IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Any Frequency of Plaintiff Victory at Trial Is Possible

Listed author(s):
  • Shavell, Steven

A basic question about litigation concerns the frequency of plaintiff victory at trial and how cases that go to trial relate to settled cases. In a stimulating paper, Priest and Klein advanced a model in which there is a tendency for plaintiffs to prevail at trial with probability 50 percent. However, this note demonstrates that, in a simple, frequently employed model of litigation, it is possible for the cases that go to trial to result in plaintiff victory with any probability. Moreover, given any probability of plaintiff victory at trial, the probability of plaintiff victory among settled cases (had they been tried) may be any other probability. Further, data on the frequency of plaintiff victory does not clearly support the 50 percent tendency. In consequence, this note concludes that it does not seem appropriate to regard 50 percent plaintiff victories as a central tendency, either in theory or in fact. Copyright 1996 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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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.

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Legal Studies.

Volume (Year): 25 (1996)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 493-501

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:25:y:1996:i:2:p:493-501
Contact details of provider: Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:25:y:1996:i:2:p:493-501. 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.