The Effect of Judicial Expedience on Attorney Fees in Class Actions
Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; RAND
University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
March 24, 2010
Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 36, No. 1, Pg. 171, 2007
FSU College of Law, Law and Economics Paper No. 05-07
FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 138
A judge facing exogenous constraints on his pecuniary income has an incentive to reduce his workload to increase his private welfare. In the face of an increase in caseload, this incentive will induce judges to attempt to terminate some cases more rapidly. In class action cases, failing to grant an attorney's fee request will delay termination. This conflict is likely to lead judges to authorize higher fees as court congestion increases. Using two datasets of class action settlements, we show that attorney fees are significantly and positively related to the congestion level of the court hearing the case.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: class action, attorney fees, judicial behavior, shirking
JEL Classification: D73, J22, J24, K00, K13, K41Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 17, 2004 ; Last revised: March 25, 2010
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