Where the form of the verdict is imprecise or contains superfluous language, the jury’s verdict will not be invalidated if the jury’s intention is nonetheless clear or subject to clarification. It is the duty of the judge to attempt to resolve technical defects in a jury verdict, provided that in the process the judge does not usurp the jury’s fact-finding function or prevent the intended result.10
In order to take advantage of a defect in the form of a verdict, the aggrieved party must object to it prior to the discharge of the jury, so that the judge can instruct the jury to correct the faulty verdict. Otherwise, the objection will be waived.11
10. Tilden v. State, 513 A.2d 1302, 1304 (Del. 1986).
11. Hamilton v. Wrang, 221 A.2d 605, 606 (Del. 1966).
© 2010 David L. Finger