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When Businesses Sue Each Other: An Empirical Study of State Court Litigation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 December 2018

Abstract

Using a mixture of court docket data and case files, we construct a data set of business litigation in Rhode Island Superior Court during 1987 and 1988. Business litigation is defined as a suit involving an economic firm as both a plaintiff and a defendant. The empirical analysis complements recent scholarship providing answers to descriptive questions about the frequency, nature of, parties to, and intensity of the business litigation docket. Using Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, indicators of industry participation in litigation are developed, and positive analysis undertaken to explain variation across industries. Several hypothesis are developed and tested using quantitative analysis. We conclude that contextual economic conditions favoring the creation of long-term business relationships help prevent litigation between firms.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © American Bar Foundation, 2000 

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