The National Law Journal reported that “With Fewer Trials, Litigators Work to Stay Sharp” (June 30, 2008, p. 10, www.nlj.com).
It appears that with fewer civil trials, corporate litigators from the big firms need to prevent their trial skills from becoming rusty. Some have turned to mock trials. Others have turned to mock depositions.
In the corporate bar there has been a marked decrease in civil trials. For example, last year there were 5,6000 trials in the federal courts as compared to 7,933 in 2000. That is a decrease of 29%. Figures for the state courts were not available.
This has been a trend. From time to time, leaders of the corporate law firms bemoan the fact that there are fewer and fewer trials for their young lawyers who need the training and experience.
The personal injury bar has not experienced this problem of fewer trials. Based on my own observations there has been only a small decrease in court trials. However, in the personal injury field there has not been the marked decrease that has been experienced by the big corporate firms. Last year I handled three trials including one which went to verdict. A few weeks ago one of our associates had a “Summary Jury Trial” in Bronx County Supreme Court. Tomorrow, one of our other associates will have a non-jury trial as part of the “Non-Jury Initiative” in the Civil Court of Bronx County.
It is clear that the most experienced and best civil courtroom attorneys are those attorneys who represent people injured in accidents and by malpractice.