Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1994


Can we improve the efficiency of jury trials? If so, would this reduce the problem of court congestion? Is there any reason to favor this approach over those that seek to avoid jury trials altogether?

This Article attempts to answer these difficult questions. It does so by articulating and then employing a methodology suggested by recent scholarly ruminations about the philosophy of pragmatism and its implications for legal scholarship and practice. Although pragmatism does not provide "right answers" to questions of legal doctrine-indeed, it rejects the notion that such things exist-it does provide some guidance in formulating the search for workable solutions to legal dilemmas. This is, however, a controversial proposition, and so this Article begins with its defense. Once that task is accomplished, the Article will extrapolate some concrete methodological tools from the tenets of pragmatism. Finally, the Article will employ this methodology to argue for the development of an "Abbreviated Jury Trial" ("AJT").