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Targeting Poverty In The Courts: Improving The Measurement Of Ability To Pay Fines, Meghan M. O'Neil, J.J. Prescott Jan 2019

Targeting Poverty In The Courts: Improving The Measurement Of Ability To Pay Fines, Meghan M. O'Neil, J.J. Prescott

Articles

Ability-to-pay determinations are essential when governments use money-based alternative sanctions, like fines, to enforce laws. One longstanding difficulty in the U.S. has been the extreme lack of guidance on how courts are to determine a litigant’s ability to pay. The result has been a seat-of-the-pants approach that is inefficient and inaccurate, and, as a consequence, very socially costly. Fortunately, online platform technology presents a promising avenue for reform. In particular, platform technology offers the potential to increase litigant access, reduce costs, and ensure consistent and fair treatment—all of which should lead to more accurate sanctions. We use interviews, surveys, and …


Assessing Access-To-Justice Outreach Strategies, J. J. Prescott Jan 2018

Assessing Access-To-Justice Outreach Strategies, J. J. Prescott

Articles

The need for prospective beneficiaries to “take up” new programs is a common stumbling block for otherwise well-designed legal and policy innovations. I examine the take-up problem in the context of publicly provided court services and test the effectiveness of various outreach strategies that announce a newly available online court access platform. I study individuals with minor arrest warrants whose distrust of courts may dampen any take-up response. I partnered with a court to quasi-randomly assign outreach approaches to a cohort of individuals and find that outreach improves take-up, that the type of outreach matters, and that online platform access …


Improving Access To Justice In State Courts With Platform Technology, J. J. Prescott Nov 2017

Improving Access To Justice In State Courts With Platform Technology, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Access to justice often equates to access to state courts, and for millions of Americans, using state courts to resolve their disputes—often with the government—is a real challenge. Reforms are regularly proposed in the hopes of improving the situation (e.g., better legal aid), but until recently a significant part of the problem has been structural. Using state courts today for all but the simplest of legal transactions entails at the very least traveling to a courthouse and meeting with a decision maker in person and in a one-on-one setting. Even minimally effective access, therefore, requires time, transportation, and very often …


Factors In Fairness And Emotion In Online Case Resolution Systems, Youyang Hou, Cliff Lampe, Maximilian Bulinski, J. J. Prescott May 2017

Factors In Fairness And Emotion In Online Case Resolution Systems, Youyang Hou, Cliff Lampe, Maximilian Bulinski, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Courts are increasingly adopting online information and communication technology, creating a need to consider the potential consequences of these tools for the justice system. Using survey responses from 209 litigants who had recently used an online case resolution system, we investigate factors that influenced litigants’ experiences of fairness and emotional feelings toward court officials. Our results show that ease of using the online case resolution system, the outcome of the case, and a litigant’s perceptions of procedural justice are positively associated both with whether the litigant views the process as fair and whether the litigant ultimately feels positive emotions toward …


Noncompliance, Nonenforcement, Nonproblem? Rethinking The Anticommons In Biomedical Research, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2008

Noncompliance, Nonenforcement, Nonproblem? Rethinking The Anticommons In Biomedical Research, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

A decade ago the biomedical research community was sounding alarm bells about the impact of intellectual property (IP) rights on the ability of scientists to do their work. Controversies and delays in negotiating terms of access to patented mice and genes, databases of scientific information, and tangible research materials all pointed toward the same conclusion: that IP claims were undermining traditional sharing norms to the detriment of science. Michael Heller and I highlighted one dimension of this concern: that too many IP rights in "upstream" research results could paradoxically restrict "downstream" research and product development by making it too costly …