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What is a Motion for judgment not withstanding the verdict?



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At the end of a trial, the jury renders its verdict, guilty or innocent, liable or not liable. Sometimes a jury gets it wrong though and renders a verdict that is obviously mistaken or legally impossible, or so one party thinks. Rules of court procedure allow the guilty or liable party to make a motion for judgment notwithstanding the fact that the jury verdict went against him or her. The party making the motion has to show that the jury could not legally or logically have come to the decision it made and so it must be wrong. You can think of it as if it is a sort of a mini-appeal of the verdict as soon as it is handed down. Of course it isn't a true appeal, which goes to an appellate court and will include more issues; but the party is challenging the correctness of the verdict.