Civil Procedure Directed Verdicts Law and Legal Definition

A directed verdicts is a verdict by a jury based on an instruction by a trial judge that they must render that verdict because one of the parties has not, as a matter of law, presented credible testimony on some key element of the claim or of the defense. It is a determination that the law, as applied to the facts presented in the case, could lead a reasonable person to no other conclusion. In other words, it is a jury verdict ordered by the trial judge on the basis that the party with the burden of proof has failed to present a prima facie case. 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 violate the constitutional right of the accused to a jury trial.