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Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Law

Empirical Research And Civil Jury Reform, Valerie P. Hans, Stephanie Albertson Aug 2003

Empirical Research And Civil Jury Reform, Valerie P. Hans, Stephanie Albertson

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In January 2003, President George W. Bush invoked the supposed failings of the civil jury as the rationale for sweeping changes to the civil justice system. In a speech given at the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania, a state where skyrocketing costs of medical malpractice insurance had created a political crisis, President Bush said, "Excessive jury awards will continue to drive up insurance costs, will put good doctors out of Scranton, Pa." Among the changes he proposed were a decrease in the time that patients would have to sue their doctors, a national cap on pain and suffering awards at ...


What Is A Reasonable Attorney Fee? An Empirical Study Of Class Action Settlements, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller Jul 2003

What Is A Reasonable Attorney Fee? An Empirical Study Of Class Action Settlements, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Determining an appropriate fee is a difficult task facing trial court judges in class action litigation. But courts rarely rely on empirical research to assess a fee’s reasonableness, due, at least in part, to the relative paucity of available information. Existing empirical studies of attorney fees in class action cases are limited in scope, and generally do not control for important variables. To help fill this gap, we analyzed data from all state and federal class actions with reported fee decisions from 1993 to 2002 in which the fee and class recovery could be determined with reasonable confidence.

We ...


The Government As Litigant: Further Tests Of The Case Selection Model, Theodore Eisenberg, Henry Farber Apr 2003

The Government As Litigant: Further Tests Of The Case Selection Model, Theodore Eisenberg, Henry Farber

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

We develop a model of the plaintiff's decision to file a lawsuit that has implications for how differences between the federal government and private litigants translate into differences in trial rates and plaintiff win rates at trial. Our case selection model generates a set of predictions for relative trial rates and plaintiff win rates, depending on the type of case and whether the government is defendant or plaintiff. To test the model, we use data on about 474,000 cases filed in federal district court between 1979 and 1994 in the areas of personal injury and job discrimination, in ...


Jurors' Evaluations Of Expert Testimony: Judging The Messenger And The Message, Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovic, Valerie P. Hans Apr 2003

Jurors' Evaluations Of Expert Testimony: Judging The Messenger And The Message, Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovic, Valerie P. Hans

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Jurors are laypersons with no specific expert knowledge, yet they are routinely placed in situations in which they need to critically evaluate complex expert testimony. This paper examines jurors' reactions to experts who testify in civil trials and the factors jurors identify as important to expert credibility. Based on in-depth qualitative analysis of interviews with 55 jurors in 7 civil trials, we develop a comprehensive model of the key factors jurors incorporate into the process of evaluating expert witnesses and their testimony. Contrary to the frequent criticism that jurors primarily evaluate expert evidence in terms of its subjective characteristics, the ...


Lay Participation In Legal Decision Making: Introduction To Law & Policy Special Issue, Valerie P. Hans Apr 2003

Lay Participation In Legal Decision Making: Introduction To Law & Policy Special Issue, Valerie P. Hans

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

United States scholarship on lay participation revolves around one predominant form of lay participation, the jury (Hans & Vidmar forthcoming 2004). However, in the legal systems of many countries, laypeople participate as decision makers in other ways. Laypersons serve as judges (Provine 1986), magistrates (Diamond 1993), and private prosecutors (Perez Gil 2003). Lay and law-trained judges may also decide cases together in mixed tribunals (Kutnjak Ivkovi6 2003; Machura 2003; Vidmar 2002). Although diverse in structure, these methods share with the jury a set of animating ideas about lay involvement in legal decision making.

Many of these ideas appear to be quite compelling. But despite an extensive body of scholarship on the functioning of the jury system, there is limited scholarly work on how alternative methods of using laypersons in legal decision making operate in practice. There is even less on the political and social impact of lay participation. Whether diverse ...


Lawyer Ethics On The Lunar Landscape Of Asbestos Litigation, Roger C. Cramton Jan 2003

Lawyer Ethics On The Lunar Landscape Of Asbestos Litigation, Roger C. Cramton

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


How Employment-Discrimination Plaintiffs Fare In The Federal Courts Of Appeals, Kevin M. Clermont, Theodore Eisenberg, Stewart J. Schwab Jan 2003

How Employment-Discrimination Plaintiffs Fare In The Federal Courts Of Appeals, Kevin M. Clermont, Theodore Eisenberg, Stewart J. Schwab

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Employment-discrimination plaintiffs swim against the tide. Compared to the typical plaintiff, they win a lower proportion of cases during pretrial and after trial. Then, many of their successful cases are appealed. On appeal, they have a harder time in upholding their successes, as well in reversing adverse outcome.

This tough story does not describe some tiny corner of the litigation world. Employment-discrimination cases constitute an increasing fraction of the federal civil docket, now reigning as the largest single category of cases at nearly 10 percent.

In this article, we use official government data to describe the appellate phase of this ...


Avoid Bald Men And People With Green Socks? Other Ways To Improve The Voir Dire Process In Jury Selection, Valerie P. Hans, Alayna Jehle Jan 2003

Avoid Bald Men And People With Green Socks? Other Ways To Improve The Voir Dire Process In Jury Selection, Valerie P. Hans, Alayna Jehle

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

During jury selection, many courts adopt a minimal approach to voir dire questions, asking a small number of close-ended questions to groups of prospective jurors and requiring prospective jurors to volunteer their biases. This Article describes research evidence showing that limited voir dire questioning is often ineffective in detecting juror bias. To improve the effectiveness of voir dire, the authors make four recommendations: (1) increase the use of juror questionnaires; (2) incorporate some open-ended questions; (3) expand the types of questions that are asked; and (4) allow attorneys to participate in voir dire.


Whiplash: Who's To Blame?, Valerie P. Hans, Juliet Dee Jan 2003

Whiplash: Who's To Blame?, Valerie P. Hans, Juliet Dee

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Tom is sitting in his car at an intersection, waiting for the red light to change. Without warning, the car behind him, driven by a distracted mother named Elaine, slams into the rear of Tom's car. After the accident, Tom experiences severe neck pain, which interferes with his work and family life. Who's to blame?

If Tom suffered physical injury as a result, then under current legal principles she is responsible for compensating him for his injury. However, research on jury decision making in civil cases suggests that a constellation of psychological, legal and political factors operate together ...