(a) Judgment as a Matter of Law.
(1) Nature and Effect of Motion. If, during a trial by jury, a party has been fully heard with respect to an issue and there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find or have found for that party with respect to that issue, the court may grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law against the party on any claim, counterclaim, cross claim, or third party claim that cannot under the controlling law be maintained without a favorable finding on that issue. Such a motion shall specify the judgment sought and the law and the facts on which the moving party is entitled to the judgment. A motion for judgment as a matter of law which is not granted is not a waiver of trial by jury even though all parties to the action have moved for judgment as a matter of law.
(2) When Made. A motion for judgment as a matter of law may be made at any time before submission of the case to the jury.
(b) Renewing Motion for Judgment After Trial; Alternative Motion for New Trial.
If, for any reason, the court does not grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law made at the close of all the evidence, the court is considered to have submitted the action to the jury subject to the court's later deciding the legal questions raised by the motion. The movant may renew its request for judgment as a matter of law by filing a motion no later than 10 days after entry of judgment - and may alternatively request a new trial or join a motion for a new trial under rule 59. In ruling on a renewed motion, the court may:
(1) if a verdict was returned: (A) allow the judgment to stand, (B) order a new trial, or (C) direct entry of judgment as a matter of law; or
(2) if no verdict was returned: (A) order a new trial, or (B) direct entry of judgment as a matter of law.
(c) Alternative Motions for Judgment as a Matter of Law or for a New Trial--Effect of Appeal.
Whenever a motion for a judgment as a matter of law and, in the alternative, for a new trial shall be filed and submitted in any superior court in any civil cause tried before a jury, and such superior court shall enter an order granting such motion for judgment as a matter of law, such court shall at the same time, in the alternative, pass upon and decide in the same order such motion for a new trial; such ruling upon said motion for a new trial not to become effective unless and until the order granting the motion for judgment as a matter of law shall thereafter be reversed, vacated, or set aside in the manner provided by law. An appeal to the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals from a judgment granted on a motion for judgment as a matter of law shall, of itself, without the necessity of cross appeal, bring up for review the ruling of the trial court on the motion for a new trial; and the appellate court shall, if it reverses the judgment entered as a matter of law, review and determine the validity of the ruling on the motion for a new trial.
(d) Same: Denial of Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law.
If the motion for judgment as a matter of law is denied, the party who prevailed on that motion may, as appellee, assert grounds entitling the party to a new trial in the event the appellate court concludes that the trial court erred in denying the motion for judgment. If the appellate court reverses the judgment, nothing in this rule precludes it from determining that the appellee is entitled to a new trial, or from directing the trial court to determine whether a new trial shall be granted.
[Amended effective January 1, 1977; July 1, 1980; September 1, 1984; September 17, 1993; September 1, 2005.]