The Favoring Plaintiff Fee-Shifting Rule in Europe: An Alternative to Legal Aid in Financing Civil Litigation

RILE- BACT Working Paper Series No. 2015/4

15 Pages Posted: 28 May 2015 Last revised: 13 Sep 2015

See all articles by Filippo Roda

Filippo Roda

University of Bologna - Department of Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics; University of Hamburg - Institute of Law and Economics

Date Written: May 28, 2015

Abstract

This paper aims to investigate whether (inEurope) the Favoring Plaintifffee-shifting Rule can be an alternative to legal aid for assisting wealth-constrained Plaintiffs in pursuing cases, that would otherwise be dropped. According to the Favoring Plaintiff fee-shifting Rule, in litigation a successful Plaintiff is able to recover attorney’s fees, while a successful Defendant is not. By means of a game theoretic model, it is firstly shown that the rule, by reducing the Plaintiff’s expected cost from litigation, is effective in facilitating the Plaintiff’s access to Justice. Furthermore, under certain conditions it might also be more effective than legal aid. Moreover, it is shown how the litigation rate and the number of settled cases are differently affected by legal aid and by the Favoring Plaintiff fee-shifting Rule. In particular, while legal aid increases the litigation rate, the number of cases that are litigated rather than settled always decreases under the Favoring Plaintiff fee-shifting Rule. Finally it is briefly discussed how the Favoring Plaintiff fee-shifting Rule could be implemented from a policy perspective.

Keywords: litigation, favoring plaintiff fee-shifting rule, legal aid, litigation costs

JEL Classification: C70, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Roda, Filippo, The Favoring Plaintiff Fee-Shifting Rule in Europe: An Alternative to Legal Aid in Financing Civil Litigation (May 28, 2015). RILE- BACT Working Paper Series No. 2015/4. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2611608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2611608

Filippo Roda (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40125
Italy

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
PO box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law and Economics ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany

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