June 7, 2011
Burns on the Vanishing Trial
Robert P. Burns (Northwestern University) has posted What Will We Lose if the Trial Vanishes to SSRN.
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.