(a) General and special verdicts. - The judge may require a jury to return either a general or a special verdict and in all cases may instruct the jury, if it renders a general verdict, to find upon particular questions of fact, to be stated in writing, and may direct a written finding thereon. A general verdict is that by which the jury pronounces generally upon all or any of the issues, either in favor of the plaintiff or defendant. A special verdict is that by which the jury finds the facts only.
(b) Framing of issues. - Issues shall be framed in concise and direct terms, and prolixity and confusion must be avoided by not having too many issues. The issues, material to be tried, must be made up by the attorneys appearing in the action, or by the judge presiding, and reducing to writing, before or during the trial.
(c) Waiver of jury trial on issue. - If, in submitting the issues to the jury, the judge omits any issue of fact raised by the pleadings or by the evidence, each party waives his right to a trial by jury of the issue so omitted unless before the jury retires he demands its submission to the jury. As to an issue omitted without such demand the judge may make a finding; or, if he fails to do so, he shall be deemed to have made a finding in accord with the judgment entered.
(d) Special finding inconsistent with general verdict. - Where a special finding of facts is inconsistent with the general verdict, the former controls, and the judge shall give judgment accordingly. (1967, c. 954, s. 1.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014