In the News

Craigie Co-Authors “Under Pressure: The Four-Day Trial” for ACC Docket

Article Explores Concept of “Compressed Jury Trial”; Based on Real-Life Experience

September 21, 2012

Alex W. Craigie, member of Dykema’s Litigation Department, co-authored an article, “Under Pressure:  The Four-Day Trial,” that appears in the October 2012 issue of ACC Docket. The article, written with Patricia Stambelos, assistant general counsel to SkyWest Airlines, Inc., looks at the pros and cons of “compressed” trials, in which a trial judge dramatically reduces both parties’ time to present evidence and argue their case.

The article, based on a real-life case that Craigie and Stambelos shared (and won), raises such important questions as:

  • Is a “compressed” trial a workable solution that can help loosen the judicial log jam, making jury trials more accessible and user-friendly?
  • Can this approach improve the quality of jury pools and lead to jurors being more attentive and engaged?
  • What additional benefits—beyond the obvious cost savings—result from a “condensed” trial ?

In the article, Craigie and his co-author provide helpful, practical tips for practitioners who might find themselves in front of a judge who looks to reduce their trial estimate by half. Among their suggestions:

  • Tailor written discovery to enable foundational evidence without lengthy witness testimony
  • Dispense with evidence that doesn’t advance the core theme of the story you look to tell
  • Prepare witnesses like never before: develop minimal background, then hone in on the point of the testimony

While Craigie and Stambelos acknowledge that not every case lends itself to a foreshortened format, the likelihood of “compressed” trials is sure to increase. To read this article in its entirety, click here.