Verdict Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Verdict, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Verdict?

(n) Verdict is the official proclamation of decision by the jury after the trial is completed. A verdict is an enforceable decision subject to the remedies available in the statute. A judgment by judge need not be always a verdict

History and Definition of Verdict

A verdict is typically understood to be the official decision made by a jury at the end of a trial. After hearing evidence and arguments from both sides, the jury is responsible for determining the facts of the case and arriving at a verdict. This decision is then announced in open court and recorded as the official outcome of the trial.

In the United States, verdicts must generally be unanimous in both criminal and civil cases, meaning that all jurors must agree on the same decision. However, some states allow for non-unanimous verdicts in certain circumstances. In criminal cases, a guilty verdict means that the defendant has been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crime charged. In civil cases, a verdict determines whether the defendant is liable for damages or other remedies sought by the plaintiff.

Examples of Verdict

  1. The jury deliberated for several days before finally arriving at a verdict of guilty.
  2. The judge instructed the jury to return to the deliberation room and continue working toward a verdict.
  3. In a civil case, the jury may be asked to render a verdict on specific issues rather than the case as a whole.
  4. The verdict in this case is significant because it sets a precedent for future cases involving similar issues.
  5. In some cases, a defendant may appeal a verdict if they believe that legal errors or misconduct took place during the trial.

Legal Terms Similar to Verdict

  • Judgment: A formal decision made by a judge or court based on the evidence and arguments presented during a trial.
  • Acquittal: A verdict in a criminal case in which the defendant is found not guilty of the charges brought against them.
  • Conviction: A verdict in a criminal case in which the defendant is found guilty of the charges brought against them.
  • Finding: A determination made by a judge, jury, or administrative agency in a legal case. Findings may pertain to issues of fact or law.
  • Ruling: A decision made by a judge or court on a procedural or substantive matter in a legal case.