If you are involved in a mass civil case with many plaintiffs, you may hear the term “bellwether trials” over the course of your case. With so many complex terms and legal jargon being thrown around, it can be hard to determine what everything means. Todd R. Durham wants you to be well informed about your case and the legal process at large. If you have any questions about your case specifically, be sure to discuss it with your attorney. He will be able to give you a clear answer based on the facts in your claim.
What is a Bellwether Trail?
A bellwether trial is a case that the court and the parties select to be the representative case to test their argument. Other parties will use that as a guideline on how to move on in the litigation process. Think of a bellwether trial as a legal litmus test that is representative of a larger process. The goal is to give a good idea on whether a party should continue to litigate their case or settle.
How is a Bellwether Trial Created?
Generally, in a mass tort case, the court will select specific parties, and they will agree to be the representative case. The plaintiffs are chosen due to their issues being common to a larger group of plaintiffs.
Why Use Bellwether Trials?
Bellwether trials are useful because they can give plaintiffs and defendants a good idea on how a particular case will be litigated based on common factors. This can increase efficiency of the legal system, since it can let each party know if they should settle or not. Court costs are expensive and trials can take a long time to resolve. If other parties can avoid going through the process themselves, it frees up the court system for other cases, and saves each party in court costs and legal fees.