A Note on Settlements under the Contingent Fee Method of Compensating Lawyers
It is commonly thought that a lawyer working under a contingent fee arrangement has an excessive motive â€” relative to his clientâ€™s interest â€” to settle the case, leading to a lower-than-desirable settlement amount and a high settlement rate. The conventional analysis that generates this conclusion omits an important consideration â€” that if the case were to go to trial, the lawyer would spend an inadequate amount of time on it. We demonstrate that once this effect is taken into account, the lawyer could have an insufficient motive to settle, the opposite of what is usually believed. Specifically, the lawyerâ€™s settlement demand could be too high and the resulting settlement rate too low.
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- Rickman, Neil, 1999. "Contingent fees and litigation settlement1," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 295-317, September.
- Miceli, Thomas J, 1994. "Do Contingent Fees Promote Excessive Litigation?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 211-224, January.
- Gravelle, Hugh & Waterson, Michael, 1993. "No Win, No Fee: Some Economics of Contingent Legal Fees," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1205-1220, September.
- A. Mitchell Polinsky & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 2003.
"Aligning the Interests of Lawyers and Clients,"
American Law and Economics Review,
Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 165-188.
- Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 2001. "Aligning the Interests of Lawyers and Clients," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt2kz8r3j1, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
- Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
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