Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
A ruling by a judge, typically made after the plaintiff has presented all of her evidence but before the defendant puts on his 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 her 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 favour. In a criminal case, a directed verdict is a judgement of acquittal for the defendant.
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 that 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.
A directed verdict is a verdict that a judge has taken from the jury or ordered the jury to find without deliberation. A directed verdict is done when the prosecution or the defence lawyer does not have the ability to prove their case sufficiently and the evidence is very weak either in favour of the plaintiff or the defendant.
Directed verdicts can also be made after the plaintiff or defendant makes a motion for a directed verdict, specifically asking the court to issue a directed verdict in that party’s favour. These motions are generally not granted until both sides in the case have presented their arguments. Directed verdicts do not happen very often because generally there is some evidence that could create reasonable doubt and should be evaluated by the jury or judge during the trial phase.
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This glossary post was last updated: 27th April, 2020 | 10 Views.