2019 CJSA Results

2019 Civil Justice Scholarship Award to Alexandra Lahav, In Praise of Litigation

Alexandra Lahav

The Officers and Trustees of the Pound Civil Justice Institute have given the Institute’s 2019 Civil Justice Scholarship Award to Professor Alexandra Lahav of the University of Connecticut School of Law, in recognition of her book, In Praise of Litigation (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Lahav is the Ellen Ash Peters Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She teaches civil procedure, torts, complex litigation, professional responsibility, and related subjects. She is a nationally recognized expert on the civil justice system and tort law. In her winning work, In Praise of Litigation, Lahav argues that lawsuits are good for society and are needed in a healthy democracy. She finds that most critiques of “litigiousness” in America today are based not on facts, but on anecdotes, and that most “tort reform” proposals will make it harder for citizens to fight for their rights. In other recent work on the civil justice system, Professor Lahav has studied the changing win-rate patterns in federal courts, the effects of incentives on judicial decision-making, and the optimal design of procedural systems. She has also studied the role of litigation tactics in changing the law in the antebellum period of American history. Currently, she is spearheading a project on evaluating litigation risk.  Read more about Lahav's book here.


High Distinction for Two Publications
The committee also recognized two works for high distinction among the nominations received: one for a book and one for an article. In the book category, the committee honored Professor Suja Thomas of the University of Illinois College of Law for her book The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Constitutional Role of the Criminal, Civil and Grand Juries (Cambridge University Press, 2016). In the article category, they recognized Professor Myriam Gilles of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University for her article The Day Doctrine Died: Private Arbitration and the Rule of Law, 371 U. ILL. L. REV. 371 (2016).

The Pound Institute established its Civil Justice Scholarship Award in 2018 to recognize current scholarly legal research and writing focused on topics in civil justice, including access to justice and the benefits of the U.S. civil justice system, as well as the right to trial by jury in civil cases. The Award deliberation committee consisted of three attorney Trustees of the Institute and three academics: attorneys Jennie Anderson (CA), Raymond Jones (DC), and Gerson Smoger (TX/CA); and Professors Anita Bernstein (Brooklyn Law School), Lynn Baker (University of Texas, Austin), and the Honorable Gerri Hines (Boston University; retired Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court). The committee reviewed 31 nominations for scholarly books and articles submitted for this inaugural cycle of the Award, and was impressed by the high quality of the work submitted. The Institute plans to make this award every two years.

The Pound Civil Justice Institute is a national legal think tank established in 1956 and dedicated to ensuring access to civil justice for ordinary citizens. Through its activities, the Institute works to give lawyers, judges, legal educators and the public a balanced view of the issues affecting the U.S. civil justice system. More information about the Institute is available at www.poundinstitute.org. Membership in the Institute is open to all attorneys who support the Institute’s goals. To become a Pound Fellow, visit Pound’s website or contact info@poundinstitute.org