The American judicial system must necessarily rely on a steady flow of dispositions of cases by settlement lest it collapse because of a demand for trials beyond the ability of the courts to try cases. Settlements are achieved through a variety of procedures and techniques, yet many cases result in trials because of the uncertainty about prospective juror perceptions that pervades settlement discussions. Summary trial helps to eliminate this element of uncertainty and, at the same time, provides an additional basis for settlement of cases otherwise committed to trial. This is not to suggest that trial is to be avoided at all costs, but trial should result only in those cases incapable of alternative solutions. The summary jury trial provides one viable alternative.
Thomas D. Lambros and Thomas H. Shunk,
The Summary Jury Trial,
29 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol29/iss1/7