Directed Verdict for Plaintiffs

A plaintiff in a civil lawsuit has the burden and obligation to prove his or her case. In a jury trial, it is standard practice for a defendant to move for a directed verdict when the plaintiff is done presenting his or her case. A directed verdict is where the Court finds for the defendant without submitting the case to a jury, usually on the grounds that the plaintiff did not present sufficient evidence on all elements of the plaintiff’s claim to where the plaintiff would win. In other words, there is no need for the jury to deliberate.

A verdict may not be directed in favor of the plaintiff/party having the burden of proof. Brandt v. Pelican, 856 S.W.2d 658, 664 (Mo. 1993). There is an exception, however, if an opponent admits basic facts upon which the claim of the proponent rests, and thus makes it to where there is no question of fact left in the case. Id. (citing Coleman v. Jackson County, 160 S.W.2d 691, 693 (Mo. 1942).


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