Landmark California Cases Dealing With Civil Appeal

"On appeal from the denial of a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, we determine whether there is any substantial evidence, contradicted or uncontradicted, supporting the jury's verdict. If there is, we must affirm the denial of the motion. If the appeal challenging the denial of the motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict raises purely legal questions, however, our review is de novo." (Wolf v. Walt Disney Pictures & Television (2008) 162 Cal.App.4th 1107, 1138.) The "'"appellate court must read the record in the light most advantageous to the plaintiff, resolve all conflicts in his favor, and give him the benefit of all reasonable inferences in support of the original verdict."'" (Carter v. CB Richard Ellis, Inc. (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 1313, 1320.) "When findings of fact are challenged in a civil appeal, we are bound by the familiar principle 'that the power of the appellate court begins and ends with a determination as to whether there is any substantial evidence, contradicted or uncontradicted,' to support the findings below. We view the evidence most favorably to the prevailing party, giving it the benefit of every reasonable inference and resolving all conflicts in its favor. Substantial evidence is evidence of ponderable legal significance, reasonable, credible and of solid value. However, 'substantial evidence . . . is not synonymous with "any" evidence.' Instead, the evidence must be '"substantial"' proof of the essentials which the law requires.' The focus is on the quality, rather than the quantity, of the evidence. 'Very little solid evidence may be "substantial," while a lot of extremely weak evidence might be "insubstantial."' Inferences may constitute substantial evidence as long as they are the product of logic and reason rather than speculation or conjecture. The testimony of a single witness can provide substantial evidence." (Oregel v. American Isuzu Motors, Inc. (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 1094, 1100-1101; see DiMartino v. City of Orinda (2000) 80 Cal.App.4th 329, 336.)