The litigious plaintiff hypothesis: Case selection and resolution

Theodore Eisenberg, Henry S. Farber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The process through which cases are selected for litigation cannot be ignored because it yields a set of lawsuits and plaintiffs that is far from a random selection either of potential claims or of potential claimants. We present a theoretical framework for understanding the operation of this suit-selection process and its relationship to the underlying distribution of potential claims and claimants. The model has implications for the trial rate and the plaintiff win rate at trial. Our empirical analysis, using data on over 200,000 federal civil litigations, yields results that are strongly consistent with the theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S92-S112
JournalRAND Journal of Economics
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'The litigious plaintiff hypothesis: Case selection and resolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this