Here’s some succinct appellate standard of review language from a recent First Circuit decision (Moulton v. Shell Oil Products LLC, Docket No. 05-2771 (April 18, 2008)):
We review the denial of judgment as a matter of law de novo as to issues of law. See Rodriguez-Torres, 399 F.3d at 57. As to matters of fact, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict, asking only whether a rational jury could on the basis of that evidence find as the jury has. See id. We review a denial of a motion for a new trial for "a manifest abuse of discretion." United States v. George, 448 F.3d 96, 101 (1st Cir. 2006). We "will order a new trial only if the verdict is against the demonstrable weight of the credible evidence or results in a blatant miscarriage of justice." Whitfield v. Meléndez-Rivera, 431 F.3d 1, 9 (1st Cir. 2005) (internal quotation omitted). We will uphold a jury award if it is a result of "any rational appraisal or estimate of the damages that could be based on the evidence before the jury." Data Gen. Corp. v. Grunman Sys. Support Corp., 36 F.3d 1147, 1172 (1st Cir. 1994) (quoting Anthony v. G.M.D. Airline Servs., 17 F.3d 490, 493 (1st Cir. 1994)).