Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2045733
 


 



Building a Taxonomy of Litigation: Clusters of Causes of Action in Federal Complaints


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

Zoran Obradovic


Temple University

Kosta Ritovski


Temple University

December 14, 2012

J. Emp. Leg. Stud. ___ (2013, Forthcoming)
Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-23

Abstract:     
This project empirically explores civil litigation from its inception by examining the content of civil complaints. We utilize spectral cluster analysis on a newly compiled federal district court dataset of causes of action in complaints to illustrate the relationship of legal claims to one another, the broader composition of lawsuits in trial courts, and the breadth of pleading in individual complaints. Our results shed light not only on the networks of legal theories in civil litigation but also on how lawsuits are classified and the strategies that plaintiffs and their attorneys employ when commencing litigation. This approach permits us to lay the foundations for a more precise and useful taxonomy of federal litigation than has been previously available, one that, after the Supreme Court's recent decisions in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly (2007) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal (2009), has also arguably never been more relevant than it is today.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 51

Keywords: complaints, pleadings, Twombly, Iqbal, cluster analysis, causes of action, attorney behavior, network analysis

JEL Classification: K4, K41, C45

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: April 25, 2012 ; Last revised: January 11, 2013

Suggested Citation

Boyd, Christina L. and Hoffman, David A. and Obradovic, Zoran and Ritovski, Kosta, Building a Taxonomy of Litigation: Clusters of Causes of Action in Federal Complaints (December 14, 2012). J. Emp. Leg. Stud. ___ (2013, Forthcoming); Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-23. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2045733 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2045733

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
Zoran Obradovic
Temple University ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
Kosta Ritovski
Temple University ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
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