Split trials and time saving: A statistical analysis.

Zeisel, H., & Callahan, T. (1963). Split trials and time saving: A statistical analysis. Harvard Law Review, 76, 1606-1625.

In 1959 the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois adopted a rule permitting separate trials of liability and damage issues in civil cases. At the request of the court the authors have conducted an investigation to determine the extent to which time is saved through use of the separation device. They use a variety of converging statistical approaches to arrive at the conclusion that in personal injury jury trial cases about twenty per cent of trial time may be saved. They then consider the possible ways that separation might lengthen trial time, and conclude that these will not offset the time saving to any degree. Bifurcation of the liability and damage components of trial associated with 31% fewer liability judgments against plaintiff (58% vs. 27%) and shorter deliberation times (20 min on average). However, slightly higher settlement rate occurred with bifurcated trials.

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