The Effect of Judicial Expedience on Attorney Fees in Class Actions
17 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2004 Last revised: 25 Mar 2010
Date Written: March 24, 2010
A judge facing exogenous constraints on his pecuniary income has an incentive to reduce his workload to increase his private welfare. In the face of an increase in caseload, this incentive will induce judges to attempt to terminate some cases more rapidly. In class action cases, failing to grant an attorney's fee request will delay termination. This conflict is likely to lead judges to authorize higher fees as court congestion increases. Using two datasets of class action settlements, we show that attorney fees are significantly and positively related to the congestion level of the court hearing the case.
Keywords: class action, attorney fees, judicial behavior, shirking
JEL Classification: D73, J22, J24, K00, K13, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation