Ph.D. Candidate, University of Alabama
Who wins lawsuits and why?
We aren't sure why lawsuits resolve the way they do. Some say that the judge is most important. Other people say the parties are more important. My research helps to take the spaghetti plate that is modern American lawsuits, and disentangle it so that we can identify the things that judges influence, the things that parties influence, and the places in the process where they interact with one another. To do that, I extend a unique dataset that examines ten years of enforcement lawsuits brought by an American administrative agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Because the EEOC is not allowed to resolve cases privately, I have information on the money plaintiffs receive for every case in the dataset. This gives me much more information on the winners and losers of the case than a simple yes or no answer to the question of "who won?" This research has implications for the effectiveness of American policy efforts to eradicate workplace discrimination. It also has implications for a larger interest in resource redistribution and where the costs of prejudice fall in modern American society.
Abstract: In this paper, we extend to CPS, a risk model commonly employed in the fields of environmental science, food safety and chemical engineering, where risk is conceptualized as a function of both technical hazard and moral outrage. Much as Jagannathan and Camasso (2011, 2013) did, we argue that child fatalities resulting from maltreatment and the moral outrage they often engender serve to influence CPS operations by altering CPS worker and child welfare organizational decision rules. In our empirical analyses, we test for an independent effect of social outrage (captured by child fatalities) on worker decisions while controlling for hazard and other relevant determinants. We also test whether this relationship is mediated by child welfare reform measures undertaken via judicial interventions or class action litigation. Using data from NCANDS (n = 1122 state-year observations over a 22 year time period across all 50 states and District of Columbia) and panel regression methods we show that social outrage caused by child fatalities significantly and directly influence child welfare worker decisions to: accept a referral of alleged maltreatment for investigation, substantiate reports of maltreatment, and place children out-of-home.
Pub.: 29 Mar '17, Pinned: 20 Dec '17
Abstract: Using a novel sample of 83,260 lawsuits filed in US Federal District courts, we extend the results of prior studies investigating market value and reputational losses due to corporate misconduct. We examine alternative explanations for the loss in market value, such as media coverage, the expectation of subsequent litigation, and the defendant's willingness to settle, in addition to previously documented factors. Our results suggest that with the exception of securities litigation, this loss in market value can be attributed to these alternative explanations rather than to reputational consequences. This finding is confirmed by several indirect measures of reputation loss.
Pub.: 09 Mar '17, Pinned: 20 Dec '17
Abstract: Employers are using pre-employment personality tests with increased frequency to identify the candidates best equipped to perform certain jobs and to eliminate the candidates least likely to succeed. While these tests promise higher retention rates and increased objectivity in hiring, they can also expose employers to litigation for violation of federal anti-discrimination statutes. This installment of Accounting Matters explores several recent lawsuits and the laws governing the discrimination claims, and concludes by offering several best practices for reducing the risk of litigation when using pre-employment personality tests.
Pub.: 12 Jan '17, Pinned: 20 Dec '17
Abstract: Errors and notices to appear in court are a reality of life for many midwives and exert significant effects on both their professional and personal lives. Given the increasing population policies in place, this study was conducted to examine midwives' experiences of litigation in Iran.A qualitative study was conducted in 2014 using an interpretive phenomenological approach. The interviews were recorded and transcribed and were then analyzed using the Diekelmann method.Midwives who participated had professional experience ranging from 3 to 22 years at the time of the complaints. Five participants had received more than one complaint, and 10 participants were judged as guilty creating/leaving significant effects on various dimensions of their lives.The present research disclosed four main themes from the interviews including feeling ruined by the complaints, being conflicted between denial and belief, having shattered hopes of release, and experiencing the slowed-down rhythm of midwifery. From these, a basic pattern of "living in despair" was extracted. Litigation is a painful experience for midwives. Anxiety regarding compensation for the patients' losses, public judgment, prolonged litigations, and undermined professional dignity create physical and psychological ramifications for these midwives. Negative feelings about litigation, compounded by the lack of legal support from the authorities, cause a sense of hopelessness regarding the future of the midwifery profession.
Pub.: 19 Aug '17, Pinned: 20 Dec '17
Abstract: Patent litigation is not only a battlefield of intellectual property rights, but also a context in which patent value becomes more transparent to the parties concerned. Integrating the resource-based theory with the attention-based view, this study argues that a focal patent's attributes and its assignee's cognitive constraints may result in confounding effects on the odds of patent litigation. In a sample of patent infringement lawsuits involving 520 patents granted in the computer chipset industry, the results show that a patent's pendency time and scope of claims both have positive effects on the odds of patent litigation. Furthermore, we found that the main relationship is negatively moderated by the assignee's inward-looking and managerial attention dilution, respectively. This study confirms the need for a dual-theoretical view, and highlights the context-bound nature of patent litigation.
Pub.: 01 May '17, Pinned: 20 Dec '17
Abstract: •The U.S. restoration-based damage measure has led to successful case resolutions.•Damages include cost of primary and compensatory restoration to make public whole.•Habitat equivalency analysis predominates to scale ecological services restoration.•Habitat equivalency analysis presumes equivalency of ecological services at injury and restoration sites.•Valuation approaches available, but rarely used for ecological services.
Pub.: 01 Mar '17, Pinned: 20 Dec '17
Abstract: This article translates and extends Becker (1968) from public law enforcement to private litigation by examining optimal legal system design in a model with private suits, signals of case strength, court error, and two types of primary behavior: harmful acts that may be deterred and benign acts that may be chilled. The instruments examined are filing fees or subsidies that may be imposed on either party, damage awards and payments by unsuccessful plaintiffs (each of which may be decoupled), and the stringency of the evidence threshold (burden of proof). With no constraints, results arbitrarily close to the first best can be implemented. Prior analyses of optimal damage awards, decoupling, and fee shifting are shown to involve special cases. More important, previous results change qualitatively when implicit assumptions are relaxed. For example, introducing a filing fee can make it optimal to minimize what losing plaintiffs pay winning defendants and to reduce the evidence threshold as much as possible — even though the direct effect of these adjustments is to chill desirable behavior, a key feature absent in prior work.
Pub.: 01 Nov '17, Pinned: 20 Dec '17
Abstract: This paper analyzes legal fact-argumentation in the framework of the argumentation-based litigation game (ALG) by Xiong (Leg Sci 370(9):16–19, 2012). Rather than as an ontological one, an ALG treats a legal fact as a fact-qua-claim whose acceptability depends on the reasons supporting it. In constructing their facts-qua-claims, parties to an ALG must interact to maintain a game-theoretic equilibrium. We compare the general interactional constraints that the civil (a.k.a. ‘continental’) and common law systems assign, and detail what the civil, administrative, and criminal codes of mainland China require of the suitor (S), the respondent (R), and the trier (T) to establish their respective S-, R- and T-facts. We also offer an improved version of the legal syllogism.
Pub.: 18 Sep '17, Pinned: 20 Dec '17
Abstract: •This paper provides a comprehensive overview of Daubert practice in federal courts.•Defendant Daubert wins are associated with a lower likelihood of settlement.•Each month a Daubert motion pends reduces the settlement rate by 4–7%.•70% of the measured delay is due to the reduction in communication between parties.•Results suggest structuring expert discovery early would reduce litigation costs.
Pub.: 01 Aug '17, Pinned: 20 Dec '17
Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 September 2017 Source:International Review of Law and Economics Author(s): Samantha Bielen, Peter Grajzl, Wim Marneffe We draw on a unique, detailed dataset of civil cases adjudicated at a major Belgian court and use the competing risks framework to examine how the timing of settlement depends, first, on the completion of key procedural events and, second, on the characteristics of the adjudicating judge. Congruent with recent research that emphasizes the importance of information flows, we find that the time to settlement is negatively associated with the completion of those procedural events that most effectively facilitate the revelation of new factual information. Consistent with both rational-choice and behavioral theories of litigation, other procedural events are unassociated or even positively associated with the time to settlement. Finally, exploiting the de facto random nature of within-chamber assignment of cases to the serving judges, we find robustly statistically significant evidence of a judge gender effect.
Pub.: 07 Sep '17, Pinned: 20 Dec '17
Abstract: Priest and Klein’s 1984 article, “The Selection of Disputes for Litigation,” famously hypothesized a “tendency toward 50 percent plaintiff victories” among litigated cases. Despite the article’s enduring influence, its results have never been formally proved, and doubts remain about their meaning, validity, and generality. This article makes two main contributions. First, it distinguishes six hypotheses plausibly attributable to Priest and Klein. Second, it mathematically proves or disproves the hypotheses under a generalized version of Priest and Klein’s model. The Fifty-Percent Limit Hypothesis and three other hypotheses attributable to Priest and Klein (1984) are mathematically well-founded and true under the assumptions made by Priest and Klein. In fact, they are true under a wider array of assumptions. More specifically, the Trial Selection Hypothesis, Fifty-Percent Limit Hypothesis, Asymmetric Stakes Hypothesis, and Irrelevance of Dispute Distribution Hypothesis are true for any distribution of disputes that is bounded, strictly positive, and continuous. The Fifty-Percent Bias Hypothesis is true when the parties are very accurate in estimating case outcomes, but only sometimes true when they are less accurate. As shown in Klerman and Lee (2014), the No Inferences Hypothesis is false.
Pub.: 01 Jul '16, Pinned: 20 Dec '17