Judge Shopping

36 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2020

See all articles by Marcel Kahan

Marcel Kahan

New York University School of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute

Troy A. McKenzie

New York University School of Law

Date Written: August 2020

Abstract

We examine related case rules, which are local rules adopted by federal district courts to determine whether a newly filed civil action will be assigned to a randomly chosen judge or, instead, to a judge presiding over a previously-filed similar case. Different federal districts have adopted divergent approaches to the definition of “relatedness” as well as to the process for determining whether a case satisfies the definition. We analyze how these design choices affect the ability of parties to engage in strategic manipulations to direct a case toward (or away from) a particular judge to gain an advantage in litigation and set forth suggestions for the optimal design of the assignment rules for related cases.

Keywords: Federal Courts & Jurisdiction, LC: Litigants & the Judiciary (Topic), Law & Economics: Public Law (Topic), LSCP: Pleadings, Motions & Pretrial Procedure (Topic), LSC: Judges (Topic), LSC: Procedure (Topic), Law & Society: Public Law – Courts – Judges, Other Law & Society: Public Law - Courts

JEL Classification: Federal Courts & Jurisdiction, LC: Litigants & the Judiciary (Topic), Law & Economics: Public Law (T

Suggested Citation

Kahan, Marcel and McKenzie, Troy A., Judge Shopping (August 2020). NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 20-38, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3706516 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3706516

Marcel Kahan (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
212-998-6268 (Phone)
212-995-4341 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Troy A. McKenzie

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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