Margaret Huff Mediation
ADR Resources: Settlement Statistics
The following are some interesting recent articles on settlement rates.
In What is the Settlement Rate and Why Should We Care?, the authors debunk the notion that 95% of all cases settle. They discuss how settlement rates vary, depending on case type and federal court district. Among the case types studied (torts, contracts, employment discrimination, and constitutional torts), tort cases have the highest rate of settlement, but the rate drops somewhat if product liability cases are removed from the data. Employment discrimination case settlements are substantially lower than tort case settlements.
The high settlement rate in tort cases may be explained by the significant amount of case screening performed by plaintiffs' attorneys who receive contingency fees. The attorneys have a strong incentive to bring only cases with high prospects for success.
Theodore Eisenberg and Charlotte Lanvers, What is the Settlement and Why Should We Care?, 6 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 111 (March 2009), available online after getting to interscience.wiley.com web page, click on 2009, then click on Vol. 6 issue 1, scroll down to article's title, then click on pdf.
In Let's Not Make a Deal: An Empirical Study of Decision Making in Unsuccessful Settlement Negotiations,
Randall L. Kiser, Martin A. Asher, Blakeley B. McShane, Let's Not Make a Deal: An Empirical Study of Decision Making in Unsuccessful Settlement Negotiations, 5 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 551 (2008) available online (after getting to interscience.wiley.com web page, click on 2008, then click on Vol. 5 issue 3, scroll down to article's title, then click on pdf.