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Full-Text Articles in Law

Scientific Trials--In The Laboratories, Not The Courts, Nicholas Bagley, Aaron E. Carroll, Pieter A. Cohen Jan 2018

Scientific Trials--In The Laboratories, Not The Courts, Nicholas Bagley, Aaron E. Carroll, Pieter A. Cohen

Articles

In 2015, one of us published a peer-reviewed study, together with colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, replicating prior research from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detecting a designer stimulant, β-methylphenylethylamine, in sports, weight loss, and “cognitive function” supplements sold in the United States. The confirmatory study prompted the FDA to take enforcement action against companies selling the stimulant as a dietary ingredient. One of the companies that received an FDA warning letter sued the study’s authors for $200 million in damages for libel, claiming, without supporting scientific evidence, that multiple statements in the article ...


Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard Nov 2017

Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Using a sample of all companies named as defendants in securities class actions between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008, we study parallel suits relying on state corporate law arising out of the same allegations as the securities class actions. We test several ways that parallel suits may add value to a securities class action. Most parallel suits target cases involving obvious indicia of wrongdoing. Moreover, we find that although a modest percentage of parallel suits are filed first, over 80 percent are filed after a securities class action (termed “follow-on” parallel suits). We find that parallel suits and ...


Toward A Theory Of Motion Practice And Settlement: Comment, Adam C. Pritchard Mar 2017

Toward A Theory Of Motion Practice And Settlement: Comment, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

"Scott Baker (2017) has provided a thought-provoking contribution to this symposium volume, helping us to better understand the strategic game of litigation. In terms of both resources and actual disputes resolved, pretrial practice is vastly more important than actual trials. Trials are a rarity in the American civil justice system, as the overwhelming majority of disputes are resolved via settlement. Indeed, rational-choice scholars have struggled to explain why all disputes are not resolved via settlement, as settlement avoids the expense of a trial, which is a dead-weight loss to both sides of the dispute. The parties’ mutual incentive toward settlement ...


A Comprehensive Theory Of Civil Settlement, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier Apr 2016

A Comprehensive Theory Of Civil Settlement, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier

Articles

A settlement is an agreement between parties to a dispute. In everyday parlance and in academic scholarship, settlement is juxtaposed with trial or some other method of dispute resolution in which a third-party factfinder ultimately picks a winner and announces a score. The “trial versus settlement” trope, however, represents a false choice; viewing settlement solely as a dispute-ending alternative to a costly trial leads to a narrow understanding of how dispute resolution should and often does work. In this Article, we describe and defend a much richer concept of settlement, amounting in effect to a continuum of possible agreements between ...


The Child Quasi-Witness, Richard D. Friedman, Stephen J. Ceci Jan 2015

The Child Quasi-Witness, Richard D. Friedman, Stephen J. Ceci

Articles

This Essay provides a solution to the conundrum of statements made by very young children and offered against an accused in a criminal prosecution. Currently prevailing doctrine allows one of three basic outcomes. First, in some cases the child testifies at trial. But this is not always feasible, and when it is, cross-examination is a poor method for determining the truth. Second, evidence of the child's statement may be excluded, which denies the adjudicative process of potentially valuable information. Third, the evidence may be admitted without the child testifying at trial, which leaves the accused with no practical ability ...


Jack Weinstein And The Missing Pieces Of The Hearsay Puzzle, Richard D. Friedman Dec 2014

Jack Weinstein And The Missing Pieces Of The Hearsay Puzzle, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

For the first three quarters of the twentieth century, the Wigmore treatise was the dominant force in organizing, setting out, and explaining the American law of evidence. Since then, the first two of those roles have been taken over in large part by the Federal Rules of Evidence (Rules). And the third has been performed most notably by the Weinstein treatise. Judge Jack Weinstein was present at the creation of the Rules and before. Though he first made his name in Civil Procedure, while still a young man he joined two of the stalwarts of evidence law, Edmund Morgan and ...


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 ...


The S&P Litigation And Access To Federal Court: A Case Study In The Limits Of Our Removal Model, Gil Seinfeld Jan 2013

The S&P Litigation And Access To Federal Court: A Case Study In The Limits Of Our Removal Model, Gil Seinfeld

Articles

On June 6, 2013, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered the consolidation of fifteen actions filed by state attorneys general against the Standard & Poor’s rating agency for its role in the collapse of the market for structured finance securities. The cases are important: The underlying events shook markets worldwide and contributed to a global recession, the legal actions themselves take aim at foundational aspects of the way rating agencies go about their business, and the suits threaten the imposition of significant fines and penalties against S&P. So it is unsurprising that the order of the ...


The Price Of Pay To Play In Securities Class Actions, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Drew T. Johnson-Skinner Jan 2011

The Price Of Pay To Play In Securities Class Actions, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Drew T. Johnson-Skinner

Articles

We study the effect of campaign contributions to lead plaintiffs—“pay to play”—on the level of attorney fees in securities class actions. We find that state pension funds generally pay lower attorney fees when they serve as lead plaintiffs in securities class actions than do individual investors serving in that capacity, and larger funds negotiate for lower fees. This differential disappears, however, when we control for campaign contributions made to offcials with infuence over state pension funds. This effect is most pronounced when we focus on state pension funds that receive the largest campaign contributions and that associate repeatedly ...


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

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

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 ...


Judicial Independence And Company Law In The Shanghai People's Courts, 1992-2008, Nicholas C. Howson Jan 2010

Judicial Independence And Company Law In The Shanghai People's Courts, 1992-2008, Nicholas C. Howson

Book Chapters

This chapter draws on a detailed study of corporate law adjudication in Shanghai from 1992 to 2008. The purpose of the study was to better understand the demonstrated technical competence, institutional autonomy, and political independence of one court system in the People's Republic of China ("PRC") in a sector outside of the criminal law. The study consisted of a detailed examination and comparison of full-length corporate law opinions for more than 200 reported cases, a 2003 Shanghai High Court opinion on the 1994 Company Law (describing a decade of corporate case outcomes), a 2007 report on cases implementing the ...


Corporate Law In The Shanghai People's Courts, 1992-2008: Judicial Autonomy In A Contemporary Authoritarian State, Nicholas C. Howson Jan 2010

Corporate Law In The Shanghai People's Courts, 1992-2008: Judicial Autonomy In A Contemporary Authoritarian State, Nicholas C. Howson

Articles

In late 2005 China adopted a largely rewritten Company Law that radically increased the role of courts. This study, based on a review of more than 1000 Company Law-related disputes reported between 1992 and 2008 and extensive interactions with PRC officials and sitting judges, evaluates how the Shanghai People's Court system has fared over 15 years in corporate law adjudication. Although the Shanghai People's Courts show generally increasing technical competence and even intimations of political independence, their path toward institutional autonomy is inconsistent. Through 2006, the Shanghai Court system demonstrated significantly increased autonomy. After 2006 and enactment of ...


'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 ...


The Screening Effect Of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Karen K. Nelson Jan 2009

The Screening Effect Of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Karen K. Nelson

Articles

Prior research shows that the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) increased the significance of merit-related factors in determining the incidence and outcomes of securities fraud class actions (Johnson et al. 2007). We examine two possible explanations for this finding: the PSLRA may have reduced the incidence of nonmeritorious litigation, or it may have changed the definition of merit, effectively precluding claims that would have survived and produced a settlement pre-PSLRA. We find no evidence that pre-PSLRA claims that settled for nuisance value would be less likely to be filed under the PSLRA regime. There is evidence, however, that pre-PSLRA ...


She...Refuses To Deliver Up Herself As The Slave Of Your Petitioner': Émigrés, Enslavement, And The 1808 Louisiana Digest Of The Civil Laws (Symposium On The Bicentennial Of The Digest Of 1808--Collected Papers), Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2009

She...Refuses To Deliver Up Herself As The Slave Of Your Petitioner': Émigrés, Enslavement, And The 1808 Louisiana Digest Of The Civil Laws (Symposium On The Bicentennial Of The Digest Of 1808--Collected Papers), Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

Philosophically and juridically, the construct of a slave-a "person with a price"--contains multiple ambiguities. Placing the category of slave among the distinctions of persons "established by law," the 1808 Digest of the Civil Laws Now in Force in the Termtoiy of Orleans recognized that "slave" is not a natural category, inhering in human beings. It is an agreement among other human beings to treat one of their fellows as property. But the Digest did not specify how such a property right came into existence in a given instance. The definition of a slave was simply ostensive, pointing toward rather ...


Beyond Mitigation: Towards A Theory Of Allocution, Kimberly A. Thomas Jan 2007

Beyond Mitigation: Towards A Theory Of Allocution, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

THE COURT: I don't think I have time to listen .... I am not going to reexamine your guilt or innocence here. That is not the purpose of a sentence.. THE DEFENDANT: I did not have the chance to tell you .... THE DEFENDANT: But, your Honor, listen to me-1 Should the court hear this defendant? Is the story of innocence relevant at allocution-the defendant's opportunity to speak on his or her own behalf at the sentencing hearing prior to the imposition of sentence? Or, is the purpose of allocution something different, as the judge suggests? The answers depend on ...


Using Court Records For Research, Teaching, And Policymaking: The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, Margo Schlanger, Denise Lieberman Jan 2006

Using Court Records For Research, Teaching, And Policymaking: The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, Margo Schlanger, Denise Lieberman

Articles

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is, wisely, planning the future of its enormous collection of relatively recent court records. The pertinent regulation, a “records disposition schedule” first issued in 1995 by the Judicial Conference of the United States in consultation with NARA, commits the Archives to keeping, permanently, all case files dated 1969 or earlier; all case files dated 1970 or later in which a trial was held, and “any civil case file which NARA has determined in consultation with court officials to have historical value.” Other files may be destroyed 20 years after they enter the federal ...


What We Know, And What We Should Know About American Trial Trends, Margo Schlanger Jan 2006

What We Know, And What We Should Know About American Trial Trends, Margo Schlanger

Articles

More than a few people noticed that the American court system was seeing ever fewer trials before Marc Galanter named the phenomenon.' But until Galanter mobilized lawyers2 and scholars to look systematically at the issue, inquiry was both piecemeal and sparse. Over the past three years, in contrast, Galanter's research 3 and his idea entrepreneurship, crystallized in the "Vanishing Trial" label, has spawned if not a huge literature at least a substantial one. We have now gotten the benefit of sustained scholarly inquiry by researchers of many stripes. Their work has been largely, though not entirely, empirical, and so ...


Should Congress Repeal Securities Class Action Reform?, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2003

Should Congress Repeal Securities Class Action Reform?, Adam C. Pritchard

Other Publications

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 was designed to curtail class action lawsuits by the plaintiffs’ bar. In particular, the high-technology industry, accountants, and investment bankers thought that they had been unjustly victimized by class action lawsuits based on little more than declines in a company’s stock price. Prior to 1995, the plaintiffs’ bar had free rein to use the discovery process to troll for evidence to support its claims. Moreover, the high costs of litigation were a powerful weapon with which to coerce companies to settle claims. The plaintiffs’ bar and its allies in Congress have ...


Some Steps Between Attitudes And Verdicts, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2003

Some Steps Between Attitudes And Verdicts, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Book Chapters

Most research that has attempted to predict verdict preferences on the basis of stable juror characteristics, such as attitudes and personality traits, has found that individual differences among jurors are not very useful predictors, accounting for only a small proportion of the variance in verdict choices. Some commentators have therefore concluded that verdicts are overwhelmingly accounted for by "the weight of the evidence," and that differences among jurors have negligible effects. But there is a paradox here: In most cases the weight of the evidence is insufficient to produce firstballot unanimity in the jury (Hans & Vidmar, 1986; Hastie, Penrod, & Pennington, 1983; Kalven & Zeisel, 1966 ...


Expert Information And Expert Evidence: A Preliminary Taxonomy, Samuel R. Gross, Jennifer L. Mnookin Jan 2003

Expert Information And Expert Evidence: A Preliminary Taxonomy, Samuel R. Gross, Jennifer L. Mnookin

Articles

Federal Rule of Evidence 702 speaks in very general terms. It governs every situation in which "scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact," and provides that, in that situation, "a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise . . . .' In 2000, following a trio of Supreme Court cases interpreting Rule 702, the Rule was amended to include a third requirement, in addition to the helpfulness of the testimony and the qualifications of the witness: reliability. Under Rule 702 as amended, a qualified ...


Experts, Carl E. Schneider Jul 2001

Experts, Carl E. Schneider

Articles

George Bernard Shaw famously said that all professions are conspiracies against the laity. Less famously, less elegantly, but at least as accurately, Andrew Abbott argued that professions are conspiracies against each other. Professions compete for authority to do work and for authority over work. The umpire in these skirmishes and sieges is the government, for the state holds the gift of monopoly and the power to regulate it. In Abbott's terms, "bioethics" is contesting medicine's power to influence the way doctors treat patients. If it follows the classic pattern, bioethics will solicit work and authority by recruiting government ...


Law In The Backwaters: A Comment Of Mirjan Damaška's Evidence Law Adrift, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1998

Law In The Backwaters: A Comment Of Mirjan Damaška's Evidence Law Adrift, Samuel R. Gross

Reviews

The most problematic part of Professor Mirjan Damaška's fine book is the title.' Professor Damaška does an excellent job of situating American evidence law in the procedural context in which American trials occur. He identifies three major procedural elements. First, juries are traditionally cited as the primary or sole explanation for our extensive set of exclusionary rules, which are said to express mistrust of lay adjudicators. Professor Damaška points out as well that lay juries permit a divided court, with a professional judge who has exclusive control over "questions of law," and that this division is necessary for the ...


"Countering Stereotypes." Review Of Medical Malpractice And The American Jury: Confronting The Myths About Jury Incompetence, Deep Pockets, And Outrageous Damage Awards, By N. Vidmar, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1997

"Countering Stereotypes." Review Of Medical Malpractice And The American Jury: Confronting The Myths About Jury Incompetence, Deep Pockets, And Outrageous Damage Awards, By N. Vidmar, Samuel R. Gross

Reviews

The story of The Medical Malpractice Trial has a place in popular American legal culture, somewhere on the shelf with Killers Who Got Off on Technicalities. The plot is simple and tragic. The protagonist is the Doctor, a good man with a flaw: He tries too hard. In the process, he makes an innocent mistake or believes he can prevent the unpreventable. In any event, he fails and the Patient dies or is permanently injured. For this unintentional error the Doctor is crucified, by the vengeful anger of the Patient or her survivors, the avarice of the plaintiffs' lawyer, the ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


The Romance Of Revenge: An Alternative History Of Jeffrey Dahmer's Trial, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1995

The Romance Of Revenge: An Alternative History Of Jeffrey Dahmer's Trial, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

On Feb. 17, 1992, Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to fifteen consecutive terms of life imprisonment for killing and dismembering fifteen young men and boys. Dahmer had been arrested six months earlier, on July 22, 1991. On Jan. 13 he pled guilty to the fifteen murder counts against him, leaving open only the issue of his sanity. Jury selection began two weeks later, and the trial proper started on Jan. 30. The jury heard two weeks of horrifying testimony about murder, mutilation and necrophilia; they deliberated for five hours before finding that Dahmer was sane when he committed thos crimes. After ...


Revising Article 9 To Reduce Wasteful Litigation, James J. White Jan 1993

Revising Article 9 To Reduce Wasteful Litigation, James J. White

Articles

For reasons that are unclear to me, the committees reviewing the articles of the Uniform Commercial Code and drafting revisions are congenitally conservative. Perhaps these committees take their charge too seriously, namely, to revise, not to revolutionize. Perhaps their intimate knowledge of the subject matter exaggerates the importance of each section and consequently magnifies the apparent size of every change. In any case, my own experience with two such committees tells me that the members quickly become focused on revisions and amendments that any outsider would describe as modest. To the extent that the revision of any of the articles ...


Getting To No: A Study Of Settlement Negotiations And The Selection Of Cases For Trial, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1991

Getting To No: A Study Of Settlement Negotiations And The Selection Of Cases For Trial, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

A trial is a failure. Although we celebrate it as the centerpiece of our system of justice, we know that trial is not only an uncommon method of resolving disputes, but a disfavored one. With some notable exceptions, lawyers, judges, and commentators agree that pretrial settlement is almost always cheaper, faster, and better than trial. Much of our civil procedure is justified by the desire to promote settlement and avoid trial. More important, the nature of our civil process drives parties to settle so as to avoid the costs, delays, and uncertainties of trial, and, in many cases, to agree ...