tenn. 2004). A court abuses its discretion when it applies the wrong legal standard, reaches “an illogical or unreasonable decision,” or bases its decision “on a clearly erroneous assessment of the evidence.” Lee Med., Inc. v. Beecher, 312 S.W.3d 515, 524 (Tenn. 2010).

Malone v. ASF Intermodal, LLC, No. W2020-00430-COA-R3-CV (Feb. 7, 2022).

Furthermore, “[w]here, in a motion for new trial, the judge simply approves the jury’s verdict without further comment, the appellate court presumes that the trial judge adequately performed his [or her] function as thirteenth juror.” Davidson v. Lindsey, 104 S.W.3d 483, 488 (Tenn. 2003); see also Miller v. Doe, 873 S.W.2d 346, 347 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1993) (“If called upon to act as a thirteenth juror following the filing of a motion for a new trial, the trial judge simply approves a verdict without any comment, it is presumed by an appellate court that [she or] he has performed his [or her] function adequately.”).



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