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Burdens of Proof in Civil Litigation: An Economic Perspective

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  • Hay, Bruce L
  • Spier, Kathryn E

Abstract

Burden of proof rules, which require a specified party to produce evidence on a contested issue, are central to the adversary system. In this article, we model burden of proof rules as a device for minimizing the costs of litigation. The central point to emerge from the model is that, properly assigned, a burden of proof rule economizes on the transmission of information to the court. We use the model to explain characteristic practices of courts in assigning the burden of proof. Copyright 1997 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Hay, Bruce L & Spier, Kathryn E, 1997. "Burdens of Proof in Civil Litigation: An Economic Perspective," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 413-431, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:26:y:1997:i:2:p:413-31
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/468002
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    Cited by:

    1. Che, Yeon-Koo & Severinov, Sergei, 2015. "Legal Advice and Evidence with Bayesian and non-Bayesian Adjudicators," Microeconomics.ca working papers sergei_severinov-2015-24, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 31 Dec 2015.
    2. Turkay, Evsen, 2011. "Evidence disclosure and severity of punishments," MPRA Paper 31504, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2006. "Preponderance of evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 963-976, May.
    4. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2008. "Rules of proof, courts, and incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 20-40.
    5. Che, Yeon-Koo & Severinov, Sergei, 2007. "Lawyer Advising in Evidence Disclosure," MPRA Paper 6101, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Miller, James D., 2001. "Perjury and information weighting," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 329-341, September.
    7. Fluet, Claude, 2010. "L’économie de la preuve judiciaire," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 86(4), pages 451-486, décembre.
    8. Cotton, Christopher, 2012. "Pay-to-play politics: Informational lobbying and contribution limits when money buys access," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 369-386.
    9. Szalai, Ákos, 2013. "A bizonyítási teher megfordításának hatása kártérítési ügyekben
      [Reverse burden of proof in tort law]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 1208-1233.
    10. Louis Kaplow, 2017. "Optimal Multistage Adjudication," NBER Working Papers 23364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Fluet, Claude, 2010. "Liability rules under evidentiary uncertainty," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-9, March.
    12. Jeong-Yoo Kim, 2016. "A note on burdens of proof in civil litigation," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 325-337, October.
    13. Block, Michael K. & Parker, Jeffrey S., 2004. "ecision making in the absence of successful fact finding: theory and experimental evidence on adversarial versus inquisitorial systems of adjudication," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 89-105, March.
    14. Sanchirico, Chris William, 1997. "The burden of proof in civil litigation: A simple model of mechanism design," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 431-447, September.
    15. Chris William Sanchirico, 2008. "A Primary-Activity Approach to Proof Burdens," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 273-313, January.
    16. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2000. "Prepondeance of the Evidence: Tort Rules and the Efficient Standard of Proof," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 120, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
    17. Chulyoung Kim, 2014. "Adversarial and Inquisitorial Procedures with Information Acquisition," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 767-803.
    18. repec:aea:aejmic:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:188-225 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Karl Wärneryd, 2012. "Nine points of the law: evidentiary rules and the costs of litigation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 279-285, December.

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