Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1883599
 
 

References (28)



 
 

Citations (1)



 


 



Why Do Plaintiffs Lose Appeals? Biased Trial Courts, Litigious Losers, or Low Trial Win Rates?


Henry S. Farber


Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Theodore Eisenberg


Cornell University - Law School

July 11, 2011

Princeton University Industrial Relations Section Working Paper No. 567

Abstract:     
Multiple studies find that plaintiffs who lose at trial and subsequently appeal are less successful on appeal than are losing defendants who appeal. The studies attribute this to a perception by appellate judges that trial courts are biased in favor of plaintiffs. However, at least two alternative explanations exist. First, losing plaintiffs may appeal at higher rates independent of the potential merits. Second, if plaintiffs tend to pursue to trial lawsuits where they should win on the merits less than half the time, then errors at trial will be more likely to adversely affect defendants. This study revisits the analysis of the appellate process with a theoretical model that has implications not only for appellate outcomes but for the rate of appeal. By tying together win rates at trial, appeals rates, and success rates on appeal, the model can distinguish the competing explanations for differential appellate success rates. We estimate this model using matched data on Federal District Court trials and appeals to the U. S. Circuit Courts of Appeal. We provide evidence that the lower plaintiff success rate on appeal is due to plaintiffs' pursuing lawsuits where they should win on the merits (which we define to be an outcome that will not be reversed or remanded on appeal) less than half the time. We also provide evidence against explaining asymmetric success on appeal being attributable to trial courts favoring plaintiffs and evidence against juries being favorable to plaintiffs compared to judges.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

working papers series


Download This Paper

Date posted: July 11, 2011 ; Last revised: May 15, 2012

Suggested Citation

Farber, Henry S. and Eisenberg, Theodore, Why Do Plaintiffs Lose Appeals? Biased Trial Courts, Litigious Losers, or Low Trial Win Rates? (July 11, 2011). Princeton University Industrial Relations Section Working Paper No. 567. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1883599 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1883599

Contact Information

Henry S. Farber (Contact Author)
Princeton University ( email )
Industrial Relations Section
Firestone Library
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-4044 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Theodore Eisenberg
Cornell University - Law School ( email )
524 College Ave
Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-6477 (Phone)
607-255-7193 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,504
Downloads: 141
Download Rank: 121,690
References:  28
Citations:  1

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo6 in 0.313 seconds