Winning Your Appeal at the Trial Court Level: Verdicts

Winning Your Appeal at the Trial Court Level:

 

Verdicts

 

Like virtually everything else at trial, if you do not request a special verdict form or object, on the record, to the opposing party’s special verdict form, you will be waiving the issue on appeal. “ ‘Parties should have one chance (by request for special verdict forms) to have a jury’s fact finding pinpointed.’ [Appellant] was apparently satisfied with the pinpointing form of this first interrogatory at the trial of the cause – the record is devoid of any showing that he objected thereto …” (Babcock v. Omansky (1973) 31 Cal.App.3d 625, 630.)

 

Please also note a trap in verdict forms: you may be waiving an objection to a particular legal theory by including or otherwise acknowledging that legal theory in your verdict form. Another trap: by omitting a specific question on your verdict form, you are likely waiving that question as a basis for appeal. (Myers Bldg. Indus., Ltd. v. Interface Tech., Inc. (1993) 13 Cal.App.4th 949, 961.)