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Do Judges React to the Probability of Appellate Review? Empirical Evidence from Trial Court Procedures

Michael Berlemann () and Robin Christmann ()
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Robin Christmann: Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg, Postal: Helmut Schmidt Universität Hamburg, Professur für Politische Ökonomik und Empirische Wirtschaftsforschung, Holstenhofweg 85, 22043 Hamburg, Germany

No 154/2014, Working Paper from Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg

Abstract: The appellate review system is intended to serve as an efficient remedy for imperfect judicial decision making. However, it can fulfill this task only when appeals are filed solely due to bad verdicts and are ex-ante unpredictable based on factors that are exogenous to the judge. Using data from case records of a German trial court, we show that the probability of appeal can be predicted based on easily observable exogenous factors. Controlling for the complexity of a legal case, we find that judges also tend to increase their effort when the ex-ante probability of appeal is high. Thus, our empirical evidence indicates an inefficiency in the appellate review system.

Keywords: litigation; judicial behaviour; appellate review; civil procedure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D82 K10 K41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 10 pages
Date: 2014-12-15
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Journal Article: Do judges react to the probability of appellate review? Empirical evidence from trial court procedures (2016) Downloads
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