Signaling, Learning, and Screening Prior to Trial: Informational Implications of Preliminary Injunctions
Thomas D. Jeitschko
Michigan State University - Department of Economics
Georgia Institute of Technology
February 25, 2012
Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization (2012) doi: 10.1093/jleo/ews015
Preliminary injunctions (PIs) are important in litigation in many settings, including antitrust, copyright, patent, trademark, employment and labor relations, and contracts. The filing of a PI and the court's ruling generate information that can impact settlement. We find that some plaintiffs request a PI to signal bounds on their damages in order to elicit better settlement offers. As a result, the parties are more likely to come to an out-of-court agreement permitting the disputed activity, compared to when a PI is motivated solely by defensive reasons to avert immediate damages during trial. Although the grant of a PI reduces ex post incentives for potential litigants to settle, this is more than offset by an increase in settlement upon a denial. Thus, ex ante, learning leads to more settlement. Nevertheless, the anticipation of learning and increased chances of settlement do not affect the initial filing decision.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 49
Keywords: preliminary injunction, learning, signaling, screening, litigation, settlement
JEL Classification: D8, J53, K21, K41, K42, L2
Date posted: June 4, 2009 ; Last revised: July 25, 2012
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