Motion for Directed Verdict – request the court to rule in a party’s favor before the case is submitted to the jury, or after a contrary jury verdict, because there’s no legally sufficient evidentiary basis on which a jury could find for the other party

     This page contains definitions for:

  • Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law
  • Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict
  • Motion for a Directed Verdict

   In the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 50), these motions have been consolidated into Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, which also replaces the historically used Demurrer to Evidence.

Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law
(1956)

1. A party’s request that the court enter a judgment in its favor before the case is submitted to the jury, or after a contrary jury verdict, because there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis on which a jury could find for the other party. * Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party may move (make motion) for judgment as a matter of law anytime before the case has been submitted to the jury.  This kind of motion was formerly known as a motion for directed verdict (and still is in many jurisdictions).  If the motion is denied and the case is submitted to the jury, resulting in an unfavorable verdict, the motion may be renewed within ten days after entry of the judgment. This aspect of the motion replaces the court paper formerly known as a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Fed. R. Civ. P. 50.

Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict:
(1822)

1. A party’s request that the court enter a judgment in its favor despite the jury’s contrary verdict because there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a jury to find for the other party. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this procedure has been replaced by the provision for a motion for judgment as a matter of law, which must be presented before the case has been submitted to the jury but can be reasserted if it is denied and the jury returns an unfavorable verdict. Fed. R. Civ. P. 50.— aka motion for j.n.o.v.

Motion for a Directed Verdict:
(1904)

1. A party’s request that the court enter judgment in its favor before submitting the case to the jury because there is no legally sufficient evidentiary foundation on which a reasonable jury could find for the other party.  Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the equivalent court paper is known as a motion for judgment as a matter of law (Rule 50). – Abbr. MDV. — aka motion for directed
verdict; motion for a trial order of dismissal; TOD motion..

Verdict:
(15c.)

1. A jury’s finding or decision on the factual issues of a case.

Directed Verdict:
(1912)

1. A ruling by a trial judge taking a case from the jury because the evidence will permit only one reasonable verdict. – aka instructed verdict.

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is pertinent to people everywhere, and is being utilized in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]:  Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

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