One judicial proceeding that is divided into two stages in which different issues are addressed separately by the court.
A common example of a bifurcated trial is one in which the question of liability in a personal injury case is tried separately from and prior to a trial on the amount of damages to be awarded if liability is found. A bifurcated trial in such a case is advantageous because if the defendant is not found liable, there is no need to spend the money or time in the presentation of proof and witnesses on the issue of damages.
In Criminal Procedure, a bifurcated trial is useful where the issues of sanity and guilt or guilt and punishment must be decided.
bifurcated trialnoun bisection of a case, segmennation in a case, segregation in a case, separate liability and damage phases, separate quilt and insanity defense phases, separation in a case, severance in a case, split in a case, split trial, two or more hearings held, two-part trial
Associated concepts: punitive damages