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Full-Text Articles in Law

Trial And Settlement: A Study Of High-Low Agreements, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier, Albert Yoon Aug 2014

Trial And Settlement: A Study Of High-Low Agreements, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier, Albert Yoon

Articles

This article presents the first systematic theoretical and empirical study of highlow agreements in civil litigation. A high-low agreement is a private contract that, if signed by litigants before trial, constrains any plaintiff’s recovery to a specified range. In our theoretical model, trial is both costly and risky. When litigants have divergent subjective beliefs and are mutually optimistic about their trial prospects, cases may fail to settle. In these cases, high-low agreements can be in litigants’ mutual interest because they limit the risk of outlier awards while still allowing mutually beneficial speculation. Using claims data from a national insurance ...


Information Lost And Found, Frederic M. Bloom Jan 2012

Information Lost And Found, Frederic M. Bloom

Articles

At the core of every lawsuit is a mix of information-revealing documents that chronicle a party's malfeasance, guarded memos that outline a lawyer's trial strategy, fading memories that recall a jury's key mistakes. Yet the law's system for managing that information is still poorly understood. This Article makes new and better sense of that system. It begins with an original examination of five pieces of our civil information architecture--evidence tampering rules, automatic disclosure requirements, work product doctrine, peremptory challenge law, and bans on juror testimony--and compiles a novel study of how those doctrines intersect and overlap ...


Ask And What Shall Ye Receive? A Guide For Using And Interpreting What Jurors Tell Us, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Barbara O'Brien, Samuel R. Sommers Jan 2011

Ask And What Shall Ye Receive? A Guide For Using And Interpreting What Jurors Tell Us, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Barbara O'Brien, Samuel R. Sommers

Articles

We review the extensive body of studies relying on jurors' self-reports in interviews or questionnaires, with a focus on potential threats to validity for researchers seeking to answer particularly provocative questions such as the influence of race in jury decision-making. We then offer a more focused case study comparison of interview and questionnaire data with behavioral data in the domain of race and juror decision-making. Our review suggests that the utility of data obtained from juror interviews and questionnaire responses varies considerably depending on the question under investigation. We close with an evaluation of the types of empirical questions most ...


'Race Salience' In Juror Decision-Making: Misconceptions, Clarifications, And Unanswered Questions, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2009

'Race Salience' In Juror Decision-Making: Misconceptions, Clarifications, And Unanswered Questions, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

In two frequently cited articles, Sommers and Ellsworth (2000, 2001) concluded that the influence of a defendant’s race on White mock jurors is more pronounced in interracial trials in which race remains a silent background issue than in trials involving racially charged incidents. Referring to this variable more generally as "race salience," we predicted that any aspect of a trial that leads White mock jurors to be concerned about racial bias should render the race of a defendant less influential. Though subsequent researchers have further explored this idea of "race salience," they have manipulated it in the same way ...


Improving Criminal Jury Decision Making After The Blakely Revolution, J. J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2006

Improving Criminal Jury Decision Making After The Blakely Revolution, J. J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

The shift in sentencing fact-finding responsibility triggered in many states by Blakely v. Washington may dramatically change the complexity and type of questions that juries will be required to answer. Among the most important challenges confronting legislatures now debating the future of their sentencing regimes is whether juries are prepared to handle this new responsibility effectively - and, if not, what can be done about it. Yet neither scholars addressing the impact of Blakely nor advocates of jury reform have seriously explored these questions. Nonetheless, a number of limitations on juror decision making seriously threaten the accuracy of verdicts in systems ...


Sticks And Stones, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 1999

Sticks And Stones, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

I believe that research should be refuted by research. More and more of our scarce journal space is being taken up by attacks, rebuttals, and rebuttals to the rebuttals, often ending with a whimper of recognition that the adversaries were not so very far apart to begin with, and that the only way (if possible) to resolve the disagreement is through empirical research. Communication of scientific disagreement does not require a published article. Grant proposals and manuscripts submitted to refereed journals like this one are sent out to reviewers, who provide written evaluations that are communicated to the author. Papers ...


Why Civil Cases Go To Trial: Strategic Bargaining And The Desire For Vindication, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1997

Why Civil Cases Go To Trial: Strategic Bargaining And The Desire For Vindication, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

When negotiations break down and a dispute cannot be settled, attorneys commonly blame their adversaries, often questioning their ethics or their judgment. After interviewing many attorneys, we have come to believe much of the criticism is directed at strategic moves in negotiation. But strategic ploys are not the only reason dispute resolution fails. Rather, our research also suggest that a genuine desire for vindication through trial or other formal process may be very significant in some types of cases where bargaining breaks down.


Going To Trial: A Rare Throw Of The Die, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1997

Going To Trial: A Rare Throw Of The Die, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

If it is true, as we often hear, that we are one of the most litigious societies on earth, it is because of our propensity to sue, not our affinity for trials. Of the hundreds of thousands of civil lawsuits that are filed each year in America, the great majority are settled; of those that are not settled, most are ultimately dismissed by the plaintiffs or by the courts; only a few percent are tried to a jury or a judge. This is no accident. We prefer settlements and have designed a system of civil justice that embodies and expresses ...


Don't Try: Civil Jury Verdicts In A System Geared To Settlement, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1996

Don't Try: Civil Jury Verdicts In A System Geared To Settlement, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

If it is true, as we often hear, that we are one of the most litigious societies on earth, it is because of our propensity to sue, not our affinity for trials. Of the hundreds of thousands of civil lawsuits that are filed each year in America, the great majority are settled; of those that are not settled, most are ultimately dismissed by the plaintiffs or by the courts; only a few percent are tried to a jury or a judge. This is no accident. We prefer settlements and have designed a system of civil justice that embodies and expresses ...


Asymmetrical Peremptories Defended: A Reply, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1995

Asymmetrical Peremptories Defended: A Reply, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

Three years ago, with the publication of his article ''An Asymmetrical Approach to the Problem of Peremptories" in this journal, Professor Friedman initiated a debate on the subject that was taken up in 1994 by three prosecutors who offered a rebuttal that was also printed in these pages. Professor Friedman continues the debate.


The Death And Transfiguration Of Frye, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1994

The Death And Transfiguration Of Frye, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

The rule of Frye v. United States was seventy years old, and had long dominated American law on the question of how well established a scientific principle must be for it to provide the basis for expert testimony. Even after the passage of the Federal Rules of Evidence, several of the federal circuits, as well as various states, purported to adhere to Frye's "general acceptance" standard. But now, unanimously, briefly, and with no apparent angst, the United States Supreme Court has held in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that the Frye rule is incompatible with the Federal Rules.


Settling For A Judge: A Comment On Clermont And Eisenberg, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1992

Settling For A Judge: A Comment On Clermont And Eisenberg, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

Trial by Jury or Judge: Transcending Empiricism,1 by Kevin Clermont and Theodore Eisenberg, is not only an important article, it is unique. To most Americans, trial means trial by jury. In fact, over half of all federal trials are conducted without juries2 (including 31% of trials in cases in which the parties have the right to choose a jury3), and the proportion of bench trials in state courts is even higher.4 And yet, while there is a large literature on the outcomes of jury trials and the factors that affect them,5 nobody else has systematically compared trials ...


An Asymmetrical Approach To The Problem Of Peremptories?, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1992

An Asymmetrical Approach To The Problem Of Peremptories?, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

The Supreme Court's decision in Batson v. Kentucky, and the extension of Batson to parties other than prosecutors, may be expected to put pressure on the institution of peremptory challenges. After a brief review of the history of peremptories, this article contends that peremptories for criminal defendants serve important values of our criminal justice system. It then argues that peremptories for prosecutors are not as important, and that it may no longer be worthwhile to maintain them in light of the administrative complexities inevitable in a system of peremptories consistent with Batson. The article concludes that the asymmetry of ...


Expert Evidence, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1991

Expert Evidence, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

It seems that the use of expert witnesses in common law courts has always been troublesome. In his Treatise on the Law of Evidence, first published in 1848, Judge John Pitt Taylor describes several classes of witnesses whose testimony should be viewed with caution, including: enslaved people (which accounts for "the lamentable neglect of truth, which is evinced by most of the nations of India, by the subjects of the Czar, and by many of the peasantry in Ireland"); women (because they are more susceptible to "an innate vain love of the marvelous"); and "foreigners and others ... living out of ...


The Scintilla Rule Of Evidence, Edson R. Sunderland Jan 1919

The Scintilla Rule Of Evidence, Edson R. Sunderland

Articles

In analyzing the reasons why "trial by jury has declined to such an extent that it has come in many cases to be an avowed maxim of professional action,--a good case is for the court; a bad case is for the jury,"-JUDGE DILLON, in his LAWS AND JURISPRUDENCE, pp. 130-2, credits "the false principle known as the scintilla doctrine" with a large degree of responsibility.


Should A Correct Verdict Be Set Aside Because The Jury Failed To Follow Erroneous Instructions?, Edson R. Sunderland Jan 1919

Should A Correct Verdict Be Set Aside Because The Jury Failed To Follow Erroneous Instructions?, Edson R. Sunderland

Articles

One of the common grounds of a new trial is that the verdict is contrary to law. What law is meant,--the law as it really is, or the law that was given to the jury by the court's instruction? Most cases hold to the latter view. It is the duty of the jury to take the law from the court, whether the court in so giving it is right or wrong. Hence, the jury violate their duty if they fail to follow instructions, even if the instructions are wrong, and a verdict based on a breach of the ...


The Inefficiency Of The American Jury, Edson R. Sunderland Jan 1915

The Inefficiency Of The American Jury, Edson R. Sunderland

Articles

What is proposed in the present article is to show that in attempting to preserve the independence of the jury in its exclusive juris- diction over questions of fact, the people and the courts in most American jurisdictions have departed from the common law practice and have introduced a principle calculated to undermine the very institution which they wish to strengthen. That is to say, through the rules prohibiting judges from commenting on the weight of the evidence, juries tend to become irresponsible, verdicts tend to become matters of chance, and the intricacy of procedure, with its cost, delay and ...


Can Affidavits Of Jurors To Show Misconduct Be Admitted For The Purpose Of Setting Aside A 'Quotient Verdict'?, Grover C. Grismore Jan 1914

Can Affidavits Of Jurors To Show Misconduct Be Admitted For The Purpose Of Setting Aside A 'Quotient Verdict'?, Grover C. Grismore

Articles

A recent Oklahoma case raises one phase of a question which has been perplexing the courts ever since jury trials were invented, and in regard to which there is a great contrariety of opinion. After a verdict had been rendered for the plaintiff in a personal injury suit, the defendant made a motion for a new trial on the ground of misconduct of the jury, and in support of his motion offered the affidavits of several of the jurors to the effect that the verdict was determined upon as the result of an agreement whereby each one of the jurors ...


Directing A Verdict For The Party Having The Burden Of Proof, Edson R. Sunderland Jan 1913

Directing A Verdict For The Party Having The Burden Of Proof, Edson R. Sunderland

Articles

The practice of moving for a directed verdict is the modern substitute for the old demurrer to the evidence. The reason for its development at the expense of the older procedure is not far to seek. The demurrer to the evidence was in the first place cumbersome and difficult to draw, for it was required to contain a full written recital of all the facts shown in evidence by the opposite party, together with all reasonable inferences favorable to the party who introduced the evidence.1 The preparation of such a demurrer usually required the expenditure of much time and ...