1. Federal courts apply Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 52(b) “Plain Error. A plain error that affects substantial rights may be considered even though it was not brought to the court's attention.”).
      1. Under plain error review, if a prosecutor commits an error at trial and the defendant does not object to it, the defendant later may ask the appellate court to order a new trial, but the court will do so only if the error was plain, the error affected the defendant’s substantial rights. See Ramey, 721 N.W.2d at 300 (describing the test for reviewing unobjected-to prosecutorial misconduct). See also State v. Powers, 654 N.W.2d 667, 678 (Minn. 2003) (identifying, based on the seriousness of the prosecutorial misconduct, two distinct standards for reviewing whether the defendant’s right to a fair trial was impaired); State v. Wahlberg, 296 N.W.2d 408, 420 (Minn. 1980) (observing that reversal is warranted only where misconduct “viewed in the light of the whole record, appears to be inexcusable and so serious and prejudicial” that the defendant was denied the right to a fair trial).
        1. This is a standard with a high threshold of persuasion: the trial error must have been so clear under applicable law at the time of conviction, and so prejudicial to the defendant’s right to a fair trial, that the defendant’s failure to object-and thereby present the trial court with an opportunity to avoid prejudice-should not forfeit his right to a remedy. Rairdon v. State, 557 N.W.2d 318, 323 (Minn. 1996)
          1. See, e.g., State v. Parker, 353 N.W.2d 122, 128 (Minn. 1984) (defendant’s “failure to object to the prosecutor's statements implies that the comments were not prejudicial.”). 8 State v. Blanche, 696 N.W.2d 351, 375 (Minn. 2005) (citing State v. Sanders, 598 N.W.2d 650, 656 (Minn. 1999)); see also MINN. R. EVID. 103(d) (stating that, without a proper objection, the court may take notice of only “errors in fundamental law or of plain errors affecting substantial rights . .”). Ramey, 721 N.W.2d at 297-98. See also State v. Pilot, 595 N.W.2d 511, 518 (Minn. 1999).
    1. No error in either the admission or the exclusion of evidence and no error or defect in any ruling or order or in anything done or omitted by the court or by any of the parties is ground for granting a new trial or for setting aside a verdict or for vacating, modifying, or otherwise disturbing a judgment or order, unless refusal to take such action appears to the court inconsistent with substantial justice.  The court at every stage of the proceeding must disregard any error or defect in the proceeding which does not affect the substantial rights of the parties.
    1. i.e. the right to a fair trial. See Ramey, 721 N.W.2d at 300. The court uses the phrase “the defendant’s substantial rights” but explains the meaning of that concept by stating that “[t]he overarching concern is that [prosecutorial] misconduct may deny the defendant’s right to a fair trial.”
      1. ... and the court determines that “it should address the error to ensure fairness and the integrity of the judicial proceedings.” citing State v. Griller, 583 N.W.2d at 736, 740 (Minn. 1998). The court normally described the plain error test as having “three prongs,” in that “there must be (1) error; (2) that is plain; and (3) the error must affect substantial rights.” To date, the court has not explained whether the plain error test is better characterized as a four-prong test, with the fourth prong being a requirement that the appellate court must find a reason to “address the error to ensure fairness and the integrity of the judicial proceedings.” See id; see also State v. Dobbins, 725 N.W.2d 492, 508 (Minn. 2006). If the three prongs of the plain error test are met, we will “then assess whether [we] should address the error to ensure fairness and the integrity of the judicial proceedings.” We will correct the error only if the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of the judicial proceedings is seriously affected.” citing State v. Morton, 701 N.W.2d 225, 234 (Minn. 2005).
    1. 51.04  Assigning Error; Plain Error      (a)  Assigned Error.  A party may assign as error:             (1)  an error in an instruction actually given if that party made a proper objection under Rule 51.03, or             (2)  a failure to give an instruction if that party made a proper request under Rule 51.01, and—unless the court made a definitive ruling on the record rejecting the request—also made a proper objection under Rule 51.03.    (b)  Plain Error.  A court may consider a plain error in the instructions affecting substantial rights that has not been preserved as require by Rule 51.04(a)(1) or (2).
  6. Only error affecting substantial rights is actionable.
    1. MINNESOTA RULES OF EVIDENCE Rule 103. Rulings on Evidence
      1. (a) Effect of erroneous ruling. Error may not be predicated upon a ruling which admits or excludes evidence unless a substantial right of the party is affected, and (1) Objection. In case the ruling is one admitting evidence a timely objection or motion to strike appears of record, stating the specific ground of objection, if the specific ground was not apparent from the context; or (2) Offer of proof. In case the ruling is one excluding evidence, the substance of the evidence was made known to the court by offer or was apparent from the context within which questions were asked. Once the court makes a definitive ruling on the record admitting or excluding evidence, either at or before trial, a party need not renew an objection or offer of proof to preserve a claim of error.
        1. (b) Record of offer and ruling. The court may add any other or further statement which shows the character of the evidence, the form in which it was offered, the objection made, and the ruling thereon. Upon request of any party, the court shall place its ruling on the record. The court may direct the making of an offer in question and answer form.
          1. (c) Hearing of jury. In jury cases, proceedings shall be conducted, to the extent practicable, so as to prevent inadmissible evidence from being suggested to the jury by any means, such as making statements or offers of proof or asking questions in the hearing of the jury.
          2. (d) Error. Nothing in this rule precludes taking notice of errors in fundamental law or of plain errors affecting substantial rights although they were not brought to the attention of the court.
    1. 50.03  Granting Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law;  Conditional Rulings;  New Trial Motion      (a)  Conditional Rulings.  If the motion for judgment as a matter of law is granted, the court shall also rule on the motion for a new trial, if any, by determining whether it should be granted if the judgment is thereafter vacated or reversed, and shall specify the grounds for granting or denying the motion for the new trial.  If the motion for a new trial is thus conditionally granted, the order thereon does not affect the finality of the judgment.  In case the motion for a new trial has been conditionally granted and the judgment is reversed on appeal, the new trial shall proceed unless the appellate court has otherwise ordered.  In case the motion for a new trial has been conditionally denied, the respondent on appeal may assert error in that denial; and if the judgment is reversed on appeal, subsequent proceedings shall be in accordance with the order of the appellate court.    (b)  Timing.  Any motion for a new trial under Rule 59 by a party against whom judgment as a matter of law is rendered shall be served and heard within the times specified in Rule 59 for the service and hearing of a motion for a new trial.
    1. (d)          Intervention.  The judge should generally refrain from intervening in the examination of witnesses or argument of counsel; however, the court shall intervene upon its own initiative to prevent a miscarriage of justice or obvious error of law.
    1. (a)          Officer of Court.  The lawyer is an officer of the court and should at all times uphold the honor and maintain the dignity of the profession, maintaining at all times a respectful attitude toward the court.
      1. See Rule 1.02.  It is not intended that the failure to follow these rules, in itself, would be the subject of claimed error in the conduct of the trial court proceedings in the absence of aggravating circumstances, such as repeated violations or persistent violation after objections by a party or direction from the court.
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  11. Map made by Lisa Stinocher O'Hanlon using XMind software. 03.05.2013 http://www.xmind.net/share/hennalady/
  12. ERROR n. Black's Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004), Page 1644
    1. error n. 1. An assertion or belief that does not conform to objective reality; a belief that what is false is true or that what is true is false; MISTAKE.
      1. CLEAR ERROR
        1. clear error. A trial judge's decision or action that appears to a reviewing court to have been unquestionably erroneous. Even though a clear error occurred, it may not warrant reversal. [Cases: Appeal and Error 999(1), 1008.1(5). C.J.S. Appeal and Error §§ 784, 805, 810.]
          1. CLERICAL ERROR
          2. clerical error. An error resulting from a minor mistake or inadvertence, esp. in writing or copying something on the record, and not from judicial reasoning or determination. Among the boundless examples of clerical errors are omitting an appendix from a document; typing an incorrect number; mistranscribing a word; and failing to log a call. A court can correct a clerical error at any time, even after judgment has been entered. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(a); Fed. R. Crim. P. 36. — Also termed scrivener's error; vitium clerici. See VITIUM SCRIPTORIS. [Cases: Federal Civil Procedure 2653; Judgment 306. C.J.S. Judgments §§ 280–281.]
          4. cumulative error. The prejudicial effect of two or more trial errors that may have been harmless individually. The cumulative effect of multiple harmless errors may amount to reversible error. See CUMULATIVE-ERROR ANALYSIS See REISSUABLE ERROR.
    2. 2. A mistake of law or of fact in a tribunal's judgment, opinion, or order. [Cases: Federal Civil Procedure 2653; Judgment 355–356. C.J.S. Judgments §§ 314–315.]
        1. substantial error. An error that affects a party's substantive rights or the outcome of the case. A substantial error may require reversal on appeal. Cf. harmless error. technical error. See harmless error.
          2. reversible error. An error that affects a party's substantive rights or the case's outcome, and thus is grounds for reversal if the party properly objected. — Also termed harmful error; prejudicial error; fatal error. [Cases: Administrative Law and Procedure 764; Appeal and Error 1025–1074; Criminal Law 1162. C.J.S. Appeal and Error §§ 825–830; Criminal Law §§ 1713–1715; Juries §§ 421–422; Justices of the Peace § 240; Public Administrative Law and Procedure § 225.]
          3. PLAIN ERROR
          4. plain error. An error that is so obvious and prejudicial that an appellate court should address it despite the parties' failure to raise a proper objection. A plain error is often said to be so obvious and substantial that failure to correct it would infringe a party's due-process rights and damage the integrity of the judicial process. See Fed. R. Evid. 103(d). — Also termed fundamental error; error apparent of record. [Cases: Appeal and Error 181; Criminal Law 1030. C.J.S. Appeal and Error §§ 202, 207; Criminal Law § 1682.]
          5. Federal procedural rules define plain error as a highly prejudicial error affecting substantial rights.
          6. Plain error is an error declared by an appellate court to be patently obvious in a lower court decision or action and causes a reversal. When a defendant raises an issue on appeal that was not raised before the judge, the court of appeals may review for plain error.
          7. To be plain error:  (1) there must be an error; (2) the error must be plain (clear or obvious); and (3) the error must materially prejudice the substantial rights of the defendant).
          8. The appellant has the burden to show plain error, which is error that is clear or obvious and that materially prejudices the substantial rights of appellant; once appellant has met his burden of persuasion, the burden shifts to the government to show that the error was not prejudicial.
        1. manifest error. An error that is plain and indisputable, and that amounts to a complete disregard of the controlling law or the credible evidence in the record. [Cases: Appeal and Error 999(1), 1008.1(7). C.J.S. Appeal and Error §§ 784, 805, 810.] See OBVIOUS ERROR.
          2. manifest constitutional error. An error by the trial court that has an identifiably negative impact on the trial to such a degree that the constitutional rights of a party are compromised. A manifest constitutional error can be reviewed by a court of appeals even if the appellant did not object at trial.
          3. INVITED ERROR
          4. invited error. An error that a party cannot complain of on appeal because the party, through conduct, encouraged or prompted the trial court to make the erroneous ruling. [Cases: Administrative Law and Procedure 742; Appeal and Error 882; Criminal Law 1137. C.J.S. Appeal and Error §§ 745–747; Public Administrative Law and Procedure § 214.]
          5. HARMLESS ERROR
          6. harmless errors See ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR. A harmless error is not grounds for reversal. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 61; Fed. R. Crim. P. 52. — Also termed technical error; error in vacuo. Cf. substantial error. [Cases: Administrative Law and Procedure 764; Appeal and Error 1025–1074. C.J.S. Appeal and Error §§ 825–830; Juries §§ 421–422; Justices of the Peace § 240; Public Administrative Law and Procedure § 225.]