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« Proposition 64 | Employment suits, for profit or not? »

September 21, 2004

Upcoming AEI seminar on contingent fees

Coming up tomorrow: the American Enterprise Institute is holding a 2 p.m. conference on the theme "What Do We Know about Contingency Fees?" The speakers include Jonathan Klick and Alexander Tabarrok, describing new research, and Lester Brickman and Theodore Eisenberg, commenting.
Information and registration can be found here. Here's an excerpt from the description:

While capping contingency fees is still one of the most favored reforms, research by Alexander Tabarrok and Eric Helland suggests that rather than solving the "crisis," the caps increase the number of frivolous lawsuits. Further research by Jonathan Klick and Helland suggests that in federal class action suits judges in busier districts tend to allow higher attorney fees in an attempt to expedite the resolution of the case.

I wish I could attend, since the first paper sounds as if it reaches a conclusion that is anything but intuitive. As for the second paper, it would be interesting to see how the authors sort out the problem of causality-direction (it wouldn't be surprising if districts with heavier dockets prove more generous in awarding legal fees, but the first explanation that pops to mind is that lawyers seek to file suits more often in districts inclined to accord them high fees).

Posted by Walter Olson at 12:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

Attorneys' Fees and Ethics



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