The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

513. David Rosenberg & Steven Shavell, A Simple Proposal to Halve Litigation Costs, 04/2005; subsequently published in University of Virginia Law Review, Vol. 91, 2005, 1721-1735.

Abstract: This article discusses a simple proposal that could reduce litigation costs in the country by about half, yet without compromising the functioning of the liability system in a significant way. Under the proposal (1) only half the cases brought before a court would be randomly chosen for litigation, and (2) damages would be doubled in cases accepted for litigation. The first element of the proposal saves litigation costs and the second preserves deterrence of undesirable behavior. The effect of the proposal on settlement is emphasized, one important implication of which is that settlement is likely to occur before cases are filed (and possibly randomly eliminated), in which event plaintiffs will definitely be compensated.

513: PDF