Authors

Joni Hersch

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

The Journal of Legal Studies

Publication Date

2006

Page Number

119

Keywords

dispute resolution

Disciplines

Dispute Resolution and Arbitration | Law

Abstract

This paper uses a unique data set to examine how parties in civil litigation choose whether to demand a jury trial or to waive this right and whether trial forum influences the probability of trial versus settlement. Plaintiffs are more likely to demand trial by jury when juries are relativety more favorable to plaintiffs in similar cases and jury trials are relatively less costly than bench trials. Cases in which jury trials are demanded are 5.5 percentage points more ikely to settle without a trial than cases in which jury trials are waived. This differential settlement rate by potential trial forum suggests that tried cases are not a random sample of the set of legal disputes, so observed similarities between bench and jury verdicts may result from case selection effects.

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