Directed Verdict

Overview

A directed verdict is 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 fully 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.

Directed verdicts have been largely replaced by judgment as a matter of law (JMOL)

Further Reading

For more on directed verdicts, see this Florida State University Law Review article and this George Washington University Law School Faculty Scholarship