The court noted that, unlike bifurcation of claims under Rule 42(b), severance under Rule 21 creates independent action resulting in separate judgments. The court otherwise noted that severance is appropriate when the claims are “discrete and separate,” that is, each claim is capable of resolution without effect on the other.
|Judge Christopher C. Conner
Judge Conner noted that, while Motions to Sever and Motions to Bifurcate in the federal court are found under separate rules, both are typically decided by reviewing the same factors including the similarity of issues, the type of evidentiary proof required by the claims presented, issues of judicial economy, and whether either party will be unduly prejudice by a separation of the claims presented.
Nevertheless, the court in McFarlandnoted that the decision in this regard to order separate discovery and/or trials lies within each court’s broad discretion and must be determined on a case-by-case basis.