A motion for judgment as a matter of law asks the court to enter a judgment based on the conclusion that no reasonable jury could reach a different conclusion. The motion is made before the case is submitted to the jury but after a party has been fully heard on the issue. The motion argues that whatever evidence exists for finding for the opposing party is legally insufficient. The rules for making a motion for judgment as a matter of law in federal civil proceedings are found in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 50. The motion is required to specify the judgment sought and the law and facts that entitle the movant to the judgment. If the motion is denied by the court, it may be renewed under FRCP Rule 50b, in which case it is sometimes known as a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. A motion for judgment as a matter of law is also referred to as a motion for a directed verdict.
[Last updated in July of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]