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Demand for a Jury Trial and the Selection of Cases for Trial

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  • Joni Hersch

Abstract

This paper uses a unique data set to examine how parties in civil litigation choose whether to demand a jury trial or to waive this right and whether trial forum influences the probability of trial versus settlement. Plaintiffs are more likely to demand trial by jury when juries are relatively more favorable to plaintiffs in similar cases and jury trials are relatively less costly than bench trials. Cases in which jury trials are demanded are 5.5 percentage points more likely to settle without a trial than cases in which jury trials are waived. This differential settlement rate by potential trial forum suggests that tried cases are not a random sample of the set of legal disputes, so observed similarities between bench and jury verdicts may result from case selection effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Joni Hersch, 2006. "Demand for a Jury Trial and the Selection of Cases for Trial," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 119-142, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:35:y:2006:p:119-142
    DOI: 10.1086/498831
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/498831
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Viscusi, W Kip, 1988. "Product Liability Litigation with Risk Aversion," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 101-121, January.
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    3. Kessler, Daniel & Meites, Thomas & Miller, Geoffrey P, 1996. "Explaining Deviations from the Fifty-Percent Rule: A Multimodal Approach to the Selection of Cases for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 233-259, January.
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    5. Helland, Eric & Tabarrok, Alexander T, 2000. "Runaway Judges? Selection Effects and the Jury," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 306-333, October.
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    7. George L. Priest & Benjamin Klein, 1984. "The Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-56, January.
    8. Fournier, Gary M & Zuehlke, Thomas W, 1989. "Litigation and Settlement: An Empirical Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 189-195, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Heise, 2013. "Empirical Analysis of Civil Litigation: Torts Trials in State Courts," Chapters,in: Research Handbook on the Economics of Torts, chapter 1, pages 11-30 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Joanna Lahey, 2008. "State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 433-460, August.

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