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Unitherm Food Systems v. Swift Eckrich

Docket No.: 04-597
Certiorari Granted: 2/28/2005
Argued: November 2, 2005
Decided: January 23, 2006

Topic:

Judicial Power

PartyNames: Unitherm Food Systems, Inc. v. Swift-Eckrich, Inc., dba ConAgra Refrigerated Foods
Petitioner: Unitherm Food Systems, Inc.
Respondent: Swift-Eckrich, Inc., dba ConAgra Refrigerated Foods

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Unitherm Food Systems, Inc.
v.
Swift-Eckrich, Inc., dba ConAgra Refrigerated Foods
546 U.S. 394 (2006)
Consideration Limited:

LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: Whether, and to what extent, a court of appeals may review the sufficiency of evidence supporting a civil jury verdict where the party requesting review made a motion for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure before submission of the case to the jury, but neither renewed that motion under Rule 50(b) after the jury's verdict, nor moved for a new trial under Rule 59?

Question Presented:

Whether the failure of a party to renew a motion for judgment as a matter of law following a jury verdict, in accordance with Rule 50(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, precludes an appellate court from reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence.

Question:

May a court of appeals review the sufficiency of evidence supporting a jury's verdict if the appellant failed to renew the motion for judgment under Rule 50(b) or move for a new trial under Rule 59?

Holding: reversed
Vote: 7-2
Opinion By:
Read UNITHERM FOOD SYSTEMS V. SWIFT ECKRICH opinion (PDF)
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