Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

Bifurcation of trial

As a pro per plaintiff in a wrongful term/sexual harassment suit i need to respond to defense request for bifurcation of trial into 3 parts. I believe they want to establish liability first before introducing evidence of damages. I don't believe that would be to my advantage but I'm not sure. If it isn't what is the best way to oppose? Thanks for any suggestions

Asked on 10/08/02, 10:19 am

5 Answers from Attorneys

Amy Ghosh Law Offices of Amy Ghosh
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Re: Bifurcation of trial

You definitely need representation. I am in Los Angeles...and I do employment law for plaintiff. Let me know details of your case!!!

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10/08/02, 2:32 pm
Robert Miller Robert L. Miller & Associates, A Law Corporation
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Re: Bifurcation of trial

Thank you for your posting. As you can tell by the responses thus far, the majority opinion is that you should have representation. I must concur, even though my opinion is biased.

Aside from the sympathy factor mentioned, it's easier for defense counsel to just prepare for one portion of the case, i.e., liability, at a time. If they win liability, then they never have to spend time preparing for damages. For the plaintiff, it's usually easier to prepare and litigate the entire case at one time.

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10/08/02, 4:44 pm
Alvin Tenner Law Office of Alvin G. Tenner
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Re: Bifurcation of trial

You will have to read the cases cited by the defense and prepare a written respons. You should have an attorney.

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10/09/02, 10:57 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless
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Re: Bifurcation of trial

You're not going to like the answer: you should get an experienced attorney, because there are many rules and proceedures about to hit you, that you have no training or experience for. You will have to timely oppose with points and authorites, as in a motion response.

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10/08/02, 11:59 am
Mitchell Roth MW Roth, Professional Law Corporation
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Re: Bifurcation of trial

Bifurcation usually does not benefit a plaintiff. The theory is that a jury that hears damages issues becomes more sympathetic to the Plaintiff and is more likely to find for liability.

This being said, why are you pro per. If the damages are not sufficiently substantial or the evidentiary case of liability is so weak that you could not obtain a lawyer willing to represent you on a contingency basis, perhaps you should not be pursuing this either. As a pro per plaintiff you are even less likely to prevail.

Call me if you wish to discuss this further.

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10/08/02, 1:44 pm

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