Irreparable Benefits

18 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2006  

Douglas Lichtman

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Date Written: September 2006

Abstract

The conventional approach to preliminary relief focuses on irreparable harm but neglects entirely irreparable benefits. That is hard to understand. Errant irreversible harms are important because they distort incentives and have lasting distributional consequences. But the same is true of errant irreversible gains. When a preliminary injunction wrongly issues, then, there are actually two distinct errors to count: the irreparable harm wrongly imposed on the nonmoving party, and the irreparable benefit wrongly enjoyed by the moving party. Similarly, when a preliminary injunction is wrongly denied, there are again two errors, not one: the irreparable harm wrongly imposed on the moving party, and the irreparable benefit errantly accorded the nonmoving party. The conventional approach to preliminary relief mistakenly accounts for only half the problem.

Suggested Citation

Lichtman, Douglas, Irreparable Benefits (September 2006). U Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 305; U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 137. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=928907 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.928907

Douglas Gary Lichtman (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-267-4617 (Phone)

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