Credibility of Trial Date

The two brief case histories just presented suggest that the scheduled trial date need not be absolutely credible. In the first court, it was apparent that a single judge would not be able to try fifty or sixty cases during a single one-month term of court. In the second court, four judges would have had to devote a long period of time, perhaps a lifetime, to the trial of seven hundred cases. It may be sufficient to set a firm trial date for a cluster of cases involving the same counsel and then proceed with preparatory work, such as the final pretrial conference and jury selection. Participants at the asbestos conference indicated that various factors were important in the settlement of asbestos cases, especially the quality and experience of attorneys on each side and their ability to communicate with co-counsel in allocating the settlement among their clients. All participants agreed that setting a firm trial date is the primary catalyst to settlement.