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the decision of a court on issues of fact. The decision’s purpose is to answer questions raised by the pleadings or charges. It is designed to facilitate review by disclosing the grounds on which the judgment rests. Findings of fact are made by a jury in an action at law, or, if there is no jury, they are made by the judge.

FINDING OF FACT factual determinations made by the trier of fact (court or jury), or an administrative body, based upon the evidence which has been presented to it. If the case is presented to a jury, the jury makes the finding of facts, such as “Was the accident the fault of the driver?” Otherwise, the judge or administrative officer will make the findings of fact. When the jury returns a general verdict (“we find for the plaintiff” or “not guilty”), the factual basis of the jury’s verdict will not be known and may not easily be ascertained unless there was only one issue of fact in the case. When the jury returns a special verdict, it answers specific factual questions which have been presented to it, such as “Did the accident occur on July 5th?” As a general proposition, an appellate court can only set aside a finding of fact made below if it determines that the finding is clearly erroneous, ie, that reasonable people could not possibly make such a finding.
FINDING OF LAW a determination of the court as to the application of a rule of law to particular facts. Also referred to as a CONCLUSION OF LAW
EXAMPLE: Elon sued his employer for wrongful termination. The court found that Elon did fall under the provisions of the state’s whistleblower statute because his firing was a direct result of his complaint regarding the company’s failure to provide safety harnesses to its employees.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; ©
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