Civil Law


Civil law—the body of laws of a state or nation dealing with the rights of private citizens—seeks to resolve noncriminal disputes such as disagreements over property ownership or damage, insurance, contracts, divorce, and child custody. RAND helps make the civil justice system more efficient and more equitable by supplying government and private decisionmakers and the public with the results of objective, empirically based, analytic research.

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    Making the Civil Justice System More Efficient and Equitable

    Oct 3, 2011

    The RAND Institute for Civil Justice (ICJ) conducts research on all aspects of civil justice, from trends in litigation and jury verdicts to punitive damages, compensation systems, and alternative dispute resolution. Directly or indirectly, civil justice issues have an impact on us all.

Explore Civil Law

  • Official movie poster of Food Chains


    Fairness for Farmworkers: A Private Screening of Food Chains

    The documentary Food Chains tells the story of a coalition of tomato workers in Florida who are working with buyers and growers to turn the worst agricultural labor conditions in the United States into the best. Join us for an exclusive viewing and conversation with executive producer Eric Schlosser.

    Feb 11, 2015

  • Farm workers sort tomatoes at a ranch in Mexico


    'Product of Mexico': Why Have Corporate/Social Responsibility Programs Failed?

    The Fair Food Program has been a leader in using cooperation, visibility, and accountability to meet the needs of workers, growers, and buyers. Can it be a model for addressing these critical issues in Mexico as well?

    Dec 12, 2014

  • A boy playing with Cuisenaire rods


    The Time Is Ripe for Evidence-Based Child Policy in the UK

    Today marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain. Even in the UK there are still children who live in poverty and inequality, who experience violence, and who are not afforded rights on par with their peers.

    Nov 20, 2014

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    Conference on the Future of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act

    To inform the debate on whether TRIA should be continued or allowed to expire, RAND is convening a conference that will bring together stakeholders to not only discuss the varying implications of TRIA’s expiration, modification, and extension, but also to frame how it is debated in the halls of Congress and across the country.

    Jun 10, 2014

  • March to support the Fair Food Program


    Wal-Mart Chooses Fairness, Giving Farmworkers a Boost

    The recent commitment by Wal-Mart Stores to the Fair Food Program is a transformational moment in the decades-long struggle for fair treatment of agricultural workers in America but the decision is hardly the last human-rights battle to be won on behalf of this long-oppressed work force.

    Feb 7, 2014

  • A protester during a rally against mass surveillance near the U.S. Capitol


    After NSA Spying Revelations, US Must Reform Rules on Secrecy and Data

    The U.S. should make two key reforms. First, the over-designation of material as classified makes it is harder to protect the few real secrets; this must be change. Second, the FISA court must become a gatekeeper for NSA access to communications data.

    Nov 14, 2013

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    Events @ RAND: Security Versus Privacy?

    At this October 2013 event, Henry Willis, director of the RAND Homeland Security and Defense Center, moderated a panel discussion on U.S. efforts to strike a balance among privacy, security, and liberty.

    Oct 24, 2013

  • two CCTV cameras and American flag illustration


    Security Versus Privacy?

    People are wondering how much America is, or should be, sacrificing privacy and civil liberties for the sake of homeland security. A RAND Policy Forum on October 24, 2013 will discuss where to draw the proper lines between privacy, security, and liberty.

    Oct 24, 2013

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    Limiting the Potential for Racial Profiling of Immigration Laws

    Law enforcement agencies should be required to collect data that can be used to monitor the implementation of state and local immigration enforcement laws, to ensure that they are applied in a race-blind manner.

    May 3, 2013

  • two CCTV cameras and American flag illustration

    Journal Article

    State Terrorism and Human Rights: An Incremental Tyranny

    Perceived threats to liberty by the military-industrial complex that gave great cause for concern in the past have given way to fears of a security state, which has fueled perception of a perpetual danger requiring endless war.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Comment on Doug Kysar's "What Climate Change Can Do About Tort Law"

    In this Response, the author sketches two problems with Professor Doug Kysar's argument regarding climate change litigation and effect on tort law.

    Aug 1, 2012

  • Man using computer


    Predictive Coding Could Reduce E-Discovery Costs, but More Guidance Is Needed on Data Preservation

    Companies could lower the high cost of large-scale electronic discovery in lawsuits by using a computer application known as predictive coding to reduce the number of documents requiring human review.

    Apr 11, 2012

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    How Did the Financial Crisis Affect the U.S. Civil Justice System?

    A preliminary assessment of the impact of the financial crisis on the civil justice system finds that litigation demands on some parts of the system have increased, that funding for state courts may be trending downward, and that there have been disruptions in the legal services economy, in the provision of legal aid, and in the operation and staffing of courts.

    Mar 5, 2012

  • Report

    Innovations in the Provision of Legal Services in the United States: An Overview for Policymakers

    Discusses innovation's role in the legal services industry, factors affecting innovation's production, and the research and data infrastructure needed by policymakers to understand whether restrictions on the practice of the law should be altered.

    Oct 26, 2011

  • Research Brief

    Bankruptcy Trusts, Asbestos Compensation, and the Courts

    People with asbestos injuries are increasingly receiving compensation from trusts set up by bankrupt asbestos defendants. This brief documents how courts handling these cases consider trust payments when determining compensation.

    Aug 18, 2011

  • Journal Article

    Update to The Sigma Scan

    This external publication is an online database of short Horizon Scanning Centre think-pieces. RAND Europe updated 25% of the papers on this database, to incorporate more recent policy issues, evidence, and developments.

    Jan 1, 2011

  • Report

    Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts: An Overview of Trust Structure and Activity with Detailed Reports on the Largest Trusts

    While legislative and judicial reforms have made it increasingly difficult to obtain compensation for nonmalignant diseases in the tort system, the trust system remains a source of compensation for such injuries. This report describes the creation, organization, and operation of asbestos personal-injury trusts and compiles publicly available information on the assets, outlays, and governing boards of the 26 largest ones.

    Jul 26, 2010

  • Event

    RAND Institute for Civil Justice 2010 Conference on Law and Finance

    This conference on "Alternative Litigation Finance in the U.S.," taking place May 20-21, 2010, will bring together practitioners, policymakers, judges, and researchers to discuss and debate related issues and trends. The extensive program will feature presentations, panels, and speakers as well as offer continuing legal education.

    May 20, 2010

  • Research Brief

    Overview of Alternative Litigation Financing in the United States

    Provides an overview of U.S. alternative or ''third-party'' financing: describes the main types of financing, reviews arguments to limit this activity, begins to analyze its effects on litigation, and suggests lessons for policymakers.

    May 13, 2010

  • Report

    Alternative Litigation Financing in the United States: Issues, Knowns, and Unknowns

    Describes the extent and types of alternative litigation financing (ALF) -- also known as ''third-party'' litigation financing -- in the United States as of early 2010 and discusses the legal ethics, social morality, and potential economic effects of ALF.

    May 10, 2010

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