SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

The question of whether and to what extent interest groups are more successful than other parties in litigation is the subject of many debates among social scientists. Previous works in the field concentrated on checking outcomes of cases that were disposed of by courts in officially published final decisions. We sought to analyze not only final court decisions but also the outcomes of out-of-court settlements. Drawing from Marc Galanter’s hypothesis that groups, especially those who are “repeat players,” are likely to use out-of-court settlements more often and more efficiently than other litigants (Galanter 1974), we measured actual case outcomes of petitions brought before the Israeli High Court of Justice. We found that groups in general, and “repeat player” groups in particular, achieved a success rate significantly higher than other litigants. We also found that the relative advantage of groups in litigation is the result of their ability to reach out-of-court settlements with government agencies.