After the closing arguments in a trial, jurors deliberate in private to arrive at a verdict, which is then reported to the court by the jury foreman or forewoman. In most occasions, the jury deliberation results in an agreed jury verdict. Jury deliberation is the process by which a jury in a trial in court discusses in secret regarding the findings of the court and decides with which argument to agree upon.
As soon as the jury has reached a verdict, it communicates the same to the judge. In some cases, consensus among jurors is very difficult to reach. In such cases, the judge may issue an instruction which tells the jurors to continue deliberation. Repeat failure to arrive at a verdict results in a hung jury which necessitates a new trial with a different jury.
In all criminal cases and in most civil cases, a general verdict stating the bare conclusion of the jury is rendered. A general verdict is one by which the jury pronounce at the same time on the fact and the law, either in favor of the plaintiff or defendant. There are forms of verdict for both criminal and civil cases. In a criminal case, the form for a general verdict will allow the jury to check either guilty or not guilty on each of the charges tried. In civil cases, the form for a general verdict will have two choices whereby the jury may award damages to the party found not guilty.
In civil cases, the judge may use a special verdict or general verdict with interrogatories. A special verdict is one by which the facts of the case are put on the record, and the law is submitted to the judges. Special verdict forms direct the jury to answer the fundamental questions that are necessary for a general verdict and, based on those answers, the judge determines what the final conclusion of the case is.
General verdicts with interrogatories are similar to ordinary general verdicts by which the jury determines the final conclusion of the verdict itself, but it is then followed by question designed to check whether the jury had the correct reasons for that conclusion.