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Journal Articles Review of Law and Economics Year : 2019

Optimal Resort to Court-Appointed Experts

Yves Oytana
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Departing from the observation that neutral experts are increasingly appointed by courts, this paper investigates the incentives of courts to appoint experts, and the interactions between the judge’s and the expert’s efforts to discover the truth about a given case. Judges seek to make correct decisions and may choose to appoint experts in order to do so. Experts are assumed to be guided by both reputational and truth-finding motives. We highlight the determinants of the judge’s and the expert’s effort levels and of the judge’s decision whether to appoint an expert. We find that the expert’s effort is decreasing in the judge’s effort, which implies potential freeriding from the judge. Moreover, we find that (i) the judge’s effort is generally suboptimal, and (ii) they might resort to an expert appraisal too frequently, thereby contributing to increased court congestion and higher costs for society. Our results therefore suggest that, under conditions that we discuss, it may be socially beneficial to apply a principle of proportionality to the use of expert testimony, depending on the complexity of the case.
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Dates and versions

hal-02315732 , version 1 (14-10-2019)



Eve-Angéline Lambert, Yves Oytana. Optimal Resort to Court-Appointed Experts. Review of Law and Economics, 2019, 15 (2), pp.20160029. ⟨10.1515/rle-2016-0029⟩. ⟨hal-02315732⟩
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