Weiss v. United Fire & Casualty Co

In Weiss v. United Fire & Casualty Co., 197 Wis. 2d 365, 541 N.W.2d 753 (1995), the Court set out the standard of review we are to apply when reviewing the trial court's decision to dismiss a claim based on evidence insufficiency: A motion challenging the sufficiency of the evidence may not be granted "unless the court is satisfied that, considering all credible evidence in the light most favorable to the party against whom the motion is made, there is no credible evidence to sustain a finding in favor of such a party." This standard applies both to a motion to dismiss at the close of a plaintiff's case and to a motion for a directed verdict or dismissal at the close of all the evidence when the motion challenges the sufficiency of the evidence. It also applies both to the circuit court and to "an appellate court on review of the trial court's determination" of the motion. .... Because a circuit court is better positioned to decide the weight and relevancy of the testimony, an appellate court "must also give substantial deference to the trial court's better ability to assess the evidence." An appellate court should not overturn a circuit court's decision to dismiss for insufficient evidence unless the record reveals that the circuit court was "clearly wrong." (197 Wis. 2d at 388-389.)