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Pretrial Bargaining and the Design of Fee-Shifting Rules

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  • Kathryn E. Spier

Abstract

Legal rules for allocating the private costs of civil litigation, or "fee-shifting" rules, provide powerful incentives for settlement. Within the context of a direct-revelation mechanism, the fee-shifting rule that generates the highest probability of settlement bases the allocation of costs upon the proximity of the court's award to the pretrial announcements. This mechanism resembles Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and other offer-based rules. In a simple extensive-form game, if the litigants have asymmetric information about the level of damages (probability of prevailing), then Rule 68 increases (decreases) the settlement rate.

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  • Kathryn E. Spier, 1994. "Pretrial Bargaining and the Design of Fee-Shifting Rules," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 197-214, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:25:y:1994:i:summer:p:197-214
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    Cited by:

    1. Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2009. "Bargaining and Conflict with Incomplete Information," ESE Discussion Papers 191, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    2. J.J. Prescott & Kathryn E. Spier & Albert Yoon, 2014. "Trial and Settlement: A Study of High-Low Agreements," NBER Working Papers 19873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Baptiste Massenot & Maria Maraki & Christian Thoeni, 2016. "Legal compliance and litigation spending under the English and American rule: Experimental evidence," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 16.19, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    4. Bester, Helmut & Konrad, Kai A., 2004. "Delay in contests," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 1169-1178, October.
    5. Michael R. Baye & Dan Kovenock & Casper G. de Vries, 2000. "Comparative Analysis of Litigation Systems: An Auction-Theoretic Approach," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-13, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    6. Michael R. Baye & Dan Kovenock & Casper G. Vries, 2005. "Comparative Analysis of Litigation Systems: An Auction-Theoretic Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 583-601, July.
    7. Andrew F. Daughety & Reinganum F. Reinganum, 2014. "Settlement and Trial: Selected Analyses of the Bargaining Environment," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 14-00005, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    8. Christian Schwab & Hin-Yue Tang & Stefan Winter, 2014. "Free choice of legal fee shifting rules?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 299-324, April.
    9. Helmut Bester & Karl Wärneryd, 2006. "Conflict and the Social Contract," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(2), pages 231-249, July.
    10. Matthias Kräkel, 2010. "Double-Sided Moral Hazard, Efficiency Wages, and Litigation," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 337-364.
    11. Lee, Yoon-Ho Alex & Klerman, Daniel, 2016. "The Priest-Klein hypotheses: Proofs and generality," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 59-76.
    12. Kirstein, Roland & Rickman, Neil, 2001. "FORIS contracts: Litigation Cost Shifting and Contingent Fees in Germany," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 2001-04, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.
    13. Kirstein Annette & Kirstein Roland & Gerhard Hans, 2010. "Bad Debt Loss Insurance in Settlement and Litigation," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 107-124, May.
    14. Neeman, Zvika & Pavlov, Gregory, 2013. "Ex post renegotiation-proof mechanism design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 473-501.
    15. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Chang, Howard F, 1999. "The Effect of Offer-of-Settlement Rules on the Terms of Settlement," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 489-513, June.
    16. Jeong-Yoo Kim, 2015. "An attorney fee as a signal in pretrial negotiation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 75-102, January.
    17. Comino, Stefano & Nicolò, Antonio & Tedeschi, Piero, 2010. "Termination clauses in partnerships," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 718-732, July.
    18. Jean O. Lanjouw & Josh Lerner, 1996. "Preliminary Injunctive Relief: Theory and Evidence from Patent Litigation," NBER Working Papers 5689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 1997. "Stylized Facts of Patent Litigation: Value, Scope and Ownership," NBER Working Papers 6297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Ben Chen & Jose A. Rodrigues Neto, 2017. "Emotions in Civil Litigation," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2017-653, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    21. Pecorino, Paul & Van Boening, Mark, 2001. "Bargaining and Information: An Empirical Analysis of A Multistage Arbitration Game," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 922-948, October.
    22. Schwab, Christian & Tang, Hin-Yue Benny, 2011. "Die Steuerungswirkungen unterschiedlicher Prozesskostenregelungen: Ein Überblick zum Stand von Theorie und Empirie
      [The economic effects of alternative fee shifting rules: A review of the theoretic
      ," MPRA Paper 32746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    23. Landeo, Claudia, 2015. "Law and Economics and Tort Litigation Institutions: Theory and Experiments," Working Papers 2015-12, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    24. Kima, Jeong-Yoo & Ryu, Keunkwan, 2000. "Pretrial negotiation behind open doors versus closed doors:: Economic analysis of Rule 408," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 285-294, June.
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