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UH Law Center Professor Bregant earns Article of the Year recognition

Jessica Bregant

Assistant Professor Jessica Bregant

Nov. 08, 2022 — The Association of American Law Schools’ Alternative Dispute Resolution Section selected for its 2021 Article of the Year the paper “Perceptions of Settlement.” The paper was co-written by University of Houston Law Center Assistant Professor Jessica Bregant and University of Illinois College of Law Professors Jennifer Robbennolt and Verity Winship.

Using survey and experimental methods from psychology, the article explores public perceptions of settlement compared to other case outcomes such as jury verdict.

“Settlement is by far the most common outcome of legal disputes, but little is known about how the public thinks about settlement or what they infer about a dispute that has been settled,” said Bregant.

This article, which is the first piece of an ongoing project, examines one aspect of lay perspectives — inferences about responsibility.

“We find that people think settling defendants are just as likely to be culpable as defendants who lose at trial, even when no information about the settlement is provided. As important as that finding is by itself, it represents just the beginning of this project, and we’re thrilled that our colleagues are as excited about the work as we are,” added Bregant.

The paper was also published in the Fall 2021 volume of the Harvard Negotiation Law Review.

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