1. [syn: verdict, finding of fact]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Verdict \Ver"dict\, n. [OE. verdit, OF. verdit, veirdit, LL.
verdictum, veredictum; L. vere truly (fr. verus true) +
dictum a saying, a word, fr. dicere, dictum, to say. See
Very, and Dictum.]
1. (Law) The answer of a jury given to the court concerning
any matter of fact in any cause, civil or criminal,
committed to their examination and determination; the
finding or decision of a jury on the matter legally
submitted to them in the course of the trial of a cause.
Note: The decision of a judge or referee, upon an issue of
fact, is not called a verdict, but a finding, or a
finding of fact. --Abbott.
2. Decision; judgment; opinion pronounced; as, to be
condemned by the verdict of the public.
These were enormities condemned by the most natural
verdict of common humanity. --South.
Two generations have since confirmed the verdict
which was pronounced on that night. --Macaulay.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: (law) the findings of a jury on issues of fact submitted to
it for decision; can be used in formulating a judgment
[syn: verdict, finding of fact]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
23 Moby Thesaurus words for "verdict":
acquittal, action, award, condemnation, consideration, decision,
decree, deliverance, determination, diagnosis, dictum, doom,
finding, judgment, landmark decision, order, penalty, precedent,
prognosis, pronouncement, resolution, ruling, sentence
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
VERDICT, Practice. The unanimous decision made by a jury and reported to the
court on the matters lawfully submitted to them in the course of the trial
of a cause.
2. Verdicts are of several kinds, namely, privy and public, general,
partial, and special.
3. A privy verdict is one delivered privily to a judge out of court. A
verdict of this kind is delivered to the judge after the jury have agreed,
for the convenience of the jury, who after having given it, separate. This
verdict is of no force whatever; and this practice being exceedingly liable
to abuse, is seldom if ever allowed in the United States.
4. A public verdict is one delivered in open court. This verdict has
its full effect, and unless set aside is conclusive on the facts, and when
judgment is rendered upon it, bars all future controversy in personal
actions. A private verdict must afterwards be given publicly in order to
give it any effect.
5. A general verdict is one by which the jury pronounce at the same
time on the fact and the law, either in favor of the plaintiff or defendant.
Co. Lit. 228; 4 Bl. Com. 461; Code of Prac. of Lo. art. 519. The jury may
find such a verdict whenever they think fit to do so.
6. A partial verdict in a criminal case is one by which the jury acquit
the defendant of a part of the accusation against him, and find him guilty
of the residue: the following are examples of this kind of a verdict,
namely: when they acquit the defendant on one count and find him guilty on
another, which is indeed a species of general verdict, as he is generally
acquitted on one charge, and generally convicted on another; when the charge
is of an offence of a higher, and includes one of an inferior degree, the
jury may convict of the less atrocious by finding a partial verdict. Thus,
upon an indictment for burglary, the defendant may be convicted of larceny,
and acquitted of the nocturnal entry; upon an indictment for murder, he may
be convicted of manslaughter; robbery may be softened to simple larceny; a
battery, into a common assault. 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 638, and the cases there
7. A special verdict is one by which the facts of the case are put on
the record, and the law is submitted to the judges. Lit. Sel. Cas. 376;
Breese, 176; 4 Rand. 504; 1 Hen. & Munf. 235; 1 Wash. C. C. 499; 2 Mason,
31. The jury have an option, instead of finding the negative or affirmative
of the issue, as in a general verdict, to find all the facts of the case as
disclosed by the evidence before them, and, after so setting them forth, to
conclude to the following effect: "that they are ignorant, in point of law,
on which side they ought upon those facts to find the issue; that if upon
the whole matter the court shall be of opinion that the issue is proved for
the plaintiff, they find for the plaintiff accordingly, and assess the
damages at such a sum, &c.; but if the court are of an opposite opinion,
then they find vice versa." This form of finding is called a special
verdict. In practice they have nothing to do with the formal preparation of
the special verdict. When it is agreed that a verdict of that kind is to be
given, the jury merely declare their opinion as to any fact remaining in
doubt, and then the verdict is adjusted without their further interference.
It is settled, under the correction of the judge, by the counsel and,
attorneys on either, side, according to the state of the facts as found by
the jury, with respect to all particulars on which they have delivered an
opinion, and, with respect to other particulars, according to the state of
facts, which it is agreed, that they ought to find upon the evidence before
them. The special verdict, when its form is thus settled is, together with
the whole proceedings on the trial, then entered on record; and the question
of law, arising on the facts found, is argued before the court in bank, and
decided by that court as in case of a demurrer. If either party be
dissatisfied with their decision, he may afterwards resort to a court of
error. Steph. Pl. 113; 1 Archb. Pr. 189; 3 Bl. Com. 377; Bac. Abr. Verdict,
8. There is another method of finding a special verdict this is when
the jury find a verdict generally for the plaintiff, but subject
nevertheless to the opinion of the judges or the court above on a special
case stated by the counsel on both sides with regard to a matter of law. 3
Bl. Com. 378; and see 10 Mass. R. 64; 11 Mass. R. 358. See, generally, Bouv.
Inst. Index, h.t..