Torts of Appeal
What happens when citizens sue corporations? What happens when their lawsuit reaches a state supreme court? Is the outcome of their case partially explained by their states’ judicial selection method? In Torts of Appeal I examine lawsuits between citizens and corporations in order to estimate the the effect judicial elections have on civil judgments. I find that within the domain of State Supreme Court appeals, obtaining justice is a matter of elections. Judicial behavior varies with respect to the case's proximity to the next election. But, the effect of electoral proximity is conditioned upon the judges margin of victory in the last contest. Judges seeking reelection in competitive contests tend to rule more conservatively as their next election approaches. However, this effect is significantly reduced if the judge won their last election by a large margin.
Dean's Prize for Best Oral Presentation in the Social Sciences ($1,000)
University of California, Davis Interdisciplinary Graduate and Professional Student Symposium