directed verdict

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Directed Verdict

A procedural device whereby the decision in a case is taken out of the hands of the jury by the judge.

A verdict is generally directed in a jury trial where there is no other possible conclusion because the side with the Burden of Proof has not offered sufficient evidence to establish a Prima Facie case.

A directed verdict is provided for by federal and state rules of Civil Procedure. In a criminal action, an acquittal may be directed in favor of a defendant, based upon rules of Criminal Procedure

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

directed verdict

n. a verdict by a jury based on the specific direction by a trial judge that they must bring in that verdict because one of the parties has not proved his/her/its case as a matter of law (failed to present credible testimony on some key element of the claim or of the defense). A judge in a criminal case may direct a verdict of acquittal on the basis the prosecution has not proved its case, but the judge may not direct a verdict of guilty, since that would deprive the accused of the constitutional right to a jury trial. (See: judgment, verdict, element, acquittal, jury trial)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

directed verdict

a verdict ordered by a court preventing the matter being considered by the jury, the matter being determined by law rather than fact.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
[R]equiring a formal motion for directed verdict has several unfortunate
As noted in McKinnon, "it would be excessively strict to confine the policy of leniency to cases where the judge happens to have reserved action on the motion for directed verdict when it was made (and never renewed)."188 Such an approach arbitrarily grants a procedural victory to plaintiffs in cases where the trial judge opted to deny, rather than "reserve decision" on, an early motion for judgment as a matter of law.
1976) ("There is a better reason for establishing the motion for directed verdict as a condition precedent to a motion for judgment n.o.v.
The court also noted, however, the generally "stringent" nature of the requirement that a party move for a directed verdict at the close of all the evidence, and warned that "procedural wrangles would multiply if the requirement could be deemed nonessential upon a mere showing of a court's continuing disinclination to grant [a motion for directed verdict made prior to the close of all the evidence]." 409 F.2d at 971.
after the motion for directed verdict was brief, and the court somehow indicated that renewal
1986) (acknowledging that defendant's motion for directed verdict at the close of plaintiffs case "may just well be a good motion," but denying the motion "without prejudice to reverse myself," so that the court had an opportunity to study the parties' briefs); Halsell v.
With respect to cases in which there was "slight prejudice," the court suggested that "a lulling remark by the judge might be necessary to tip the balance in favor of leniency," but where the prejudice was more than slight, "the motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict should be dismissed." The court concluded that "it would be excessively strict to confine the policy of leniency to cases where the judge happens to have reserved action on the motion for directed verdict when it was made (and never renewed)." 750 F.2d at 1390.
A defense motion for directed verdict that is denied at the close of the plaintiff's case must be renewed at the close of all the evidence in order to preserve the denial of the motion for appellate review.(26)