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Dispute Resolution In Pandemic Circumstances, George A. Bermann Jan 2020

Dispute Resolution In Pandemic Circumstances, George A. Bermann

Faculty Scholarship

The peaceful resolution of disputes is among the most important earmarks of a regime attached to the rule of law. Even in countries in which, for one reason or another, courts do not work especially well, civil peace is of paramount importance. The absence of effective institutions for the administration of justice between and among private parties would spell a high degree of social disorder.

Even in the absence of a crisis such as we are experiencing, justice systems face a number of challenges in this day and age. Does a jurisdiction have a sufficient number of persons qualified to ...


The Policy Implications Of Third-Party Funding In Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Brooke Guven, Lise Johnson May 2019

The Policy Implications Of Third-Party Funding In Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Brooke Guven, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In this Working Paper, CCSI analyzes underexplored yet critical policy issues surrounding the use of third-party funding in ISDS. It considers the costs and benefits of the practice, asks whether it is desirable or undesirable that third-parties be permitted to invest in ISDS claims, and if so, under what circumstances and in order to achieve what objectives, and overviews policy responses, including a total or partial ban and various regulatory responses, that may be appropriate to manage identified impacts.


Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2019

Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

State civil courts struggle to handle the volume of cases before them. Litigants in these courts, most of whom are unrepresented, struggle to navigate the courts to solve their problems. This access-to-justice crisis has led to a range of reform efforts and solutions. One type of reform, court simplification, strives to reduce the complexity of procedures and information used by courts to help unrepresented litigants navigate the judicial system. These reforms mitigate but do not solve the symptoms of the larger underlying problem: state civil courts are struggling because they have been stuck with legal cases that arise from the ...


Global Settlements: Promise And Peril, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2019

Global Settlements: Promise And Peril, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

In 2010, Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd. destabilized the world of securities litigation by denying those who purchased their securities outside the U.S. the ability to sue in the U.S. (as they had previously often done). Nature, however abhors a vacuum, and practitioners and other jurisdictions began to seek ways to regain access to U.S. courts. Several techniques have emerged: (1) expanding settlement classes so that they are broader than litigation classes and treating the location of the transaction as strictly a merits issue that defendants could waive; (2) adopting U.S. law as applicable to ...


Reforming Institutions: The Judicial Function In Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, William H. Simon, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson Jan 2019

Reforming Institutions: The Judicial Function In Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, William H. Simon, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson

Faculty Scholarship

Public law litigation (PLL) is among the most important and controversial types of dispute that courts face. These civil class actions seek to reform public agencies such as police departments, prison systems, and child welfare agencies that have failed to meet basic statutory or constitutional obligations. They are controversial because critics assume that judicial intervention is categorically undemocratic or beyond judicial expertise.

This Article reveals flaws in these criticisms by comparing the judicial function in PLL to that in corporate bankruptcy, where the value and legitimacy of judicial intervention are better understood and more accepted. Our comparison shows that judicial ...


Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2019

Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

State civil courts struggle to handle the volume of cases before them. Litigants in these courts, most of whom are unrepresented, struggle to navigate the courts to solve their problems. This access-to-justice crisis has led to a range of reform efforts and solutions. One type of reform, court simplification, strives to reduce the complexity of procedures and information used by courts to help unrepresented litigants navigate the judicial system. These reforms mitigate but do not solve the symptoms of the larger underlying problem: state civil courts are struggling because they have been stuck with legal cases that arise from the ...


The Keys To The Kingdom: Judges, Pre-Hearing Procedure, And Access To Justice, Colleen F. Shanahan Jan 2018

The Keys To The Kingdom: Judges, Pre-Hearing Procedure, And Access To Justice, Colleen F. Shanahan

Faculty Scholarship

Judges see themselves as – and many reforming voices urge them to be – facilitators of access to justice for pro se parties in our state civil and administrative courts. Judges' roles in pro se access to justice are inextricably linked with procedures and substantive law, yet our understanding of this relationship is limited. Do we change the rules, judicial behavior, or both to help self-represented parties? We have begun to examine this nuanced question in the courtroom, but we have not examined it in a potentially more promising context: pre-hearing motions made outside the courtroom. Outside the courtroom, judges rule on ...


The Keys To The Kingdom: Judges, Pre-Hearing Procedure, And Access To Justice, Colleen F. Shanahan Jan 2018

The Keys To The Kingdom: Judges, Pre-Hearing Procedure, And Access To Justice, Colleen F. Shanahan

Faculty Scholarship

Judges see themselves as – and many reforming voices urge them to be – facilitators of access to justice for pro se parties in our state civil and administrative courts. Judges’ roles in pro se access to justice are inextricably linked with procedures and substantive law, yet our understanding of this relationship is limited. Do we change the rules, judicial behavior, or both to help self-represented parties? We have begun to examine this nuanced question in the courtroom, but we have not examined it in a potentially more promising context: pre-hearing motions made outside the courtroom. Outside the courtroom, judges rule on ...


Courts As Institutional Reformers: Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson, William H. Simon Jan 2017

Courts As Institutional Reformers: Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This article compares two spheres in which courts induce and oversee the restructuring of organizations that fail systematically to comply with their legal obligations: bankruptcy reorganization and public law litigation (civil rights or regulatory suits seeking structural remedies). The analogies between bankruptcy and public law litigation (PLL) have grown stronger in recent years as structural decrees have evolved away from highly specific directives to “framework” decrees designed to induce engagement with stakeholders and make performance transparent. We use the comparison with bankruptcy, where the value and legitimacy of judicial intervention are better understood and more accepted, to address prominent criticisms ...


Courts As Institutional Reformers: Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson, William H. Simon Jan 2017

Courts As Institutional Reformers: Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This article compares two spheres in which courts induce and oversee the restructuring of organizations that fail systematically to comply with their legal obligations: bankruptcy reorganization and public law litigation (civil rights or regulatory suits seeking structural remedies). The analogies between bankruptcy and public law litigation (PLL) have grown stronger in recent years as structural decrees have evolved away from highly specific directives to “framework” decrees designed to induce engagement with stakeholders and make performance transparent. We use the comparison with bankruptcy, where the value and legitimacy of judicial intervention are better understood and more accepted, to address prominent criticisms ...


Lawyers, Power, And Strategic Expertise, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter, Alyx Mark Jan 2016

Lawyers, Power, And Strategic Expertise, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter, Alyx Mark

Faculty Scholarship

The only sound in a courtroom is the hum of the ventilation system. It feels as if everyone in the room is holding their breath …. Litigants are uneasy in the courthouse, plaintiffs and defendants alike. They fidget. They keep their coats on. They clutch their sheaves of paper-rent receipts and summonses, leases and bills. You can always tell the lawyers, because they claim the front row, take off their jackets, lay out their files. It's not just their ease with the language and the process that sets them apart. They dominate the space.

This empirical study analyzes the experience ...


Lawyers, Power, And Strategic Expertise, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter, Alyx Mark Jan 2014

Lawyers, Power, And Strategic Expertise, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter, Alyx Mark

Faculty Scholarship

This empirical study analyzes the experience of the parties described above, specifically the power, representation, and strategic expertise they bring to a dispute. Our analysis of these factors clarifies how representation may be a solution to the access to justice crisis. We find that a representative helps most parties most of the time. We also find that the other party’s representation and the representative’s strategic expertise are significant factors for understanding representation for civil litigants.

This study analyzes a database of 1,700 unemployment insurance appeals in the District of Columbia over a two-year period, the broadest and ...


Beyond The Private Attorney General: Equality Directives In American Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2013

Beyond The Private Attorney General: Equality Directives In American Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

American civil rights regulation is generally understood as relying on private enforcement in courts, rather than imposing positive duties on state actors to further equity goals. This Article argues that this dominant conception of American civil rights regulation is incomplete. Rather, American civil rights regulation also contains a set of “equality directives,” whose emergence and reach in recent years have gone unrecognized in the commentary. These federal-level equality directives use administrative tools of conditioned spending, policymaking, and oversight powerfully to promote substantive inclusion with regard to race, ethnicity, language, and disability. These directives move beyond the constraints of the standard ...


Idiosyncratic Risk During Economic Downturns: Implications For The Use Of Event Studies In Securities Litigation, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2013

Idiosyncratic Risk During Economic Downturns: Implications For The Use Of Event Studies In Securities Litigation, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

We reported in a recent paper that during the 2008-09 financial crisis, for the average firm, idiosyncratic risk, as measured by variance, increased by five-fold. This finding is important for securities litigation because idiosyncratic risk plays a central role in event study methodology. Event studies are commonly used in securities litigation to determine materiality and loss causation. Many bits of news affect an issuer’s share price at the time of a corporate disclosure that is the subject of litigation. Because of this, even if an issuer’s market–adjusted price changes at the time of the disclosure, one cannot ...


The Character Of The Governmental Action, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2012

The Character Of The Governmental Action, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City holds a secure position in the architecture of the regulatory takings doctrine. That doctrine is at bottom a tool for distinguishing between different governmental powers; in particular, between the power of eminent domain and the police power. Because eminent domain requires that compensation be paid, whereas the police power does not, it is necessary to draw a line between these powers. Conceivably we could simply take the legislature at its word as to which power it is exercising. But at least since Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, the Supreme Court has insisted ...


Litigation Finance: What Do Judges Need To Know?, Bert I. Huang Jan 2012

Litigation Finance: What Do Judges Need To Know?, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

The growth of “litigation finance” — the funding of lawsuits by outside investors who are neither parties nor counsel — is being closely watched by academics, the press, and the bar. The practice poses risks of conflicting interests and improper influence; and yet if carefully managed it may in fact enhance party autonomy. What questions, then, should judges be asking when dealing with a case with outside funding? This symposium essay offers judges a starting point: a menu of questions to ask parties who receive such financing. These inquiries aim to pierce simplistic labels such as “loan” or “investment,” in order to ...


Litigation Finance: What Do Judges Need To Know?, Bert Huang Jan 2012

Litigation Finance: What Do Judges Need To Know?, Bert Huang

Faculty Scholarship

In our classic image of an American lawsuit, including class actions, the plaintiffs lawyer pays the upfront costs and then hopes to recoup them from a share of the winnings. But today, this picture is incomplete. It is no longer only the law firm's own war chest that finances a case – so can outside investors and lenders. As Judge Hellerstein has just reminded us, the 9/11 cases he presided over involved such third-party financing. The Ecuadorian plaintiffs' environmental case against Chevron, now pending in the Southern District of New York, is another prominent example in the news.


Fee Shifting In Litigation: Survey And Assessment, Avery W. Katz, Chris William Sanchirico Jan 2010

Fee Shifting In Litigation: Survey And Assessment, Avery W. Katz, Chris William Sanchirico

Faculty Scholarship

Should the party who loses in litigation be forced to pay the legal fees of the winner? This paper surveys the economic literature regarding the effects of legal fee shifting on a variety of decisions arising before and during the litigation process. Section 2 provides a brief survey of the practical situations in which legal fee shifting does and does not arise. Section 3 analyzes the effects of indemnification on the incentives to expend resources in litigated cases. Section 4 examines how indemnification influences the decisions to bring and to defend against suit, and Section 5 assesses its effects on ...


Litigation & Professional Responsibility: Is Overlawyering Overtaking Democracy?, David M. Schizer Jan 2008

Litigation & Professional Responsibility: Is Overlawyering Overtaking Democracy?, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

Welcome everyone. We're going to get started. I'm David Schizer, the Dean of Columbia Law School. I'm here to moderate the panel, and our panel's title is, of course, "Is Overlawyering Overtaking Democracy?"

Now, as the moderator I get to ask questions, and I'm going to start with a question of the audience. My question is, aside from me, how many people here have seen Jerry Seinfeld's new animated movie, Bee Movie? I've a six-year-old daughter, which explains why I did – okay, a couple of people. For the rest of the audience's ...


Transparency Is The Solution, Not The Problem: A Reply To Bruce Green, William H. Simon Jan 2008

Transparency Is The Solution, Not The Problem: A Reply To Bruce Green, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This article replies to Bruce Green's critical response to my essay The Market for Bad Legal Advice. The first part defends the account of the facts and law in the aggregate litigation case study discussed in the essay. The second part elaborates on my views on the role of the academic expert witness in litigation.


Innovation Through Intimidation: An Empirical Account Of Defamation Litigation In China, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2006

Innovation Through Intimidation: An Empirical Account Of Defamation Litigation In China, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

This article examines 223 recent defamation cases in China. Empirical analysis of claims and outcomes reveals that defamation litigation is developing on two tracks. Track-one cases are brought by public officials, government and Communist Party entities, and corporations to restrict and silence the increasingly autonomous Chinese media. Track-two cases are brought by ordinary persons against the media – which remain an arm of the Party-state.

Conventional wisdom takes track-one suits as the paradigm and perceives defamation litigation in Chinese courts as yet another lever of state control over the media. Such developments correspond to the use of defamation law in other ...


Anticipating Litigation In Contract Design, Robert E. Scott, George G. Triantis Jan 2005

Anticipating Litigation In Contract Design, Robert E. Scott, George G. Triantis

Faculty Scholarship

Contract theory does not address the question of how parties design contracts under the existing adversarial system, which relies on the parties to establish relevant facts indirectly by the use of evidentiary proxies. In this Article, we advance a theory of contract design in a world of costly litigation. We examine the efficiency of investment at the front end and back end of the contracting process, where we focus on litigation as the back-end stage. In deciding whether to express their obligations in precise or vague terms, contracting parties implicitly allocate costs between the front and back end. When the ...


A Note On Presumptions With Sequential Litigation, Antonio E. Bernardo, Eric L. Talley Jan 1999

A Note On Presumptions With Sequential Litigation, Antonio E. Bernardo, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This note extends the Bernardo, Talley & Welch (1999) model of legal presumptions to study situations where litigation efforts are spent sequentially rather than simultaneously. The equilibria of the litigation stage are presented as functions of the underlying presumption. The equilibria and comparative statics are shown to be qualitatively similar to those of the simultaneous version. However, sequentiality allows the principal to pre commit to a litigation strategy, and thus possibly preempt any litigation effort whatsoever by the agent.


A Theory Of Legal Presumptions, Antonio E. Bernardo, Eric L. Talley, Ivo Welch Jan 1999

A Theory Of Legal Presumptions, Antonio E. Bernardo, Eric L. Talley, Ivo Welch

Faculty Scholarship

This paper develops a theoretical account of presumptions, focusing on their capacity to mediate between costly litigation and ex ante incentives. We augment a standard moral hazard model with a redistributional litigation game in which a legal presumption parameterizes how a court "weighs" evidence offered by the opposing sides. Strong pro-defendant presumptions can foreclose lawsuits altogether, but also lead to shirking. Strong pro-plaintiff presumptions have the opposite effects. Moderate presumptions give rise to equilibria in which productive effort and suit occur probabilistically. The socially-optimal presumption trades off litigation costs against agency costs, and could be either strong or moderate, depending ...


Class Action Litigation In China, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 1998

Class Action Litigation In China, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

Class struggle has moved to China's courtrooms. Since the passage of China's 1991 Civil Procedure Law (CPL), which explicitly permits class action litigation, multiplaintiff groups have brought suits seeking compensation for harm caused by pollution, false advertising, contract violations, and securities law violations. Although administrative bodies continue to resolve most disputes in China, the increasing prevalence of class actions is one aspect of an explosion in civil litigation over the past decade. Class action litigation has the potential to alter the role courts play in adjudicating disputes, increase access to the courts, and facilitate the independence of the ...


Provisional Relief In Transnational Litigation, George A. Bermann Jan 1997

Provisional Relief In Transnational Litigation, George A. Bermann

Faculty Scholarship

In this article, Professor Bermann identifies and analyzes the principal problems raised by the rapidly growing phenomenon of transnational provisional relief National courts are facing serious challenges in organizing such interventions, but as yet lack a sufficiently comprehensive framework of analysis. The author begins with the clarifying distinction that provisional relief may be transnational either because of its significant effects abroad or because it lends support to protective measures ordered by foreign courts, and draws on the experiences of U.S. and foreign courts in determining the costs of both granting and withholding provisional relief He concludes that, despite the ...


Recovery For Economic Loss Following The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 1994

Recovery For Economic Loss Following The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

The physical cleanup following one of the worst oil spills in history, that of the Exxon Valdez, is done. The legal cleanup, however, has barely begun. Over 100 law firms participating in over 200 suits in federal and state courts involving more than 30,000 claims are presently engaged in litigation. Fishermen, cannery workers, fishing lodges, tour boat operators, oil companies whose shipments were delayed, and even California motorists facing higher gasoline prices have filed claims against Exxon and its fellow defendants.

Most claimants face a formidable roadblock, the so-called Robins doctrine. Under Robins Dry Dock & Repair Co. v. Flint ...


The Devolution Of The Legal Profession: A Demand Side Perspective, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 1990

The Devolution Of The Legal Profession: A Demand Side Perspective, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

Economic analysis has not played a significant role in the increasingly intense debate over the decline of professionalism among lawyers.Economists' lack of interest in the issue may be understandable. The lawyers' lament is that the legal profession is devolving into the business of law. That this concern has not captured the economists' attention may reflect only that economists do not view the label "business" as a pejorative. If becoming a business means efficiently rendering an important service in a competitive environment, then of what is there to complain?

Lawyers, more directly concerned with maintaining their professional status, would find ...


The Use Of Anti-Suit Injunctions In International Litigation, George A. Bermann Jan 1990

The Use Of Anti-Suit Injunctions In International Litigation, George A. Bermann

Faculty Scholarship

Of the various forms of provisional relief in the context of inter-national litigation, none has sparked as much interest and controversy as the international anti-suit injunction. In many ways the international anti-suit injunction, an instrument by which a court of one jurisdiction seeks to restrain the conduct of litigation in another jurisdiction, resembles more conventional forms of international provisional relief such as the foreign attachment or preliminary injunction. Like them, the anti-suit injunction affords courts an important opportunity to affect the course and significance of litigation abroad. However, such intervention strongly implies – and often actually creates – jurisdictional conflict rather than ...