If defending a case at trial, always make sure that your attorney makes a motion for directed verdict at the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case. A motion for directed verdict is a motion for judgment in the defendant’s favor due to the failure by plaintiff to prove his or her case. Once the plaintiff is finished with his or her case and rests, at minimum, your attorney should make an oral motion for a directed verdict in your favor. A written motion is better.
This motion should be orally renewed at the conclusion of your defense, and orally renewed a third time at the conclusion of the plaintiff’s rebuttal case. Making this motion and properly renewing it allows you to preserve important objections to the evidence and legal sufficiency of the plaintiff’s case. Failure to make these motions could impact your ability to appeal an adverse ruling from the judge or jury.
Michael L. Kitchen