ASSESSING THE EFFECTS OF A “LOSER PAYS” RULE ON THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM: AN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS AND PROPOSAL FOR REFORM

Author: 

Marie Gryphon

Although the American justice system is derided as expensive, capricious, and prone to abuse, Americans go to court more often—and more expensively—than any other people in the world. The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility of reducing the incidence of what I will call “abusive litigation” in the United States by replacing the so-called “American rule” requiring each party to a lawsuit to pay her own attorneys, win or lose, with a “loser pays rule,” according to which the losing party to a civil suit must pay the winner’s reasonably incurred legal fees. Loser pays is the default rule for payment of attorney’s fees in the vast majority of foreign legal systems. View More