Academic journal article Texas International Law Journal

An Appealing Act: Why People Appeal in Civil Cases

Academic journal article Texas International Law Journal

An Appealing Act: Why People Appeal in Civil Cases

Article excerpt

AN APPEALING ACT: WHY PEOPLE APPEAL IN CIVIL CASES. By Scott Barclay. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1999. 197 pages, $35.00 Hardcover.

Applying the methods of quantitative social science, Scott Barclay has made an important contribution to the literature on the litigation-related decisions. Based on his data, Barclay rejects a cost-benefit analysis and proposes, in its place, an experiential model for understanding individual motivations to litigate and appeal.

The book is divided into two sections: first explaining the study and its results, and then discussing its application for judicial policy making. Barclays thesis holds that individuals choose to appeal in civil cases not because of their desire to win, but because of the idea that the appellate process will validate their ideas. According to his analysis, the mere fact that three senior judges will listen to their legal contentions seems to satisfy most clients who intend to appeal. This is important to understand because the experience of being in court and feeling that one has had a chance to be heard creates and reinforces an individual's trust in and comfort with the justice system. …

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