of the parties in the enterprise, the intuitive method of calculating comparative contribution is likely to prove the more fair.
(n195) Ideally, all parties should be before the court in a single action. But even if some parties are immune or have settled, the trier of fact should be permitted to consider the conduct of absent parties. We think that, if all the potential parties' conduct and interests are considered, the incentive to demand a jury trial may be reduced, because both plaintiffs and defendants would likely be wary of the uncertainties that the additional complexity would add to the litigation, especially to the apportionment process.
(n196) See, e.g., Robert Mednick, Accountants' Liability: Coping With the Stampede to the Courtroom, J. ACCT., Sept. 1987, at 118, 120.
(n197) 174 N.E. 441 (N.Y. 1931).
(n198) RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TORTS 5 552 (1977).
(n199) 461 A.2d 138 (N.J. 1983).
(n200) See Pressler & Schieffer, supra note 158, at 654 nn. 11-12. Senator Pressler and his co- author list a number of senate hearings in which representatives of these interests describe the development of a liability insurance "crisis" affecting their activities. The elimination of joint liability is identified as one of their principal needs to ameliorate the crisis. These authors cite the economic impact of the rule as an important reason to abrogate it. Id. at 684. See also Mednick, supra note 196 and note 403.
(n201) See, e.g., Bartlett v. New Mexico Welding Supply, Inc., 646 P.2d 579, 584-86 (N.M. 1982) (citing Erwin E. Adler, Allocation of Responsibility After American Motorcycle Association v. Superior Court, 6 PEPPERDINE L. REV. 1 (1978)). See also Pressler and Schieffer, supra note 158, at 664-65; John E. Guy, Let's Say Goodbye to Joint Liability, 27 FOR THE DEFENSE 1 (June 1985).
(n202) See Scheske, supra note 158; Steenson, supra note 158. Professor Steenson states, "In 1986 and 1987, half of the states enacted legislation directed toward joint and several liability. The reforms either limit or abolish joint and several liability." Id. at 482. Steenson classifies the various reforms and modifications, noting that the amounts, percentages, and types of damages will often dictate whether the joint and several rule will be applied. In this article, we argue only for abrogation of the rule in financial, negligent misrepresentation cases, and would be satisfied if the rule were retained in cases in which the trier of fact found a high percentage (say, 70% or more) of the total culpability to rest with the negligent auditor. See. e.g., David Hackelman, Bill Seeks to Shield CPA's Liability," CHICAGO DAILY LAW BULL., July 6, 1992, at 1 (reporting that the Illinois General Assembly has approved a bill that "would provide that if a CPA firm was found to have less than one-quarter responsibility for a loss, the firm would be responsible only for its own share of the loss."). See also Brad C. Betebenner, Note, The Liability Reform Act: An Approach to Equitable Application, J. CONTEMP. L. 89 (1987); John Conger, Note, If They're Partly to Blame, Why Should 7 get Stuck With the Bill, 3 COOLEY L. REV. 343