A ruling entered by a trial judge after determining that there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to reach a different conclusion. The trial court may grant a directed verdict either sua sponte or upon a motion by either party. A directed verdict may be granted at any time, but usually occurs after at least one party has been fuilly heard.
Motions for a directed verdict are governed by: Rule 50 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
For a discussion of directed verdicts in the context of criminal litigation: See Carlisle v. United States, 517 US 416 (1996).
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
A ruling by a judge, typically made after the plaintiff has presented all of its evidence but before the defendant puts on its case, that awards judgment to the defendant. A directed verdict is usually made because the judge concludes the plaintiff has failed to offer the minimum amount of evidence to prove the case even if there were no opposition. In other words, the judge is saying that, as a matter of law, no reasonable jury could decide in the plaintiff's favor. In a criminal case, a directed verdict is a judgment of acquittal for the defendant.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:14 pm