Plaintiff-Side Representation in Medical Malpractice Litigation: How Much Value Do Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Add?

33 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2015 Last revised: 16 Oct 2015

See all articles by David A. Hyman

David A. Hyman

Georgetown University Law Center

Mohammad Hossein Rahmati

Sharif University of Technology

Bernard S. Black

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law

Charles Silver

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law

Date Written: October 15, 2015

Abstract

In an earlier paper, we quantified the market share, case mix, success rate, and amount recovered by the 1,317 law firms and lawyers that handled every medical malpractice case resolved in Illinois during 2000-2010. We stratify these 1,317 law firms and lawyers into four discrete “firm-levels” based on the total amount recovered, and use trimming and inverse propensity weighting to evaluate the effect of having a lawyer and of the firm-level of that lawyer on case outcomes. After controlling for observable covariates, we show that having a lawyer results in large and economically significant differences in both the probability of prevailing, and expected recovery. Lawyers from higher firm-levels have modestly higher success rates and substantially higher expected recoveries. However, we do not observe similar performance differentials when we compare the most elite plaintiffs’ lawyers with firms that are just below them on the “recovery spectrum.” Our findings indicate that there are substantial benefits to having a lawyer – and from having a lawyer from a higher firm-level -- but there are diminishing marginal returns at the top of the market. We use these findings to place some boundaries on the “value-added” by plaintiffs’ lawyers.

Suggested Citation

Hyman, David A. and Rahmati, Mohammad Hossein and Black, Bernard S. and Silver, Charles M., Plaintiff-Side Representation in Medical Malpractice Litigation: How Much Value Do Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Add? (October 15, 2015). University of Illinois College of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-23, Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 15-08, U of Texas Law, Law and Econ Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2629449

David A. Hyman (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Mohammad Hossein Rahmati

Sharif University of Technology ( email )

Graduate School of Business and Economics
Sharif University of Technology
Tehran
Iran
+98-21-6604-9195 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://gsme.sharif.edu/~rahmati/

Bernard S. Black

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-2784 (Phone)

Charles M. Silver

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
512-232-1337 (Phone)
512-232-1372 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
4
Abstract Views
256
PlumX Metrics