He Paid, She Paid: Exploiting Israeli Courts' Rulings on Litigation Costs to Explore Gender Biases

26 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2016

See all articles by Talia Fisher

Talia Fisher

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law; Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Tamar Kricheli‐Katz

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

Issachar Rosen-Zvi

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell University, Law School (Deceased)

Date Written: September 2016

Abstract

This study documents gender disparities in litigation‐cost rulings in Israel. It expands on the existing literature on judicial bias in at least two important ways: by controlling for the merits of the cases and by focusing on civil litigation. The first improvement is methodological. The unique Israeli regime of litigation costs allows us to control for the merit of the cases, as well as for other typically unobservable variables, and thus to isolate and observe judicial bias. The second improvement on the existing literature on judicial bias involves focusing on outcome disparities in the civil (rather than criminal) justice system. Although numerous studies explore gender‐based disparities in the criminal justice sphere, only a very small number of studies explore such disparities in the civil arena. We found clear disparities in the allocation of litigation costs between men and women. Male plaintiffs who lost were ordered to pay the winners' legal fees more often than were losing women as sole plaintiffs or as part of all‐women plaintiff groups. Likewise, the fees women plaintiffs who lost a case were obliged to pay were less than those required of losing men, and women defendants who won cases received higher fee awards than similarly situated men.

Suggested Citation

Fisher, Talia and Kricheli Katz, Tamar and Rosen-zvi, Issachar and Eisenberg, Theodore, He Paid, She Paid: Exploiting Israeli Courts' Rulings on Litigation Costs to Explore Gender Biases (September 2016). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 13, Issue 3, pp. 536-561, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2820812 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jels.12124

Talia Fisher (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978, IL
Israel

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )

124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Tamar Kricheli Katz

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978, IL
Israel

Issachar Rosen-zvi

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978, IL
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.tau.ac.il/Eng/?CategoryID=242&ArticleID=202

Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell University, Law School (Deceased) ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

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