Monday, February 7, 2005

The Vanishing Trial - symposium issue

Is the trial an endangered species in our courts? Are the number of trials declining and, if so, why? And should we care?

The American Bar Association Section of Litigation undertook a major project to answer these questions under the leadership of the Section's Civil Justice Initiative, chaired by Professors JoAnne Epps of Temple University, Steve Landsman of DePaul University, and Bob Sayler of the University of Virginia. "The Vanishing Trial" project is the largest single initiative the Section has ever funded. We set out to document, and then to analyze, what many of us knew anecdotally from our own practices that old-fashioned trials are an increasingly rare beast.

Thus begins Patricia Lee Refo's introduction to a symposium issue of The Journal of Empirical Legal Studies on "the vanishing trial," with fifteen articles looking at the issue from various angles (e.g., federal courts, state courts, federal bankruptcy courts; appeal rates; summary judgment rates). For the table of contents -- with links to abstracts and articles -- see J Empirical Legal Studies, Vol 1, Issue 3: Table of Contents.

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