Are Sequential Trials Really Better than Unitary Trials?
Jef P. B. De Mot
Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) - Faculty of Business and Economics; University of St. Thomas School of Law
University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna
August 31, 2012
U of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-23
Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-38
In a dispute involving multifarious points of disagreement, courts have the discretion to adjudicate issues separately in multiple, sequential proceedings or all-at-once in a single unitary proceeding. In this paper, we contrast the effects of sequential and unitary trials on parties’ decisions to litigate and parties’ expenditures in litigation, using a rent-seeking model. Contrary to the prior literature on this topic, we find that neither procedural regime is outright superior to the other and that the optimal choice of procedural regime is contingent on factors particular to each case. Furthermore, we identify which conditions cause one procedural regime to be more efficient than the other, and suggest policies to take advantage of these differences.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: rent-seeking, litigation expenditures, sequential litigation
JEL Classification: B31, D72, K10, K12, K13, K41working papers series
Date posted: September 2, 2012
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