Since its inception nearly ten years ago, the summary jury trial has received almost unanimous acclaim as an extremely effective means of inducing settlement and avoiding protracted litigation.' The settlement technique continued to be used with virtually no opposition2 until some courts began using the summary jury trial as a mandatory settlement mechanism. 3 Within the federal court system, a split of authority has developed as to the permissibility of a trial judge imposing a summary jury trial settlement procedure on litigants.4 Strandell v. Jackson County, Ill.5 and McKay v. Ashland Oil, Inc.6 are two of the more recent cases dealing with this issue and represent opposing viewpoints. Through these cases the author will explore the opposing positions of those courts and propose what the author believes is the inherent flaw in forcing litigants to participate in a summary jury trial against their wishes, regardless of whether the participants are allowed to "hold back" on information otherwise protected under the discovery rules of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 7 Before delving into the issue, however, it may be helpful to discuss the structure of the summary jury trial and its use in the federal courts



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