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Litigation

2007

Confidential

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Illuminating Secrecy: A New Economic Analysis Of Confidential Settlements, Scott A. Moss Jan 2007

Illuminating Secrecy: A New Economic Analysis Of Confidential Settlements, Scott A. Moss

Articles

Even the most hotly contested lawsuits typically end in a confidential settlement forbidding the parties from disclosing their allegations, evidence, or settlement amount. Confidentiality draws fierce criticism for harming third parties by concealing serious misdeeds like discrimination, pollution, defective manufacturing, and sexual abuse. Others defend confidentiality as a mutually beneficial pay-for-silence bargain that facilitates settlement, serves judicial economy, and prevents frivolous copycat lawsuits. This debate is based in economic logic, yet most analyses have been surprisingly shallow as to how confidentiality affects incentives to settle. Depicting a more nuanced, complex reality of litigation and settlement, this Article reaches several conclusions ...