Rule 50(B) Motion
The trial court granted the Rule 50(b) request for a judgment as a matter of law. In reviewing a ruling on a motion for a judgment as a matter of law, this Court is bound by the same standard as the trial court:
"We must determine whether the party with the burden of proof has produced sufficient evidence of a conflict warranting a jury's consideration. Macon County Comm'n v. Sanders, 555 So. 2d 1054, 1056 (Ala. 1990); Bussey v. John Deere Co., 531 So. 2d 860, 862 (Ala. 1988). the evidence must be viewed in a light most favorable to ... the nonmoving party. Twilley v. Daubert Coated Products, Inc., 536 So. 2d 1364, 1367 (Ala. 1988); Wadsworth v. Yancey Bros. Co., 423 So. 2d 1343, 1345 (Ala. 1982)." Continental Eagle Corp. v. Mokrzycki, 611 So. 2d 313, 319 (Ala. 1992).
Rule 50(b) reads: "Whenever a motion for a judgment as a matter of law made at the close of all the evidence is denied or for any reason is not granted, the court is deemed to have submitted the action to the jury subject to a later determination of the legal questions raised by the motion."
Implicit in this rule is the requirement that the party moving under Rule 50(b) for a judgment as a matter of law has already made a Rule 50(a) motion for a judgment as a matter of law at the conclusion of all the evidence. 1 Champ Lyons, Jr., Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure Annotated, 50.2, p. 840 (3d ed. 1996);
German Auto, Inc. v. Tamburello, 565 So. 2d 238, 240 (Ala. 1990);
Denton v. Foley Athletic Club, 578 So. 2d 1314 (Ala. Civ. App. 1990). However, this Court has restricted this requirement to issues involving sufficiency of the evidence:
"The trial court is not fully prepared to determine the 'insufficiency' issue (i.e., the lack of proof) until the close of all the evidence; and it is the wisdom of the revisit requirement that the motion for judgment as a matter of law made after trial, formerly known as a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict affords the trial judge a second look at the 'insufficiency' ground as a prerequisite for appellate review of the issue. No revisit prerequisite, however, is built into Rule 50 with respect to rulings on pure questions of law."
Barnes v. Dale, 530 So. 2d 770, 776-77 (Ala. 1988). Therefore, issues relating to the sufficiency of the evidence require a motion at the conclusion of all the evidence, but issues relating to pure questions of law do not.