Nicholas M. Pace

Nicholas M. Pace
Senior Social Scientist
Santa Monica Office


J.D., University of Oregon; B.A. in political science, University of California, Santa Barbara

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Nicholas M. Pace is a senior social scientist at the RAND Corporation. He has contributed his expertise in justice organization–related research methodologies to many projects involving the law, the courts, and judicial decisionmaking, often involving large scale, groundbreaking qualitative and quantitative data collections. His primary interest relates to how governmental entities, corporations, and other organizations, professions, and stakeholder groups operate within the context of the larger legal environment. He has led a wide variety of studies, including an examination of pre-trial discovery costs involving electronically-stored information, an analysis of the efforts of publicly-funded defense counsel, an investigation of practices and policies in the California workers' compensation courts, an exploration of class action litigation involving the insurance industry, and an assessment of the impact of statutory changes in medical malpractice law. Other work has included examining transparency issues related to class action settlements; studying the dynamics of class action litigation and recommending new managerial approaches for judges; helping to accomplish an in-depth evaluation of the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 and its effects on case management, cost, and delay; and analyzing jury verdict outcomes. Currently he is leading work related to setting caseload limits for public defenders in state courts, a national survey of corporate counsel regarding the use of business-to-business arbitration agreements, and a major survey of adult Americans to better understand how the civil justice system is is utilized in the immediate aftermath of injuries and illnesses. Pace received his J.D. from the University of Oregon.

Recent Projects

  • Maximum caseload standards setting and estimation of attorney requirements in indigent criminal defense organizations
  • Presidential pardon process evaluation
  • Use of the civil justice system following injury or illness
  • Use of commercial arbitration clauses in the United States
  • Compensation following man-caused disasters

Selected Publications

Pace, Nicholas M., Lloyd Dixon, Assigning Responsibility Following a Catastrophe: Alternatives to Relying Solely on Traditional Civil Litigation, RAND Corporation (RR-1597-RC), 2017

Pace, Nicholas M., Laura Zakaras, Where the Money Goes: Understanding Litigant Expenditures for Producing Electronic Discovery, RAND Corporation (MG-1208), 2012

Pace, Nicholas M., Greg Ridgeway, James M. Anderson, Cha-Chi Fan, and Mariana Horta, Case Weights for Federal Defender Organizations, RAND Corporation (TR-1007), 2011

Pace, Nicholas M., Stephen J. Carroll, Ingo Vogelsang, and Laura Zakaras, Insurance Class Actions in the United States, RAND Corporation (MG-587-1), 2007

Pace, Nicholas M., Laura Zakaras, and Daniela Golinelli, Capping Non-Economic Awards in Medical Malpractice Trials: California Jury Verdicts Under MICRA, RAND Corporation (MG-234), 2004

Pace, Nicholas M., Dulani Woods, Shamena Anwar, Roberto Guevara, Chau Pham, and Karin Liu, Caseload Standards for Indigent Defenders in Michigan: Final Project Report for the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission, RAND Corporation (RR-2988-MIDC), 2019

Pace, Nicholas M., Lloyd Dixon, Early Assistance from Potentially Responsible Parties After Human-Made Disasters, RAND Corporation (RR-3022-RC), 2019

Holliday, Stephanie Brooks, Nicholas M. Pace, Neil Gowensmith, Ira Packer, Daniel Murrie, Alicia Virani, Bing Han, and Sarah B. Hunter, Estimating the Size of the Los Angeles County Jail Mental Health Population Appropriate for Release into Community Services, RAND Corporation (RR-4328), 2020

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: American Medical News; The Frontrunner; Investor's Business Daily; Kaiser Family Foundation HealthCast; New York Times; Reuters; Wall Street Journal