Litigation and Settlement under the English and American Rules: Theory and Evidence
In contrast to the American rule, whereby each party bears its own costs, the English rule requires losers at trial to pay the winner's legal fees, up to a reasonable limit. We develop six hypotheses regarding how these two cost-allocation rules might affect settlements and litigated outcomes through changes in (1) the selection of cases reaching the settle-versus-litigate stage and (2) behavior thereafter. Using data from Florida, which applied the English rule to medical malpractice claims during the period 1980-85, we examine the rules' effects on the probability of plaintiffs' winning at trial, jury awards, and out-of-court settlements. The English rule increased plaintiff success rates at trial, average jury awards, and out-of-court settlements. Our interpretation of these findings emphasizes that the overall quality of the claims reaching the settle-versus-litigate stage must improve to generate the combination of effects observed. Copyright 1995 by the University of Chicago.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:38:y:1995:i:1:p:225-50. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.