Strategic Plaintiffs and Ideological Judges in Telecommunications Litigation

39 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2005  

John M. de Figueiredo

Duke University School of Law; Duke University - Fuqua School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of judicial ideology on the selection and outcome of telecommunications regulatory cases. Using a dataset on Federal Communications Commission orders and trials from 1990 to 1995, this paper shows that changes in the make-up of the bench of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affects not only who wins the cases, but also the cases selected for litigation. Specifically, firms are more likely to bring cases when the agency decisions are ideologically distant from the bench than when the two actors are close ideologically. Judges, who are subsequently randomly selected, vote ideologically as the firms' actions predict they will, with Republicans judges overturning Democratic agency decisions and vice versa. The effect of judicial ideology on case election is larger than the effect of judicial ideology on case outcomes. Additionally the paper also shows that plaintiff characteristics have little impact in determining case outcomes, but a statistically significant impact on cases selected for litigation. Finally, the paper provides initial evidence that regulatory uncertainty may lead to more litigation.

Suggested Citation

de Figueiredo, John M., Strategic Plaintiffs and Ideological Judges in Telecommunications Litigation. Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Forthcoming; Princeton Law and Public Affairs Working Paper No. 05-007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=747647

John M. De Figueiredo (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

215 Morris St., Suite 300
Durham, NC 27701
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
102
Rank
154,272
Abstract Views
1,704