The Deplorable Vanishing of Fox's Trial

4 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2023 Last revised: 29 Apr 2023

See all articles by John Lande

John Lande

University of Missouri School of Law

Date Written: April 24, 2023


About 20 years ago, there was a flurry of worries about “the vanishing trial.” Professor Marc Galanter described trials as having the potential for “deep accountability” where facts are exposed and responsibility is assessed. The Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox Corporation and Fox News is just the kind of case in which a trial would have provided deep accountability. Instead, according to New York Times columnist David French, the settlement enables Fox to avoid accountability and “pay for the privilege of continued corruption” as just another cost of doing business. The court implored the parties to settle, which is not necessarily problematic in garden-variety commercial cases that involve no significant public interest. But the Dominion lawsuit involved a paramount public interest, and the court should not have pressed the parties to settle.

Keywords: accountability, responsibility, settlement, trial, vanishing trial, corruption, cost of doing business, settlement pressure, public interest

Suggested Citation

Lande, John, The Deplorable Vanishing of Fox's Trial (April 24, 2023). University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2023-06, Available at SSRN:

John Lande (Contact Author)

University of Missouri School of Law ( email )

Hulston Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

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