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Costly Pre-Trial Agreements

Luca Anderlini, Leonardo Felli () and Giovanni Immordino ()

Working Papers from Georgetown University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Settling a legal dispute involves some costs that the parties have to incur ex-ante, for the pretrial negotiation and possible agreement to become feasible. Even in a full information world, if the distribution of these costs is sufficiently mismatched with the distribution of the parties' bargaining powers, a pretrial agreement may never be reached even though actual Court litigation is overall wasteful. Our results shed light on two key issues. First, a Plaintiff may initiate a lawsuit even though the parties fully anticipate that it will be settled out of Court. Second, the "likelihood" that a given lawsuit ends up in Court is unaffected by how trial costs are distributed among the litigants. The choice of fee-shifting rule can only affect whether the Plaintiff files a lawsuit in the first place. It does not affect whether it is settled before trial or litigated in Court.

Keywords: Pre-Trial Agreements; Costly Negotiation; Court Litigation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C79 D23 D86 K12 K13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30
Date: 2018-09-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gth, nep-law and nep-mic
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Related works:
Journal Article: Costly Pretrial Agreements (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Costly pretrial agreements (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Costly Pretrial Agreements (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Costly Pretrial Agreements (2016) Downloads
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Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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