When Should a Case Be Dismissed? The Economics of Pleading and Summary Judgment Standards

37 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2006

See all articles by Keith N. Hylton

Keith N. Hylton

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: April 14, 2006

Abstract

This paper applies a simple economic framework to the choice between pleading and summary judgment as points at which a claim can be dismissed. It concludes generally that pleading standards should vary with the evidentiary demands of the associated legal standards and the social costs of litigation. The common law's imposition of higher pleading standards for fraud claims is consistent with this proposition. The theory implies that the rigorous summary judgment standards that have been developed by antitrust courts should lead to a correspondingly rigorous assessment at the pleading stage.

Keywords: economics of pleading, summary judgment standards, pleading, summary judgment, social costs of litigation

JEL Classification: K00, K13, K21, K41

Suggested Citation

Hylton, Keith N., When Should a Case Be Dismissed? The Economics of Pleading and Summary Judgment Standards (April 14, 2006). Boston Univ. School of Law Working Paper No. 06-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=897486 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.897486

Keith N. Hylton (Contact Author)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-8959 (Phone)
617-353-3077 (Fax)

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