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Optimal litigation strategies with observable case preparation

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Author Info

  • Choné, Philippe
  • Linnemer, Laurent

Abstract

This paper investigates the strategic effects of case preparation in litigation. Specifically, it shows how the pretrial efforts incurred by one party may alter its adversary's incentives to settle. We build a sequential game with one-sided asymmetric information where the informed party first decides to invest in case preparation, and the uninformed party then makes a settlement offer. Overinvestment, or bluff, always prevails in equilibrium: with positive probability, plaintiffs with weak cases take a chance on investing, and regret it in case of trial. Furthermore, due to the endogenous investment decision, the probability of trial may (locally) decrease with case strength. Overinvestment generates inefficient preparation costs, but may trigger more settlements, thereby reducing trial costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 70 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 271-288

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:70:y:2010:i:2:p:271-288

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

Related research

Keywords: Case preparation Settlement Trial Signaling;

References

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  8. Philippe Choné & Laurent Linnemer, 2008. "Optimal Litigation Strategies with Signaling and Screening," CESifo Working Paper Series 2334, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2005. "Imperfect Competition and Quality Signaling," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0520, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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  17. Mnookin, Robert & Wilson, Robert, 1998. "A Model of Efficient Discovery," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 219-250, November.
  18. Joel L. Schrag, 1999. "Managerial Judges: An Economic Analysis of the Judicial Management of Legal Discovery," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 305-323, Summer.
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Cited by:
  1. Goldlücke, Susanne & Schmitz, Patrick W, 2011. "Investments as Signals of Outside Options," CEPR Discussion Papers 8366, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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