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Economic Analysis of Litigation and the Legal Process

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  • Steven Shavell

Abstract

This paper contains the chapters on litigation and the legal process from a general, forthcoming book, Foundations of Economic Analysis of Law (Harvard University Press, 2003). In chapter 17, I consider the basic theory of litigation. Here I describe the three phases of litigation: its initiation through suit, the determination of whether the parties will settle their case or proceed to trial, and, if trial results, the trial expenditures. I also analyze the social desirability of their decisions, a major theme being that the private incentives to litigate may diverge from what is socially desirable. In chapter 18, I extend the basic theory of litigation, examining among other issues the bringing of negative value suits, shifting of legal fees to losers at trial, lawyer-client fee arrangements, and the influence of insurers on litigation. Then, in chapter 19, I discuss several general aspects of the legal process not considered in the basic theory and its extensions, including private systems of adjudication, the value of accuracy in adjudication, the appeals process, and the function of legal advice.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9697.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9697

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Cited by:
  1. Sergey Stepanov, 2007. "Shareholder Access to Manager-Biased Courts and the Monitoring/Litigation Tradeoff," Working Papers w0106, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  2. Iossa, Elisabetta & Jullien, Bruno, 2007. "The Market for Lawyers: The Value of Information on the Quality of Legal Services," IDEI Working Papers 485, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Kryuchkova, P. & Avdasheva, S., 2012. "Public and Private Enforcement of Law under the High Risk of Type I Errors: the Russian Case," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 114-140.

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