I. Standards of Review
For issues not unique to patent law, we apply the law of the regional circuit in
which this appeal would otherwise lie. Thus, we apply Fifth Circuit law when reviewing
evidentiary rulings and denials of motions for JMOL or new trial.
Finisar Corp. v.
DirecTV Group, Inc., 523 F.3d 1323, 1328 (Fed. Cir. 2008).
Exnicios, 495 F.3d 169, 179 (5th Cir. 2007). JMOL is appropriate only if the court finds
that a “reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the
party on that issue.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(a)(1); see Cambridge Toxicology, 495 F.3d at
We review the denial of a new trial motion for abuse of discretion. Industrias
Magromer Cueros y Pieles S.A. v. La. Bayou Furs Inc., 293 F.3d 912, 924 (5th Cir.
2002). We will not reverse a denial absent a “clear showing” of an “absolute absence of
evidence to support the jury’s verdict.” Duff v. Werner Enters., Inc., 489 F.3d 727, 729
(5th Cir. 2007) (emphasis added).
We review jury instructions for abuse of discretion, cognizant as we do so of the
district court’s broad discretion to compose jury instructions, so long as the instructions
accurately describe the law. Baker v. Canadian Nat’l/Ill. Cent. R.R., 536 F.3d 357, 363-
64 (5th Cir. 2008); Walther v. Lone Star Gas Co., 952 F.2d 119, 125 (5th Cir. 1992); see
also Barton’s Disposal Serv., Inc. v. Tiger Corp., 886 F.2d 1430, 1434 (5th Cir. 1989).
We will reverse a judgment “only if the [jury instructions] as a whole create a
substantial doubt as to whether the jury has been properly guided in its deliberations.”
Baker, 536 F.3d at 363-64. Erroneous instructions are subject to harmless error review.