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Rules of Proof, Courts, and Incentives

  • Dominique Demougin
  • Claude Fluet

We analyze the design of legal principles and procedures for court decision-making in civil litigation. The objective is the provision of appropriate incentives for potential tort-feasors to exert care, when evidence about care is imperfect and may be distorted by the parties. Efficiency is shown to be consistent with courts adjudicating on the basis of the preponderance of evidence standard of proof together with common law exclusionary rules. Inefficient equilibria may nevertheless also arise under these rules. Directing courts as to the assignment of the burden of proof is then useful as a coordination device. Alternatively, burden of proof guidelines are unnecessary if courts are allowed a more active or inquisitorial role, by contrast with that of passive adjudicator.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0633.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0633
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  1. Claude Fluet, 2002. "Enforcing Contracts: Should Courts Seek the Truth?," Cahiers de recherche 0202, CIRPEE.
  2. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2006. "Preponderance of evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 963-976, May.
  3. Lewis, Tracy R & Poitevin, Michel, 1997. "Disclosure of Information in Regulatory Proceedings," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 50-73, April.
  4. Henrik Lando, 2002. "When is the Preponderance of the Evidence Standard Optimal?," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(4), pages 602-608, October.
  5. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1994. "Keeping Society in the Dark: On the Admissibility of Pretrial Negotiations As Evidence in Court," Game Theory and Information 9403008, EconWPA.
  6. Dan Bernhardt & Ed Nosal, 2004. "Near-sighted Justice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2655-2684, December.
  7. Antonio Bernardo & Eric L. Talley & Ivo Welch, 1999. "A Theory of Legal Presumptions," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm118, Yale School of Management.
  8. Palumbo, Giuliana, 2001. "Trial procedures and optimal limits on proof-taking10," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 309-327, September.
  9. Song Shin, H, 1996. "Adversarial and Inquisitorial Procedures in Arbitration," Economics Papers 124, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  10. Sandeep Baliga & Stephen Morris, 2000. "Coordination, Spillovers, and Cheap Talk," Discussion Papers 1301, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 413-31, June.
  13. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2005. "Deterrence versus Judicial Error: A Comparative View of Standards of Proof," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(2), pages 193-, June.
  14. Joel L. Schrag, 1999. "Managerial Judges: An Economic Analysis of the Judicial Management of Legal Discovery," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 305-323, Summer.
  15. Daughety, Andrew F & Reinganum, Jennifer F, 2000. "On the Economics of Trials: Adversarial Process, Evidence, and Equilibrium Bias," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 365-94, October.
  16. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2002. "Evidence Disclosure and Verfiability," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt19p7z2gm, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  17. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
  18. Daniel L. Rubinfeld & David E.M. Sappington, 1987. "Efficient Awards and Standards of Proof in Judicial Proceedings," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 308-315, Summer.
  19. Schrag, Joel & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1994. "Crime and Prejudice: The Use of Character Evidence in Criminal Trials," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 319-42, October.
  20. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1985. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 749, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  21. Parisi, Francesco, 2002. "Rent-seeking through litigation: adversarial and inquisitorial systems compared," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 193-216, August.
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