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The Government as Litigant: Further Tests of the Case Selection Model

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  • Theodore Eisenberg
  • Henry Farber
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    Abstract

    We develop a model of the plaintiff's decision to file a lawsuit that has implications for how differences between the federal government and private litigants translate into differences in trial rates and plaintiff win rates at trial. Our case selection model generates a set of predictions for relative trial rates and plaintiff win rates, depending on the type of case and whether the government is defendant or plaintiff. To test the model, we use data on about 474,000 cases filed in federal district court between 1979 and 1994 in the areas of personal injury and job discrimination, in which the federal government and private parties work under roughly similar legal rules. We find broad support for the predictions of the model. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal American Law and Economics Review.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 94-133

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:5:y:2003:i:1:p:94-133

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    Cited by:
    1. Kirstein, Roland & Rickman, Neil, 2002. ""Third Party Contingency" contracts in settlement and litigation," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 2002-11, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.

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