Law & Economics Working Papers
We exploit a new data set of judicial rulings on motions in order to investigate the relationship between judicial ability and judicial outcomes. The data set consists of federal district judges' rulings on motions to dismiss, to approve the lead plaintiff, and to approve attorneys' fees in securities class actions cases, and also judges' decisions to remove themselves from cases. We predict that higher-quality judges, as measured by citations, affirmance rates, and similar criteria, are more likely to dismiss cases, reject lead plaintiffs, reject attorneys' fees, and retain cases rather than hand them over to other judges. Our results are mixed, providing some but limited evidence for the hypotheses.
Eric Posner, Stephen J. Choi & G. Mitu Gulati, "Judicial Ability and Securities Class Actions" (John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics Working Paper No. 519, 2010).