Mountain Dudes v. Split Rock Holdings, Inc., — F.3d —, 2019 WL 7207447 (10th Cir. Dec. 27, 2019)

In this action under Utah’s Fraudulent Transfer Act, a judgment creditor sought to undo the purportedly fraudulent modification of an agreement between the judgment debtor and its successor.  After trial, the jury deadlocked and both parties renewed their prior Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(a) motions for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50(b).  The district court granted judgment to the defendants as a matter of law on grounds neither party had raised.  On appeal, the Tenth Circuit reversed this ruling and vacated the judgment, holding that the district court erred in granting judgment as a matter of law on grounds raised sua sponte, since Rule 50’s structure requires both notice and an opportunity to correct any evidentiary deficiency before judgment can be entered.  Further concluding that neither party was entitled to judgment as a matter of law, the Tenth Circuit remanded for a new trial.