Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

What Will We Lose If the Trial Vanishes?

28 Pages Posted: 27 May 2011  

Date Written: May 24, 2011


The number of trials continues to decline and federal civil trials have almost completely disappeared. This essay attempts to address the significance of this loss, to answer the obvious question, "So what?" It argues against taking a resigned or complacent attitude toward an important problem for our public culture. It presents a short description of the trial's internal structure, recounts different sorts of explanations, and offers an inventory of the kinds of wounds this development would inflict.

Keywords: trials, legal philosophy, civil procedure, evidence

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Burns, Robert P., What Will We Lose If the Trial Vanishes? (May 24, 2011). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 11-48. Available at SSRN: or

Robert Burns (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-6613 (Phone)
312-503-8977 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Abstract Views