Litigating Toward Settlement

Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization (Forthcoming)

Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-8

52 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2010 Last revised: 14 May 2012

Christina L. Boyd

University of Georgia - School of Public and International Affairs

David A. Hoffman

University of Pennsylvania Law School; Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School

Date Written: October 11, 2010

Abstract

Civil litigation typically ends when the parties compromise. While existing theories of settlement primarily focus on information exchange, we instead examine how motion practice, especially non-discovery motions, can substantially shape parties’ knowledge about their cases and thereby influence the timing of settlement. Using docket-level federal district court data, we find a number of strong effects regarding how motions can influence this process, including that the filing of a motion significantly speeds case settlement, that granted motions are more immediately critical to settlement timing than motions denied, and that plaintiff victories have a stronger effect than defendant victories. These results provide a uniquely detailed look at the mechanism of compromise via information exchange and motion practice in litigation while simultaneously yielding evidence that this effect goes well beyond the traditionally studied discovery process.

Keywords: settlement, hazard models, motion practice, discovery, options theory, psychology of litigation, empirical legal studies

JEL Classification: C5, D82, D83, K41

Suggested Citation

Boyd, Christina L. and Hoffman, David A., Litigating Toward Settlement (October 11, 2010). Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization (Forthcoming); Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-8. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1649643 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1649643

Christina L. Boyd

University of Georgia - School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States

David A. Hoffman (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Samson Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School

127 Wall St
New Haven, CT 06520
United States

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