Logourl black
From our private database of 12,700+ case briefs...

Montgomery Ward & Co. v. Duncan

United States Supreme Court
311 U.S. 243 (1940)


Facts

Duncan (plaintiff) filed suit against Montgomery Ward & Co. (Montgomery) (defendant) for negligence. After all evidence had been presented, Montgomery filed a motion for a directed verdict. The trial court refused to enter a directed verdict, and the jury rendered a verdict for Duncan. After judgment was entered, Montgomery filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (j.n.o.v.) or “a new trial in the alternative.” The motion expressly stated that the request for a new trial was conditioned on the court’s refusal to enter a j.n.o.v. The court determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the verdict and entered judgment in favor of Montgomery. Duncan moved the court for a formal denial of Montgomery’s motion for a new trial, but the court did not provide one. Duncan appealed, and the court of appeals reversed and remanded the case, directing the trial court to enter final judgment for the plaintiff. In so doing, the court of appeals refused to remand the case and allow Montgomery’s motion for a new trial to be considered because the motion was conditioned on a denial of the j.n.o.v. Montgomery petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari, which was granted.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 121,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 12,700 briefs, keyed to 172 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.