The fake news of attorneys delaying lawsuits. Evidence from French high courts

Umberto Nizza (University of Verona)

Abstract

Lawyers are said to have a heavy influence on the determination of litigation pace. Using a dataset on French High Courts, between 2012 and 2016, we show that these concerns are not grounded. To tackle endogeneity, we construct an instrumental variable thanks to the available official data on the number of lawyers registered in imperial courts in 1861. Once properly instrumented, we find no statistically significant impact of an increase in attorneys’ concentration on lawsuits’ delay in civil litigation. On the contrary, procedural aspects and institutional distortions have an essential role in determining litigation pace.

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