Of hired guns and ideologues: why would a law firm ever retain an honest expert witness?
ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics from Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics
We suppose that expert witnesses are, generically, either honest in their assessment of a fact situation or are mercenary â€˜hired gunsâ€™ that advocate for their retaining party. The type of a witness is known to law firms, who engage with them repeatedly, but not to courts. If the only way an honest witness can credibly reveal their type to a court is by siding with the opposing party then the question arises of why a law firm would ever retain an honest expert. We show that it can act as a signaling device in a game between the law firms to communicate private information regarding a partyâ€™s confidence in winning the case. Our results indicate, amongst other things, that the â€˜Englishâ€™ rule of costs allocation can make a socially desirable separating equilibrium less likely, compared to the â€˜Americanâ€™ rule.
Keywords: expert witnesses; signaling; litigation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 D82 K41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gth, nep-isf, nep-law and nep-mic
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2021-678
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