Case Selection After the Trial

A Study of Post-Trial Settlement and Appeal

by Seth A. Seabury

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.7 MB

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

This paper studies the decisions of litigants in civil disputes whether to settle or appeal a case after a trial. The paper argues that when litigants are unable to meet damage awards in full only cases where the defendant's position is particularly strong will face appellate court review. In the absence of financial constraints defendants will be more inclined to take chances with cases where their position is weaker. The paper tests the importance of award size and financial constraints in driving settlement and appeals decisions using survey data about post-trial activity for a sample of verdicts in California and New York from 2001-2004. These results indicate that the case-selection model is highly relevant in determining which cases are ultimately resolved by an appellate court. Additionally, defendant financial resources are an important factor that strongly influences post-trial outcomes.

The research in this report was conducted by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.

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.