When a litigant who is unsatisfied with a trial court’s ruling files an appeal, the burden is on that appellant to convince the higher court that a mistake was made in the court below.
This can be a difficult task, especially when one of the grounds for the appeal is the alleged bias or favor of the trial court judge.
Facts of the Case
In a recent malpractice case decided by the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the plaintiffs were the parents of an infant who died just days after her birth. The plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and wrongful death claims resulted in a jury verdict in favor of the defendant medical providers. The plaintiffs appealed the trial court’s denial of their motion for a new trial, alleging that the trial judge had made various mistakes in her evidentiary rulings and instructions to the jury. The plaintiffs also averred that the trial court judge had engaged in “persistent favoritism and biased conduct” toward the defendants.