Managerial Judges: An Economic Analysis of the Judicial Management of Legal Discovery
I analyze the effect of procedural rules that permit judges to limit pretrial discovery. In the presence of asymmetric information, a litigant may forgo settlement before discovery if his opponent interprets a serious offer as a sign that her discovery is likely to uncover useful evidence, leading her to invest more in discovery. Furthermore, a litigant may forgo settlement in order to strengthen his or her threat of future discovery. I show that by limiting pretrial discovery, the judge can simultaneously increase the probability of early settlement and reduce expected litigation costs, without reducing potential injurers' incentives to take care.
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Volume (Year): 30 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
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