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Signaling, Learning, and Screening Prior to Trial: Informational Implications of Preliminary Injunctions

Thomas Jeitschko () and Byung-Cheol Kim ()

Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 2013, vol. 29, issue 5, 1085-1113

Abstract: Preliminary injunctions (PIs) are important in litigation in many settings, including antitrust, copyright, patent, trademark, employment and labor relations, and contracts. The filing of a PI and the court's ruling generate information that can impact settlement. We find that some plaintiffs request a PI to signal bounds on their damages in order to elicit better settlement offers. As a result, the parties are more likely to come to an out-of-court agreement permitting the disputed activity, compared to when a PI is motivated solely by defensive reasons to avert immediate damages during trial. Although the grant of a PI reduces ex post incentives for potential litigants to settle, this is more than offset by an increase in settlement upon a denial. Thus, ex ante, learning leads to more settlement. Nevertheless, the anticipation of learning and increased chances of settlement do not affect the initial filing decision. The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2013
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Working Paper: Signaling, Learning and Screening Prior to Trial: Informational Implications of Preliminary Injunctions (2011) Downloads
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