Bifurcated trial means that the trial is conducted in two stages. A common division is to determine liability or guilt in the first stage and damages or penalties in the second. For example, in criminal proceedings, the guilt or innocence of the defendant is determined in one stage, and the penalty or insanity is determined in the other. In personal injury cases, the issues of liability and damages are also heard separately. Also termed a two-stage trial.
[Last updated in December of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]