Friday, August 08, 2008

When You Sue, Settle
From today's NYTimes:
That is the clear lesson of a soon-to-be-released study of civil lawsuits that has found that most of the plaintiffs who decided to pass up a settlement offer and went to trial ended up getting less money than if they had taken that offer.
Defendants made the wrong decision by proceeding to trial far less often, in 24 percent of cases, according to the study; plaintiffs were wrong in 61 percent of cases.
I don't know that this is the right way to measure a gamble, though. The question is not how *often* either side comes out ahead or behind, but how much do they stand to lose or gain when they do. The piece goes on to tell that when defendants do get it wrong it costs them on average over $1 million, while plaintiff mistakes cost on average $43,000.

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