Should I file a motion for new trial if I receive a bad ruling from the trial judge?

Appellate, Blog, Brad M. LaMorgese

By Brad LaMorgese

Generally, in Texas, a motion for new trial is a good idea if one party is unhappy with the judge’s ruling. A motion for new trial points out defects or errors in the judgment. Ideally, it is the time to get very specific about legal complaints. This helps to make sure that these complaints can be presented on appeal. There are times when an appeals court cannot rule on a complaint that was not first presented to the trial judge.  The appeals courts call this waiver. So a motion for new trial is a good document to get things in order if an appeal is a possibility.

The motion for new trial generally must be filed within 30 days of the date the judge signs a judgment, and that time cannot be extended. So timing is critical on these motions in Texas.

In the end, a motion for new trial may be a great idea to change a bad ruling.  It gives the trial judge an opportunity to change things, and even if the trial judge does not, it gives the appeals court an opportunity to hear the complaints that were made in the motion for new trial.

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