Abstract

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Litigating Toward Settlement


Christina L. Boyd


State University of New York (SUNY) - Department of Political Science

David A. Hoffman


Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law; Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School

October 11, 2010

Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization (Forthcoming)
Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-8

Abstract:     
Civil litigation typically ends when the parties compromise. While existing theories of settlement primarily focus on information exchange, we instead examine how motion practice, especially non-discovery motions, can substantially shape parties’ knowledge about their cases and thereby influence the timing of settlement. Using docket-level federal district court data, we find a number of strong effects regarding how motions can influence this process, including that the filing of a motion significantly speeds case settlement, that granted motions are more immediately critical to settlement timing than motions denied, and that plaintiff victories have a stronger effect than defendant victories. These results provide a uniquely detailed look at the mechanism of compromise via information exchange and motion practice in litigation while simultaneously yielding evidence that this effect goes well beyond the traditionally studied discovery process.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

Keywords: settlement, hazard models, motion practice, discovery, options theory, psychology of litigation, empirical legal studies

JEL Classification: C5, D82, D83, K41

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Date posted: August 6, 2010 ; Last revised: May 14, 2012

Suggested Citation

Boyd, Christina L. and Hoffman, David A., Litigating Toward Settlement (October 11, 2010). Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization (Forthcoming); Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-8. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1649643 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1649643

Contact Information

Christina L. Boyd
State University of New York (SUNY) - Department of Political Science ( email )
520 Park Hall
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
HOME PAGE: http://cLboyd.net
David A. Hoffman (Contact Author)
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )
1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-0612 (Phone)
Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School
127 Wall St
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
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