General Verdict Law and Legal Definition

General Verdict is a verdict by which the jury determines which side in a particular controversy wins, as opposed to resolving specific fact questions. The verdict provides a comprehensive decision on an issue. General verdict is the most common form of verdict. In civil cases the jury makes a decision in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant, determining liability and the amount of the amount of money in damages to be awarded. In criminal cases the jury determines whether the defendant is "guilty" or "not guilty" of the charge or charges against him/her. In cases involving a major crime the verdict must be unanimous. In minor criminal cases, however, some states allow either a majority vote or a vote of 10 to 2. In civil cases many states have moved away from the unanimity requirement and now allow votes of 10 to 2.