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Civil Appeals in Oklahoma, by Lori Spencer, The Haubrich Law Firm, P.C.


[A]s a matter of tactics, I like to have one or two potential appeals built into the record in any jury trial, just in case the jury doesn’t see the case our way. However, 90% of jury verdicts that are appealed are useless appeals. Our judicial system has built into itself such a high level of respect for the jury that civil jury verdicts are very seldom overturned by the appeals courts. The trial judge’s job is to make rulings on evidence and give the jury appropriate instructions on the law. Almost all evidentiary rulings are within the discretion of the trial judge, so rulings on evidence seldom result in verdicts being overturned. Errors of the Court in jury instructions do sometimes result in a case being sent back for re-trial, but only if the error is such a gross misstatement of the law that it is clear to the appellate court that the jury was misled into making an incorrect decision. . . .