When Should a Case be Dismissed? The Economics of Pleading and Summary Judgment Standards
Keith N. Hylton
William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor, Boston University; Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law
April 14, 2006
Boston Univ. School of Law Working Paper No. 06-06
This paper applies a simple economic framework to the choice between pleading and summary judgment as points at which a claim can be dismissed. It concludes generally that pleading standards should vary with the evidentiary demands of the associated legal standards and the social costs of litigation. The common law's imposition of higher pleading standards for fraud claims is consistent with this proposition. The theory implies that the rigorous summary judgment standards that have been developed by antitrust courts should lead to a correspondingly rigorous assessment at the pleading stage.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: economics of pleading, summary judgment standards, pleading, summary judgment, social costs of litigation
JEL Classification: K00, K13, K21, K41working papers series
Date posted: April 18, 2006
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