What's up with this Latin phrase?
It's something that is been carried over for many years and still exists today in New York law.
When a jury reaches a verdict, the defense will often stand at the end of the trial and ask the judge to throw out the award based on the fact that the award is inconsistent with the evidence in the case. That is the basic version and explanation of what a motion for JNOV stands for.
The Latin phrase is a request for judgment non-obstante verdicto.
When the attorney make such request, the judge must now decide whether in fact the jury verdict is against the weight of the evidence that has been presented during the course of the trial. If it is obvious, there is the possibility the judge may agree with the defense attorney and throw out the verdict right then and there.
However, most judges will allow the jury verdict to stand. This means that if the defense wants to appeal the case, they have that right and opportunity to do so.
If the judge were to dismiss the case at the end of a jury verdict that awarded money in favor of an injured victim, then the plaintiffs attorney, the attorney who represents the injured victim, would then have the ability to appeal such a decision.
If the judge denies the defense attorney's request to throw out the verdict, the defense will, in all likelihood, appeal the verdict and take the matter up with the Appellate Division here in New York.