Juries: Redirected Verdict

When a collapsing staircase left him with a broken leg, a Boston furniture mover sued the owner of the building for $35,000. After each side presented its case, the attorney for the building owner complained that the moving man had come nowhere near justifying his claim. Superior Court Judge Reuben Lurie agreed, and he upheld a motion asking for a directed verdict in favor of the defendant. Under Massachusetts law, there was only one formality left. The clerk intoned: "Mr. Foreman and members of the jury, hearken to your verdict. The jury finds for the defendant by order of...

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