Reply Brief to a JNOV Motion: Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict Reply Motion
Defendants do not like jury
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MARYLAND
ANA MAJANO- Plaintiff
MILES DIXON- Defendant,
CASE NO. 05-C-05-095553Plaintiff’s reply to Defendant’s Motion for Judgment Nov or in the Alternative, Motion for New Trial
Ana Majano, by and through her attorneys, Ronald V. Miller, Jr., and Miller & Zois, LLC, hereby requests that Defendant Miles Dixon’s Motion for Judgment NOV, or in the alternative, Motion for New Trial, be denied. In further support, Plaintiff states as follows:
- Defendant's Allegation of Juror Misconduct
- Plaintiff's Met Her Burden of Proof
- Jury's Verdict Was Not Erroneous
Simply put, Defendant alleges that Juror #2 lied to this Court. Given the severity of the charge, one might expect that Defendant would be armed with facts to support his motion. Instead Defendant offers only an affidavit from cross-plaintiff's attorney making hearsay allegations as to what this juror told her. Yet the affidavit of Ms. Cleaveland does not support Defendant's argument. The affidavit states that Juror #2 was an office manager for a law firm for 20 years. It does not suggest that she is an office manager. The voir dire proposed by the Defendant and asked of the jury on this issue asked, "Is any member of the panel or any immediate family member an attorney, paralegal, legal secretary, court employee or otherwise connected, by either employment or profession, with the legal or judicial system?” The question specifically asks for a present tense connection. Defendant erroneously seeks to infer that Juror #2 lied to the Court when she simply answered the question posed.
Defendant argues once again here that Plaintiff did not make a prima facie case and the jury verdict was erroneous. Plaintiff's case in chief presented the only unbiased witness to this accident, Ms. Herrick, who stated that Plaintiff had a green light when the accident occurred and that Plaintiff was on Quarterfield Road. In addition to Ms. Herrick, Plaintiff testified to these facts as well. Mr. Cruz stated that he was at the light prior to Thelma Avenue when the accident occurred and that Plaintiff had just been in front of him but that he was stuck at a red light and Plaintiff continued down the road.
Defendant’s motion also references Mr. Mitchell testimony. Defendant erroneously contends that Mr. Mitchell placed Plaintiff’s vehicle on a certain road at the time of the accident. In fact, Mr. Mitchell plainly stated that as he approached the light, which was green, he was not aware of any particular vehicles and it was not until he saw a van coming towards him that he first was aware of another vehicle. He was not able to state which car was on which road prior to the accident. But even assuming arguendo, that Mr. Mitchell testified as Defendant suggests, a fact Plaintiff specifically denies, Defendant's argument still fails. Plaintiff could have offered in her case-in-chief five witness that offered differing testimony and still met her burden because the jury could have chosen to believe her at the exclusion of the other witnesses. To support its erroneous interpretation of law, Defendants seek support from Dennard v. Green, 355 Md. 305, 322 (1994). There is, however, an obvious distinction between Dennard and the instant case. In Dennard, the Plaintiff makes equal arguments as the culpability of two defendants. In this case, Plaintiff was clear as to the version of the testimony she wanted the jury to believe - her own. The jury did.
Defendant further contends that Ms. Herrick was the only witness to support the position that Defendant was responsible for the accident. While it is true that Ms. Herrick stated that she was traveling on Quarterfield Road at the time of the accident with a green light, Defendant incorrectly contends she was the only witness. Plaintiff also testified that she was on Quarterfield Road and was struck as she entered the intersection. The jury chose to believe Plaintiff and Ms. Herrick. Defendant may still disagree but this does not mean that a reasonable jury could not chose to believe the testimony of Ms. Herrick and the Plaintiff.
In Defendant's final argument, he takes one final liberty with the facts and the testimony in this case. Defendant blithely maintains the "physical evidence provides only one conclusion." In fact, Defendant's own expert admitted that the position of Defendant’s vehicle was consistent with him traveling from Thelma Avenue. If this is the case, the Defendant would have been on the side of the vehicle where Plaintiff’s vehicle was impacted. Based on this testimony from various witnesses, the jury’s verdict was reasonable and not clearly erroneous.
MILLER & ZOIS, LLC
Ronald V. Miller, Jr.
1 South St, #2450
Baltimore, MD 21202
Attorney for the Plaintiff