MOTION FOR JNOV
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A motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, better known as a motion for JNOV, is a post-trial motion that is only available after a finding of guilty following a jury trial. Generally, a motion for JNOV follows a denial a motion for verdict at the conclusion of the prosecution’s case-in-chief at trial.
A motion for JNOV requests that the trial judge enter a verdict of acquittal because the evidence was insufficient to convict as a matter of law even when all reasonable inferences from the evidence is judged in a light most favorable to the prosecution. Essentially, a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict raises a claim that the jury trial’s finding of guilty was so unreasonable that no jury should have reached a conclusion that the prosecution’s evidence was sufficient to establish proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, a motion for JNOV is not simply a means for the trial judge to substitute his or her judgment for that of the jury’s.
Unlike federal court, a motion for a JNOV along with all post-trial motions must be raised in one single post-trial motion that requests all the remedies sought and all the reasons and arguments available. This rule includes raising issues that were not raised at trial such as the propriety of the denial of a pre-trial motion to suppress or the denial of a motion in limine.
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Chicago JNOV Motion Attorney
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