Cornell Law Review Volume 100 Issue 1

Plaintiphobia in the Supreme Court

Through the years, debate has raged over whether the Supreme Court’s summary judgment trilogy and Twombly-Iqbal pleading decisions had significant practical effects. To address that question, this Article introduces a new empirical measure: the difference between the pretrial-adjudication judgment rates for the defendant and for the plaintiff. Plotting that difference over time suggests that the cases on summary judgment and pleading, which were far and away the two most major alterations of pretrial disposition during the last four decades or more, had a markedly anti-plaintiff impact.


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