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This is an excellent handbook for lawyers and judges in the newly developed art of pre-trial. Over the last fifteen years there has been a steadily increasing interest in pre-trial conferences. Conducted by the judge with counsel before the actual trial, such conferences are geared to settle various matters which, in actuality, are not or need not be contested, and to strip the case to the heart of the precise dispute between the parties. Thus, simplification of the issues, amendment of the pleadings where necessary, admissions of fact and of documents as exhibits to avoid unnecessary proof, settlement of items of damage (such as hospital bills), limitation of the number of expert witnesses--all these and other matters formerly the subject of courtroom wrangling or haggling--are settled in advance with a minimum of friction and maximum of gain in trial expedition and efficiency. An important by-product, though properly approached more as a desirable consequence than as a compelled objective, is the settlement of the case without trial. Thus the system has proven a boon to courts facing overcrowded calendars and to litigants desiring the prompt and discriminating disposition of their disputes. This book shows, with a wealth of examples, how the courts most successful in operating this modern device proceed to make it work.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Book Review: Pre-Trial, 51 Columbia Law Review 254 (1951)