Discovery and Presentation of Evidence in Adversary and Nonadversary Proceedings

In order to evaluate fully the advantage claimed for the adversary model we sought to add a third element that would test the hypothesis under a variety of conditions. The degree to which the evidence discovered in a case favors one party at the expense of another appeared to meet this criterion. This fact-distribution element is a pervasive condition of legal conflict resolution that, intuition suggests, may significantly influence information search and transmission. Further, this variable could be easily and accurately controlled by regulating the flow of favorable information acquired by the subjects during the experiment.

The remainder of this article reports a laboratory experiment intended to cast light on both the specific claim made on behalf of the adversary system and the nature of information processing in legal systems generally.