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Definition of Verdict

The verdict is the jury's decision in a legal case. The verdict will find for either the plaintiff or the defendant. The verdict is made after the jury or judge has reviewed the evidence and heard the arguments from both the plaintiff and defendant's legal team.

After the closing of the case the jury will receive instructions from the judge and will have a period of time to deliberate the facts of the case and determine whether the defendant is liable for the plaintiff's injuries or loss and decide the appropriate compensation for damages. Deliberation can last hours, days or weeks. When the jury reaches their verdict it will be announced by the judge in open court.

State laws can vary, but generally the courts require the 12 person jury to make a unanimous decision, although some states will allow compensation if there is a majority. If the jury cannot reach a verdict the court may dismiss the case through a mistrial and allow the prosecution or plaintiff to file their case again.

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