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Improving Lawyers’ Judgment: Is Mediation Training De-Biasing?, Douglas N. Frenkel, James H. Stark Oct 2015

Improving Lawyers’ Judgment: Is Mediation Training De-Biasing?, Douglas N. Frenkel, James H. Stark

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When people are placed in a partisan role or otherwise have an objective they seek to accomplish, they are prone to pervasive cognitive and motivational biases. These judgmental distortions can affect what people believe and wish to find out, the predictions they make, the strategic decisions they employ, and what they think is fair. A classic example is confirmation bias, which can cause its victims to seek and interpret information in ways that are consistent with their pre-existing views or the goals they aim to achieve. Studies consistently show that experts as well as laypeople are prone to such biases, …


Can Simple Mechanism Design Results Be Used To Implement The Proportionality Standard In Discovery?, Jonah B. Gelbach Sep 2015

Can Simple Mechanism Design Results Be Used To Implement The Proportionality Standard In Discovery?, Jonah B. Gelbach

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I point out that the Coase theorem suggests there should not be wasteful discovery, in the sense that the value to the requester is less than the cost to the responder. I use a toy model to show that a sufficiently informed court could design a mechanism under which the Coasean prediction is borne out. I then suggest that the actual information available to courts is too little to effect this mechanism, and I consider alternatives. In discussing mechanisms intended to avoid wasteful discovery where courts have limited information, I emphasize the role of normative considerations.


The Importance Of Being Dismissive: The Efficiency Role Of Pleading Stage Evaluation Of Shareholder Litigation, Lawrence A. Hamermesh, Michael L. Wachter Aug 2015

The Importance Of Being Dismissive: The Efficiency Role Of Pleading Stage Evaluation Of Shareholder Litigation, Lawrence A. Hamermesh, Michael L. Wachter

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It has been claimed that the risk/reward dynamics of shareholder litigation have encouraged quick settlements with substantial attorneys’ fee awards but no payment to shareholders, regardless of the merits of the case. Fee-shifting charter and bylaw provisions may be too blunt a tool to control agency costs associated with excessive shareholder litigation, and are in any event now prohibited by Delaware statute. We claim, however, that active judicial supervision of public company shareholder litigation at an early stage reduces the costs of frivolous litigation to shareholders by separating meritorious from unmeritorious litigation before the full costs of discovery are incurred. …


Medicare Secondary Payer And Settlement Delay, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick Jul 2015

Medicare Secondary Payer And Settlement Delay, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick

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The Medicare Secondary Payer Act of 1980 and its subsequent amendments require that insurers and self-insured companies report settlements, awards, and judgments that involve a Medicare beneficiary to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The parties then may be required to compensate CMS for its conditional payments. In a simple settlement model, this makes settlement less likely. Also, the reporting delays and uncertainty regarding the size of these conditional payments are likely to further frustrate the settlement process. We provide results, using data from a large insurer, showing that, on average, implementation of the MSP reporting amendments led to …


Not Treble Damages: Cartel Recoveries Are Mostly Less Than Single Damages, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande Jul 2015

Not Treble Damages: Cartel Recoveries Are Mostly Less Than Single Damages, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande

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Antitrust law provides treble damages for victims of antitrust violations, but the vast majority of private cases settle. The average or median size of these settlements relative to the overcharges involved has, until now, been only the subject of anecdotes or speculation. To ascertain what we term "Recovery Ratios," we assembled a sample consisting of every completed private U.S. cartel case discovered from 1990 to mid-2014 for which we could find the necessary information. For each of these 71 cases we collected, we assembled neutral scholarly estimates of affected commerce and overcharges. We compared these to the damages secured in …


Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jul 2015

Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff

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The Supreme Court’s decision in Scott v. Harris has quickly become a staple in many Civil Procedure courses, and small wonder. The cinematic high-speed car chase complete with dash-cam video and the Court’s controversial treatment of that video evidence seem tailor-made for classroom discussion. As is often true with instant classics, however, splashy first impressions can mask a more complex state of affairs. At the heart of Scott v. Harris lies the potential for a radical doctrinal reformation: a shift in the core summary judgment standard undertaken to justify a massive expansion of interlocutory appellate jurisdiction in qualified immunity cases. …


The Actavis Inference: Theory And Practice, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro Apr 2015

The Actavis Inference: Theory And Practice, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro

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In FTC v. Actavis, Inc., the Supreme Court considered "reverse payment" settlements of patent infringement litigation. In such a settlement, a patentee pays the alleged infringer to settle, and the alleged infringer agrees not to enter the market for a period of time. The Court held that a reverse payment settlement violates antitrust law if the patentee is paying to avoid competition. The core insight of Actavis is the Actavis Inference: a large and otherwise unexplained payment, combined with delayed entry, supports a reasonable inference of harm to consumers from lessened competition.

This paper is an effort to assist courts …


There Is No Such Thing As Litigation: Access To Justice And The Realities Of Adjudication, Robert Rubinson Jan 2015

There Is No Such Thing As Litigation: Access To Justice And The Realities Of Adjudication, Robert Rubinson

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Does a "contest by judicial process" describe litigation's "means and applications"? Overwhelmingly, no. Litigation is not about judges: it is about default judgments, settlements, plea bargains. It sometimes does not even involve judges at all. Litigation is not about trials: the amount of litigation that goes to trial is infinitesimal. It is not about "process": the process is so minimal that to dignify it with that term stretches the word beyond recognition. It is not a "contest": it is an exercise where one side has no plausible chance of winning, especially since that side either has no lawyers or lawyers …


Proportionality And The Social Benefits Of Discovery: Out Of Sight And Out Of Mind?, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2015

Proportionality And The Social Benefits Of Discovery: Out Of Sight And Out Of Mind?, Stephen B. Burbank

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In this short essay, based on remarks delivered at the 2015 meeting of the AALS Section of Litigation, I use a recent paper by Gelbach and Kobayashi to highlight the risk that, in assessing the proportionality of proposed discovery under the 2015 amendments to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, federal judges will privilege costs over benefits, and private over public interests. The risk arises from the temptation to focus on (1) the interests of those who are present to the detriment of the interests of those who are absent (“the availability heuristic”), and (2) variables that …


Federal Securities Fraud Litigation As A Lawmaking Partnership, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2015

Federal Securities Fraud Litigation As A Lawmaking Partnership, Jill E. Fisch

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In its most recent Halliburton II decision, the Supreme Court rejected an effort to overrule its prior decision in Basic Inc. v. Levinson. The Court reasoned that adherence to Basic was warranted by principles of stare decisis that operate with “special force” in the context of statutory interpretation. This Article offers an alternative justification for adhering to Basic—the collaboration between the Court and Congress that has led to the development of the private class action for federal securities fraud. The Article characterizes this collaboration as a lawmaking partnership and argues that such a partnership offers distinctive lawmaking advantages. …


Confronting The Peppercorn Settlement In Merger Litigation: An Empirical Analysis And A Proposal For Reform, Jill E. Fisch, Sean J. Griffith, Steven M. Davidoff Jan 2015

Confronting The Peppercorn Settlement In Merger Litigation: An Empirical Analysis And A Proposal For Reform, Jill E. Fisch, Sean J. Griffith, Steven M. Davidoff

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Shareholder litigation challenging corporate mergers is ubiquitous, with the likelihood of a shareholder suit exceeding 90%. The value of this litigation, however, is questionable. The vast majority of merger cases settle for nothing more than supplemental disclosures in the merger proxy statement. The attorneys that bring these lawsuits are compensated for their efforts with a court-awarded fee. This leads critics to charge that merger litigation benefits only the lawyers who bring the claims, not the shareholders they represent. In response, defenders of merger litigation argue that the lawsuits serve a useful oversight function and that the improved disclosures that result …


Making "Friends" With The #Ethics Rules: Avoiding Pitfalls In Professional Social Media Use, Cynthia Laury Dahl Jan 2015

Making "Friends" With The #Ethics Rules: Avoiding Pitfalls In Professional Social Media Use, Cynthia Laury Dahl

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Lawyers’ professional use of social media is widespread and a critical component to running a successful practice. Yet some common uses of social media easily – and often innocently -- violate the professional rules of ethics. The American Bar Association recently passed amendments to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to include topics related to social media use, but the amendments still do not address all issues. Likewise, advisory opinions of state and local bar associations and court opinions give scant and sometimes contradictory advice about when a use does or does not violate a Rule. This essay discusses four …


Can We Learn Anything About Pleading Changes From Existing Data?, Jonah B. Gelbach Jan 2015

Can We Learn Anything About Pleading Changes From Existing Data?, Jonah B. Gelbach

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In light of the gateway role that the pleading standard can play in our civil litigation system, measuring the empirical effects of pleading policy changes embodied in the Supreme Court's controversial Twombly and Iqbal cases is important. In my earlier paper, Locking the Doors to Discovery, I argued that in doing so, special care is required in formulating the object of empirical study. Taking party behavior seriously, as Locking the Doors does, leads to empirical results suggesting that Twombly and Iqbal have had substantial effects among cases that face Rule 12(b)(6) motions post-Iqbal. This paper responds to …