Litigation, Judicial Path-Dependence, and Legal Change

24 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2004  

Vincy Fon

George Washington University - Department of Economics

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna

Ben Depoorter

University of California Hastings College of Law; Ugent - CASLE; Stanford CIS

Abstract

In this paper we consider the role that litigation and case selection play in the process of legal change. We examine the effect of judicial path dependence on the consolidation of liability rules and legal remedies, paying special attention to litigation between parties with different stakes. In the presence of asymmetric stakes, judicial path dependence may lead to consolidation or contraction of legal rules. We study the consequence of private litigation decisions on the contraction or consolidation of legal rules under various litigation and judicial environments. We also consider the relevance of the degree of asymmetry in the litigation stakes, the existence and nature of positive litigation costs, and the weight of past precedents on the ongoing process of legal evolution.

JEL Classification: K0, K40, K13, K41

Suggested Citation

Fon, Vincy and Parisi, Francesco and Depoorter, Ben, Litigation, Judicial Path-Dependence, and Legal Change. European Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 20, No. 1, July 2005; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 02-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=339460

Vincy Fon (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

2115 G Street, N.W.
Monroe Hall, #366
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-7580 (Phone)
202-994-6147 (Fax)

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy

Ben Depoorter

University of California Hastings College of Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Ugent - CASLE ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Belgium

Stanford CIS ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

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