Directed Verdict

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.

For a discussion of directed verdicts in the context of criminal litigation:  See Carlisle v. United States, 517 US 416 (1996).