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Lawyer advising in evidence disclosure

Che, Yeon-Koo; Severinov, Sergei

This paper examines how the advice that lawyers provide to their clients affects the disclosure of evidence and the outcome of adjudication, and how the adjudicator should allocate the burden of proof in light of the effect. Despite lawyers' expertise in assessing the evidence, their advice is found to have no effect on adjudication, if legal advice is costless and the lawyers follow undominated strategies in disclosure. A lawyer's advice can influence the outcome to his client's favor, either if he can credibly advise his client to suppress some favorable evidence or if there is a cost associated with legal advice. The effect is socially undesirable in the former case, but it is desirable in the latter case although the benefit rests on its purely dissipative role rather than on his expertise. These results provide a general perspective for understanding the role of advising in disclosure.

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Published Here
January 5, 2011

Notes

May 18, 2006.