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Thread: Jury Duty

  1. #1
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    Jury Duty

    I just completed my jury duty consisting of a trial that lasted 2 days. To keep a long story short... I was appalled by the incompetence of of the police department regarding the evidence.

    After the conclusion of the the prosecution and the defense was ready to cast my vote and further astounded that the state is able to change the definition of words to match their goals.

    I don't know how the particular portion of the law reads so will do some investigation regarding this definition to see if it is written as such or if it was interpretation by the prosecutor and judge.

    Will update when I find the information.

    Is off topic, but, will be able to show relevance when i find the information I am looking for.
    Last edited by carracer; 02-16-2011 at 03:29 PM. Reason: relevance

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    I would need more information to really make any kind of informed comment but in every case that I have been involved in the Judge would read the actual letter of the law that the defendant was being charged with. Usually then he would offer some "opinion" or "eplanation" of any interpretation of the law that would apply in that perticular case. I would find it unusual, at least around here, that a judge would read something that was his interpretaion of the law without also reading the exact code and them saying that it was interpretation.

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    Just looked up the legal definition of "Possession". Different from websters and what I have been taught thru life. It is what was written in the instructions word for word. Really creates a broad area that can encompass anyone in nearly any situation. For instance... if you know that a person has a concealed weapon in a vehicle and you are close enough to obtain it you may be guilty of possessing a concealed weapon if you do not have a permit. Regardless of whether the other person is the owner of the firearm and has a permit.
    Last edited by carracer; 02-16-2011 at 05:25 PM. Reason: sp

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    Hahaha. I guess it just all depends on what the meaning of is is.

    Did the case you serve on have a firearms related incident of "possession" like this?

    Does this mean if you are standing next to a passed out hobo, that has crack cocaine on his person/box, that you are in possession of an illegal narcotic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimberfella616 View Post
    Hahaha. I guess it just all depends on what the meaning of is is.

    Did the case you serve on have a firearms related incident of "possession" like this?

    Does this mean if you are standing next to a passed out hobo, that has crack cocaine on his person/box, that you are in possession of an illegal narcotic?
    If you know it's there and have the ability to aquire it, yes, I believe that would be the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carracer View Post
    If you know it's there and have the ability to aquire it, yes, I believe that would be the case.
    I just don't see that. If I am standing next to Chris and know he has a firearm in a holster, that doesn't make me "in possession" of it even though I could sucker punch him and grab it. Even if it is/was in his car I'm still not believing that I am "in possession" of it since it belongs to Chris. Now if Chris and I together "hid or concealed his weapon near where we were standing and agreed that if I needed it I could jump and grab it, that I believe could be construed as possession.

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    http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/p057.htm

    "A person has possession of something if the person knows of its presence and has physical control of it, or has the power and intention to control it. [More than one person can be in possession of something if each knows of its presence and has the power and intention to control it.]"

    I guess "intent" is the key word in the meaning.

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    More details??

    carracer, I'd sure love to hear more details about the case where you sat as a juror, and as the judge told you, you are free to talk about all of it if you want to, but are also free to refuse to talk if you like.

    The definitions they gave you are standard jury instructions that are developed through prior case law and decisions, or straight out of Idaho statutes. You can find the Idaho Criminal Jury Instructions on the Idaho Supreme Court website http://www.isc.idaho.gov/ by selecting "Jury System" from the left side of the page and then clicking on "Criminal Jury Instr" when it pops up. It's always surprising to find out how the courts define things, isn't it? Some definitions make sense, but others are problematic, as you've found.

    Please feel free to share more - I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in wanting to know!

    DCR

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Ahh, "Possession", a wonderful and apparently quite versatile word; it can mean both one thing and another without any conflict, at least legally.
    It brings to mind a meeting I had with law enforcement one holiday weekend when a "random [s]alcohol[/s] license check was being conducted. I had been out on a boat and doing a few water related activities before being stopped and my driving license was still gym bag where I had left it while swimming.

    The officer asked for my license and proof of insurance and I had to tell him that I had a license but it was in the bag sitting on the back seat (an easy reach when not driving). That didn't go over well and he made mention of citations for "not having a license in possession while operating a motorized vehicle..."
    "I can get if for you, Officer, now that I'm at a complete stop."
    He allowed me to reach back but right them my mouth got a bit ahead of my mind and I asked, "Just to be sure, if there's a bit of marijuana in there, I can't be charged with anything, right? I mean I'm not in possession of it, am I?"

    That led to being directed over to a holding area and a few fun moments where the usual leading/loaded questions were asked to which I didn't admit anything nor give any consent of any sort. It turned out that after about half an hour and 3 or 4 different Deputies that a "... specially trained Narcotics Dawg" turned up and was taken over to sniff my possessions and car. It didn't alert, much to everyone's surprise but mine and some rather disappointed Deputies had to allow me to leave.

    "You know we Could have charged you. The law requires you to have it in your immediate possession, and you didn't. We're gonna cut you a big break tonight, get out of here."
    "You can still charge me, I can't stop you. I'll tell the Judge that it took me less than five seconds to get my hands on my license and ask what the legal definition of "immediate" is. I can't think of any legitimate reason that I would need to reach for my license While Driving, can you?"

    Didn't go over well, but I went off to do my own thing.
    Apparently I could have been charged with Not Having Possession of, and charged with Having Possession of, for two different items even if they were located in the same place at the same time.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carracer View Post
    If you know it's there and have the ability to aquire it, yes, I believe that would be the case.
    No. Having to commit a crime to seize property doesn't boil down to "ability." The same applies to a gun on another's person. You would have to commit battery and theft in either case. The reasonable man would not assume ability based on that reality.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    Ahh, "Possession", a wonderful and apparently quite versatile word; it can mean both one thing and another without any conflict, at least legally.
    It brings to mind a meeting I had with law enforcement one holiday weekend when a "random [s]alcohol[/s] license check was being conducted. I had been out on a boat and doing a few water related activities before being stopped and my driving license was still gym bag where I had left it while swimming.

    The officer asked for my license and proof of insurance and I had to tell him that I had a license but it was in the bag sitting on the back seat (an easy reach when not driving). That didn't go over well and he made mention of citations for "not having a license in possession while operating a motorized vehicle..."
    "I can get if for you, Officer, now that I'm at a complete stop."
    He allowed me to reach back but right them my mouth got a bit ahead of my mind and I asked, "Just to be sure, if there's a bit of marijuana in there, I can't be charged with anything, right? I mean I'm not in possession of it, am I?"

    That led to being directed over to a holding area and a few fun moments where the usual leading/loaded questions were asked to which I didn't admit anything nor give any consent of any sort. It turned out that after about half an hour and 3 or 4 different Deputies that a "... specially trained Narcotics Dawg" turned up and was taken over to sniff my possessions and car. It didn't alert, much to everyone's surprise but mine and some rather disappointed Deputies had to allow me to leave.

    "You know we Could have charged you. The law requires you to have it in your immediate possession, and you didn't. We're gonna cut you a big break tonight, get out of here."
    "You can still charge me, I can't stop you. I'll tell the Judge that it took me less than five seconds to get my hands on my license and ask what the legal definition of "immediate" is. I can't think of any legitimate reason that I would need to reach for my license While Driving, can you?"

    Didn't go over well, but I went off to do my own thing.
    Apparently I could have been charged with Not Having Possession of, and charged with Having Possession of, for two different items even if they were located in the same place at the same time.
    You could have been charged with lack of common sense for the pot "joke."

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    Hi, first post, but just wanted to add that you as a Juror hold the power. Jury Nullification is a powerful tool the people need to remember.
    http://fija.org/

    I think if more people understood the true power of Jury Duty, fewer would dread the experience.
    Last edited by Spence; 02-27-2011 at 11:39 PM.

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    Great example of Jury Nullification

    The article below tells about an actual case of jury nullification where even though 26 men admitted to the illegal act all were acquited by the jury. I do not know the year but it probably would have been in the 30' or 40's.

    http://www.sfltimes.com/index.php?op...554&Itemid=199

    GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) _ Community leaders in Greenville have put up two historical markers to remind people of South Carolina's last known lynching.
    The markers unveiled Thursday tell the story of Willie Earle, a black man who was accused of killing a white cab driver in Pickens.
    The day after he was taken into custody, a mob stormed the jail and took Earle. His body was found two hours later in neighboring Greenville County _ he had been stabbed, beaten and shot in the face.
    Then-Gov. Strom Thurmond ordered an investigation, and 31 men were quickly rounded up and charged. Despite confessions from 26 of the defendants, all were acquitted.
    The historical markers were placed outside the Greenville County courthouse and along the lonely road where Earle's body was found.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PT111 View Post
    The article below tells about an actual case of jury nullification where even though 26 men admitted to the illegal act all were acquited by the jury. I do not know the year but it probably would have been in the 30' or 40's.

    http://www.sfltimes.com/index.php?op...554&Itemid=199
    That had to be in the '30s. Thurmond was in the US Senate in the '40s, I think. If there had been an honest judge, he would have set aside the verdict--at least on those who confessed, and declared a mistrial. Back then, that wasn't about to happen, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    That had to be in the '30s. Thurmond was in the US Senate in the '40s, I think. If there had been an honest judge, he would have set aside the verdict--at least on those who confessed, and declared a mistrial. Back then, that wasn't about to happen, though.
    If they allowed the jury to return a not-guilty verdict I don't think the judge can set it aside then even it they had confessed. If so there would be no such thing as jury nullification it the judge can overrule the jury like that. I don't have any details other than the news article but quite a few cases back then were decided in the same type method that the jury took the law into their own hands no matter what the evidence or law. This is jury nullification at its best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PT111 View Post
    If they allowed the jury to return a not-guilty verdict I don't think the judge can set it aside then even it they had confessed. If so there would be no such thing as jury nullification it the judge can overrule the jury like that. I don't have any details other than the news article but quite a few cases back then were decided in the same type method that the jury took the law into their own hands no matter what the evidence or law. This is jury nullification at its best.
    I'm really surprised, PT111. I know we disagree pretty often, but I never figured you for a guy who didn't know his history.

    An example of jury nullification at its best was during William Penn's trial. For every abuse of that power, there are hundreds of abuses of power by government.

    Jury nullification has been with us since Magna Carta, perhaps longer. It has always been one of the checks on government. It has fallen from common ken by deliberate omission from education, and judicial shenanigans. But, it is still with us. It didn't go away. It wasn't legislated out of existence, nor by the constitution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    I'm really surprised, PT111. I know we disagree pretty often, but I never figured you for a guy who didn't know his history.

    An example of jury nullification at its best was during William Penn's trial. For every abuse of that power, there are hundreds of abuses of power by government.

    Jury nullification has been with us since Magna Carta, perhaps longer. It has always been one of the checks on government. It has fallen from common ken by deliberate omission from education, and judicial shenanigans. But, it is still with us. It didn't go away. It wasn't legislated out of existence, nor by the constitution.
    I can't figure out what we are disagreeing on here. As long as there are jury trials jury nullification will and has been around. Jury nullification is simply when the jury believes that the defendent should not be held accountable for what the law states when they feel that the law should not exist. in this case the jury felt that the men should not be held accountable for killing someone under those conditions. In the Rodney King case it was similiar that the state, was it, court jury found the men not guilty but a Federal jury did. Technically two different charges but the same actions and same evidence.

    Jury nullification does not have to apply to a specific type law or action but when a jury feels that a person does not have to answer for breaking some law tha they feel is unjust. In the first case the jury felt that it was OK for them to act as judge, jury and ececutioner and kill a black man accused of killing a white man even though the law said different.

    What are we disagreeing on?

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    Ah, yes, jury nullification---it's how white supremacists got acquitted over and over again in the South.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCR View Post
    Ah, yes, jury nullification---it's how white supremacists got acquitted over and over again in the South.
    Those same whites also used their control of democratic/republican institutions to pass legislation designed to prevent blacks from exercising a variety of rights.

    For better for for worse, the people necessarily retain great power in order to have a meaningful leash on their government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PT111 View Post
    If they allowed the jury to return a not-guilty verdict I don't think the judge can set it aside then even it they had confessed. If so there would be no such thing as jury nullification it the judge can overrule the jury like that. I don't have any details other than the news article but quite a few cases back then were decided in the same type method that the jury took the law into their own hands no matter what the evidence or law. This is jury nullification at its best.

    Judgement nothwithstanding the verdict is an accepted rule of law. It is not used often, but is indeed used in criminal as well as civil trials--more so the latter. Verdicts being set aside and a new trial ordered is the usual procedure as opposed to a simple reversal of the jury's verdict. But the judge has the option. It would, of course, have to stand up to the appeal process, so he better have a strong argument for doing so.


    JNOV = JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT

    A trial court may disregard a jury’s verdict and render a jnov if the evidence is legally insufficient to
    support the jury’s findings or if a directed verdict would have been proper because a legal principle
    precludes recovery. Tex. R. Civ. P. 301; Brown v. Bank of Galveston, 963 S.W.2d 511, 513 (Tex.1998);
    Fort Bend County Drainage Dist. v. Sbrusch, 818 S.W.2d 392, 394 (Tex.1991); Williams v. Briscoe, 137 S.
    W.3d 120, 124 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2004, no pet.); John Masek Corp. v. Davis, 848 S.W.2d
    170, 173 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1992, writ denied). To determine whether the trial court erred in
    granting a jnov, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict. See Weirich v. Weirich,
    833 S.W.2d 942, 945 (Tex. 1992). If more than a scintilla of competent evidence supports the jury’s
    findings, we must reverse the jnov. Leitch v. Hornsby, 935 S.W.2d 114, 118 (Tex. 1996); Old Republic
    Ins. Co. v. EX-IM Servs. Corp., 920 S.W.2d 393, 395 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1996, no writ). When
    the evidence supporting the finding, as a whole, rises to a level that would lead reasonable and fair-
    minded people to differ in their conclusions, the evidence comprises more than a scintilla. Williams, 137 S.
    W.3d at 124; see Burroughs Wellcome Co. v. Crye, 907 S.W.2d 497, 499 (Tex. 1995).
    Laine v. Farmers Ins. Exchange (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Feb. 4, 2010)(Bland) (JNOV judgment
    notwithstanding the verdict) (insurance law, insurance coverage litigation, punitive damages, UM policy,
    drunk driver, exemplary damages)
    AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Bland
    Before Hon. Wilson, Justices Bland and Massengale
    01-08-01010-CV Sandra Gervais Laine v. Farmers Insurance Exchange
    Appeal from 334th District Court of Harris County
    Trial Court Judge: Hon Sharon McCally

    A trial court may disregard a jury's verdict and render a judgment notwithstanding the verdict if no
    evidence supports one or more of the jury's findings or if a directed verdict would have been proper. Tiller
    v. McLure, 121 S.W.3d 709, 713 (Tex. 2003).

    STANDARD OF REVIEW ON APPEAL FOR JNOV
    When examining a legal-sufficiency challenge, we review the evidence in the light most favorable to the
    challenged finding and indulge every reasonable inference that would support it. City of Keller v. Wilson,
    168 S.W.3d 802, 822 (Tex. 2005). We credit favorable evidence if reasonable jurors could and disregard
    contrary evidence unless reasonable jurors could not. Id. at 827. The evidence is legally sufficient if it
    would enable reasonable and fair-minded people to reach the verdict under review. Id.
    Pues v. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 8246 (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Aug. 27, 2009)(Brown)
    (JNOV affirmed, jury verdict disregarded)(no liability for personal injuries sustained in tree cutting
    accident, employee or independent contractor, control over details of work)
    AFFIRMED: Opinion by Justice Brown
    Before Justices Frost, Brown and Boyce
    14-08-00333-CV Harold Randall Pues v. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 8246
    Appeal from 260th District Court of Orange County
    Trial Court Judge: Judge Buddie J Hahn
    We review a judgment notwithstanding the verdict under a legal-sufficiency standard, viewing the evidence
    and inferences in the light most favorable to the jury's finding. City of Keller v. Wilson, 168 S.W.3d 802,
    823 (Tex. 2005). We sustain the granting of a judgment notwithstanding the verdict based on "no
    evidence" when the record shows: (1) a complete lack of evidence of a vital fact; (2) the trial court is
    barred by the rules of law or evidence from giving weight to the only evidence offered to prove a vital fact;
    (3) the evidence offered to prove a vital fact is not more than a scintilla; or (4) the evidence establishes
    conclusively the opposite of a vital fact. Id. at 810; see also Tiller v. McLure, 121 S.W.3d 709, 713 (Tex.
    2003) (holding trial court may grant judgment notwithstanding verdict if there is no evidence to support
    jury's finding on issue necessary to liability).
    If more than a scintilla of evidence supports the jury's finding, "the jury's verdict, and not the trial court's
    judgment must be upheld." Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Miller, 102 S.W.3d 706, 709 (Tex. 2003). More than a
    scintilla of evidence exists when the evidence "rises to a level that would enable reasonable and fair-
    minded people to differ in their conclusions." Ford Motor Co. v. Ridgway, 135 S.W.3d 598, 601 (Tex.
    2004) (quoting Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc. v. Havner, 953 S.W.2d 706, 711 (Tex. 1997)). Evidence that is
    "so weak as to do no more than create a mere surmise," however, is no more than a scintilla and, thus, no
    evidence. Id. (quoting Kindred v. Con/Chem, Inc., 650 S.W.2d 61, 63 (Tex. 1983)).
    Requena v. Otis Elevator Company and Fisk Electric Co. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Oct. 15, 2009)
    (Keyes) (personal injury - freight elevator, negligence, no breach of duty, JNOV affirmed)
    AFFIRM TRIAL COURT JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Keyes
    Before Justices Keyes, Alcala and Hanks
    01-08-00378-CV Jose Hermilo Requena and Mary Sue Requena v. Otis Elevator Company and Fisk
    Electric Company Appeal from 215th District Court of Harris County
    Trial Court Judge: Hon. Levi J. Benton
    If the trial court does not state its grounds for granting a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict ,
    as is the case here, the ruling will be upheld if any of the stated grounds in the motion will uphold the
    judgment. Fort Bend County Drainage Dist. v. Sbrusch, 818 S.W.2d 392, 394 (Tex. 1991). It is the
    appellant's burden to discredit each ground in the appellee's motion. Kenneco Energy, 921 S.W.2d at
    259; Friedman v. Houston Sports Ass'n, 731 S.W.2d 572, 573 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1987, writ
    ref'd n.r.e.).

    JUDGMENT NON OBSTANTE VEREDICTO

    (JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT RENDERED OF THE JURY)

    A trial court may disregard a jury finding and enter a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (“JNOV”) if the
    finding is immaterial or if there is no evidence to support one or more of the jury findings on issues
    necessary to liability. Tiller v. McClure, 121 S.W.3d 709, 713 (Tex. 2003); Spencer v. Eagle Star Ins. Co.
    of Am., 876 S.W.2d 154, 157 (Tex. 1994); Williams v. Briscoe, 137 S.W.3d 120, 124 (Tex. App.—Houston
    [1st Dist.] 2004, no pet.). A trial court may grant a motion for JNOV if a directed verdict would have been
    proper. Tex. R. Civ. P. 301.

    A question is “immaterial” when it should not have been submitted to the jury, it calls for a finding beyond
    the province of the jury, such as a question of law, or when it was properly submitted but has been
    rendered immaterial by other findings. Se. Pipe Line Co. v. Tichacek, 997 S.W.2d 166, 172 (Tex. 1999);
    Spencer, 876 S.W.2d at 157.

    To determine whether there is no evidence to support the jury verdict, we view the evidence in a light that
    tends to support the finding of the disputed fact and disregard all evidence and inferences to the contrary.
    Tiller, 121 S.W.3d at 713. We sustain the granting of a JNOV based on “no evidence” when the record
    discloses one of the following:
    (1) a complete absence of evidence of a vital fact;
    (2) the trial court is barred by the rules of law or evidence from giving weight to the only evidence offered
    to prove a vital fact;
    (3) the evidence offered to prove a vital fact is not more than a scintilla; or
    (4) the evidence establishes conclusively the opposite of a vital fact. City of Keller v. Wilson, 168 S.W.3d
    802, 810 (Tex. 2005); Tiller, 121 S.W.3d at 713.
    More than a scintilla of evidence exists if the evidence supporting the finding “rises to a level that would
    enable reasonable and fair-minded people to differ in their conclusions.” Burroughs Wellcome Co. v. Crye,
    907 S.W.2d 497, 499 (Tex. 1995).
    When, as here, a trial court specifies the ground upon which it grants a JNOV, an appellant need only
    challenge the ground relied upon by the trial court. Voskamp v. Arnoldy, 749 S.W.2d 113, 118 (Tex. App.
    —Houston [1st Dist.] 1987, writ denied). However, the appellee may assert on appeal the grounds that it
    alleged in its motion for JNOV, but that were not relied upon by the trial court, to attempt to vitiate the jury’
    s verdict. Tex. R. App. P. 38.2(b); Tex. R. Civ. P. 324(c); Voskamp, 749 S.W.2d at 118.

    MasTec North America, Inc. v. El Paso Field Services, LP (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jul. 23, 2009)
    (Higley) (breach of contract, JNOV reversed, entry of judgment on jury verdict ordered)
    REVERSE TC JUDGMENT AND REMAND CASE TO TC FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS:
    Opinion by Justice Higley
    Before Justices Jennings, Keyes and Higley
    01-07-00319-CV MasTec North America, Inc. and Mastec, Inc. v. El Paso Field Services, L.P. and
    Gulfterra South Texas, L.P. f/n/a El Paso South Texas, L.P. Appeal from 334th District Court of Harris
    County Dissenting Opinion by Justice Jennings

    A court may disregard a jury's verdict and render judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV)
    if no evidence supports the jury's findings, or if a directed verdict would have been proper. Tiller v.
    McClure, 121 S.W.3d 709, 713 (Tex. 2003) (citing Brown v. Bank of Galveston, Nat'l Ass'n, 963 S.W.2d
    511, 513 (Tex. 1998)); Williams v. Briscoe, 137 S.W.3d 120, 124 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 2004, no
    pet.). To determine whether a JNOV is appropriate, we apply the standards that govern "no evidence," i.
    e., legal-sufficiency, review. See Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Miller, 102 S.W.3d 706, 709 (Tex. 2003);
    Williams, 137 S.W.3d at 124; see also City of Keller v. Wilson, 168 S.W.3d 802, 823 (Tex. 2005) ("[T]he
    test for legal sufficiency should be the same for summary judgments, directed verdicts, judgments
    notwithstanding the verdict, and appellate no-evidence review.").
    B&W Supply, Inc. v. Beckman (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Apr. 9, 2009)(Keyes)
    (JNOV, breach of contract, excuse defense, lost profit damages, DTPA counterclaim)
    REVERSE TC JUDGMENT AND RENDER JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Keyes

    The Kroger Co. v. Shaw (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jan 30, 2009)(Alcala)
    (premises liability lawsuit, JNOV, actual or constructive knowledge)
    REVERSE TC JUDGMENT AND RENDER JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Alcala
    Before Chief Justice Radack, Justices Alcala and Hanks
    01-07-00030-CV The Kroger Company v. Betty Shaw and Robert Shaw
    Appeal from 149th District Court of Brazoria County
    Trial Court Judge: Hon. Robert E. May
    Last edited by Gunslinger; 03-02-2011 at 12:10 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Judgement nothwithstanding the verdict is an accepted rule of law. It is not used often, but is indeed used in criminal as well as civil trials--more so the latter. Verdicts being set aside and a new trial ordered is the usual procedure as opposed to a simple reversal of the jury's verdict. But the judge has the option. It would, of course, have to stand up to the appeal process, so he better have a strong argument for doing so.
    I appreciate the information and as you say he better have a strong argument for doing so. I seem to remember some where that a person could not plead guilty to first degree murder but must face trial as it is felt that if they plead guilty they cannot be sane. There are many oddball situations in law that at first you say WTF then after the explanation you say WTH.

    In your postings I kept coming across the word "scintilla" and never knew it was used so much in the legal profession. That would be another good debate of how much is a "scintilla".
    Last edited by PT111; 03-02-2011 at 02:44 PM.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PT111 View Post
    I appreciate the information and as you say he better have a strong argument for doing so. I seem to remember some where that a person could not plead guilty to first degree murder but must face trial as it is felt that if they plead guilty they cannot be sane. There are many oddball situations in law that at first you say WTF then after the explanation you say WTH.

    In your postings I kept coming across the word "scintilla" and never knew it was used so much in the legal profession. That would be another good debate of how much is a "scintilla".
    It is a very precise term. "Scintillate," the more often used term in general conversation, means to sparkle or flash. One would assume scintilla means to flash just a little...:>Guilty murder pleas are almost always the result of a plea bargain dropping it to Murder 2 or one of the Manslaughters. Catch 22 does come to mind.

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