Phase Ten: Post-Trial Activities
Although trial is when the matter is decided, it is often not the final say. After trial, both sides have actions they can take to affect the final outcome. The losing party can, in certain circumstances, ask the court to change its mind, or replace the jury’s decision with the judge’s decision. These motions, known as motions for new trial and motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, can be common in larger matters, and are done not only to actually get the judge to change the outcome, but also to secure certain procedural rights on appeal.
Not all cases would include these post-trial activities, although the right to proceed with them exists in all civil litigation.
The winning party also has post-trial functions. In addition to defending the losing party’s motions, the prevailing party needs to procure costs, and possibly attorney fees, both usually done after the trial is complete.
Assuming a motion for new trial is not granted (a rare occurrence) the judgment is entered. Once the Notice of Entry of Judgment is provided to the losing party, the time to bring an appeal commences.