Are Sequential Trials Really Better than Unitary Trials?
34 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2012
Date Written: August 31, 2012
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.
Keywords: rent-seeking, litigation expenditures, sequential litigation
JEL Classification: B31, D72, K10, K12, K13, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation