Summary Jury Trial (SJT) – a court-ordered settlement technique sometimes used by the federal courts in complex cases that would otherwise require a lengthy jury trial wherein which the parties argue in a mini-trial before a mock jury, generally in order to settle the case based upon the nonbinding verdict presented by the jurors

summary jury trial (SJT):

1. A settlement technique in which the parties argue before a mock jury, which then reaches a nonbinding verdict that will assist the parties in evaluating their positions. — Abbr. SJT — aka nonbinding summary jury trial; nonbinding minitrial.

1. A court-ordered form of alternative dispute resolution sometimes used by the federal courts in complex cases that would otherwise require a lengthy jury trial.  An SJT is a kind of nonbinding capsule trial that allows the parties to obtain the thoughts of jurors with respect to the merits of the case.  The facts are presented in simplified form as a reduced jury, questions of admissibility of evidence are decided with the judge in advance, and counsel interview the jurors after the verdict.  Although the verdict is nonbinding, the parties may agree to be bound by it, or they may settle the case based upon the reactions of the jurors.  Compare mini-trial. [1]


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[1]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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