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Private versus Socially Optimal Provision of Ex Ante Legal Advice

  • Kaplow, Louis
  • Shavell, Steven

This article considers whether the demand for legal advice about potential liability for future acts is socially excessive. using the standard model of accidents, we find that the answer depends on the type of advice and the form of liability. When advice provides information about properly determined liability, the demand for advice is socially optimal under strict liability but is socially excessive under the negligence rule. When advice identifies errors the legal system is expected to make, the demand for advice is socially excessive under both liability rules.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

Volume (Year): 8 (1992)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 306-20

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:8:y:1992:i:2:p:306-20
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  1. Kahan, Marcel, 1989. "Causation and Incentives to Take Care under the Negligence Rule," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 427-47, June.
  2. Shavell, Steven, 1988. "Legal Advice about Contemplated Acts: The Decision to Obtain Advice, Its Social Desirability, and Protection of Confidentiality," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 123-50, January.
  3. Craswell, Richard & Calfee, John E, 1986. "Deterrence and Uncertain Legal Standards," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 279-303, Fall.
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