Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services

Mini-Trial / Summary Jury

Both of these processes can be either binding or non binding, depending upon the agreement of the parties.  Both processes involve a summarized presentation of the evidence in a dispute to a panel composed of either experienced neutrals (mini-trial) or a lay jury (summary jury trial).  Generally the evidence is presented in summary form by counsel for each party as it would be expected should the case go to trial, and arguments are made by both sides based on this evidence.  If the process chosen is non binding, it resembles in effect a case evaluation, but with a panel of neutrals or jury being involved.  Mini-trials and summary jury trials are generally only used for cases in which a lengthy trial is anticipated, and where the liability and/or damages issues are in dispute.  More often than not, these processes are non binding and only informational, to assist in valuation of the claim or in designing a trial strategy.