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FINDLAW LEGAL DICTIONARY

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Verdict

verdict n

[alteration (partly conformed to Medieval Latin veredictum ) of Anglo-French veirdit statement, finding, verdict, from Old French veir true (from Latin verus ) + dit saying, from Latin dictum ]
1 : the usually unanimous finding or decision of a jury on one or more matters (as counts of an indictment or complaint) submitted to it in trial that ordinarily in civil actions is for the plaintiff or for the defendant and in criminal actions is guilty or not guilty compare judgment

compromise verdict
: a verdict produced not by sincere unanimous agreement on guilt or liability but by an improper surrender of individual convictions
;specif
: an impermissible verdict by a jury that is unable to agree on liability and so compromises on an award of damages that is less than what it should be if the plaintiff has a right of recovery free from any doubts

di·rect·ed verdict
1 : a verdict granted by the court when the party with the burden of proof has failed to present sufficient evidence of a genuine issue of material fact that must be submitted to a jury for its resolution [the order of the court granting a motion for a directed verdict is effective without any assent of the jury "Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 50(a)"] see also judgment notwithstanding the verdict at judgment NOTE: Motions for summary judgment, a directed verdict, or for judgment notwithstanding the verdict are all based on the assertion that there is no material fact at issue. A motion for a directed verdict is made after the opponent has presented the evidence.
2 : a verdict of acquittal ordered by the court on the ground that the evidence is not sufficient to support a conviction when viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution
: judgment of acquittal at judgment [motions for directed verdict are abolished and motions for judgment of acquittal shall be used in their place "Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 29(a)"]

directed verdict of acquittal
: directed verdict in this entry

excessive verdict
: a verdict that awards damages grossly disproportionate to injury and shocks the court's sense of justice and that may be remedied by a lessening of damages or a new trial see also remittitur

general verdict
: a verdict that is either for the plaintiff or for the defendant and is often returned with answers to interrogatories on questions of fact [where there exists a conflict between the general verdict and the interrogatories, the trial court may determine that the answers to the interrogatories prevail "Berk v. Matthews , 559 N.E.2d 1301 (1990)"] see also interrogatory , special interrogatory compare special verdict in this entry

in·struct·ed verdict
: directed verdict in this entry

par·tial verdict
1 : a verdict in which a jury does not find all of the defendants in a trial to be guilty
2 a : a verdict that finds a defendant guilty on some counts and not guilty on others
b : a verdict in which a jury is unable to reach or has not yet reached agreement on all of the offenses under consideration NOTE: The acceptance of partial verdicts before a jury is finished with deliberations may interfere with the deliberative process; having a jury achieve unanimity on a higher charge first discourages compromise verdicts on lesser included offenses. In some jurisdictions it has been considered proper to afford the jury the opportunity to render a partial verdict of acquittal on a higher charge to avoid declaring a mistrial because of a hopeless deadlock only on a lesser included offense; such a verdict would prevent double jeopardy on the higher charge.

quo·tient verdict
[kwō-shənt-]
: a usually impermissible verdict that is based on a numerical average of the amounts written down by jurors (as percentages of fault in a comparative negligence case)
;specif
: a verdict that awards damages based on the average of the sums written down by the jurors under an agreement that all will be bound by the average figure [quotient verdicts are invalid and constitute grounds for a mistrial "Faverty v. McDonald's Restaurants of Oregon, Inc. , 892 P.2d 703 (1995)"]

repugnant verdict
: an impermissible verdict that contradicts itself since the defendant is convicted and acquitted of different crimes having identical elements in the same transaction used chiefly in New York

re·spon·sive verdict
[ri-spÄ n-siv-]
: a verdict that responds to the indictment and accords with statutorily prescribed findings for a particular charge that include guilty, not guilty, and guilty of a prescribed lesser included offense used in Louisiana NOTE: A responsive verdict of guilty on a lesser included offense must be supported by the evidence.

special verdict
: a verdict that consists of specific findings of fact (as of liability) in response to interrogatories, that often includes determinations of damages, and that is used by the court in the formation of a judgment compare general verdict in this entry
2 : an amount awarded in a verdict [reduced the ]



Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.