The Perception of Justice

Tort Litigants' Views of Trial, Court-Annexed Arbitration, and Judicial Settlement Conferences

by Edgar Lind, Robert J. MacCoun, Patricia A. Ebener, William L. F. Felstiner, Deborah R. Hensler, Judith Resnik, Tom Tyler


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 6.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback114 pages $30.00 $24.00 20% Web Discount

This report investigates the attitudes and perceptions of individual plaintiffs and defendants in personal-injury tort cases in three state courts. Specifically, it investigates how tort litigants' impressions of fairness and satisfaction with their experiences in the civil justice system are affected by hearing procedures, case events, and the litigation process. The authors found that the three third-party procedures studied — trial, court-annexed arbitration, and judicial settlement — differed considerably in the procedural fairness and satisfaction ratings they engendered: arbitration hearings and trials were viewed more favorably than were settlement conferences. The findings suggest that improvements in perceived justice and satisfaction are more likely to come from changes in the tone of the judicial process than from innovations designed to cut costs or reduce delay. Further, innovations intended to reduce costs and delay should not do so at the expense of those qualities of the judicial process that are more important to litigants.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.