A Simple Proposal to Halve Litigation Costs

Essay — Volume 91, Issue 7

91 Va. L. Rev. 1721
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This essay 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. 

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  Volume 91 / Issue 7  

The Federal Courts, the First Congress, and the Non-Settlement of 1789

By Michael Collins
91 Va. L. Rev. 1515

Exiting Treaties

By Laurence Helfer
91 Va. L. Rev. 1579

Constitutional Calcification: How the Law Becomes What the Court Does

By Kermit Roosevelt III
91 Va. L. Rev. 1649

A Simple Proposal to Halve Litigation Costs

By David Rosenberg & Steven Shavell
91 Va. L. Rev. 1721