Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2006

Disciplines

Insurance Law | Legal History, Theory and Process | Litigation

Abstract

Insurers play a critical role in the civil justice system. By providing liability insurance to parties who would otherwise be untenable as defendants, insurers make litigation possible. Once litigation materializes, insurers provide representation, pay legal fees, and often play a central role in resolving disputes through settlement or adjudication. In this paper, we explore empirically how these key litigation players make important decisions in the litigation process, like evaluating a case, deciding whether to settle, and if so, on what terms. We find that insurers that have been shown to distort litigation decision making, appear to make decisions in a more economically rational fashion than other litigation players. This finding, though preliminary, casts new light on litigation theory and practice.

Publication Citation

Published in: Vanderbilt Law Review, vol. 59, no. 6 (November 2006).