Game Theory and Demand For Lawyers

 “My judges are doing the best to see that the maximum life for a case in the court is not more than two years. We are making all efforts; we are taking all effective steps.”

-H L Dattu, Chief Justice of India

I came from lower middle class background, where indicator of being a good student is either you get admitted in Engineering College or Medical College. Few parents encouraged their children to become lawyers. In fact lower middle class tried to stay away from courts. We have saying in Marathi- “Wise men never step into Court”.

“With nearly three crore cases pending in Indian courts, Chief Justice of India H L Dattu said a deadline has been set to ensure that the trial of a case does not go beyond five years.”

-Indian Express, April 2015

But I feel lawyers will always be in demand, as people will always go for litigation and keep hiring lawyers.

Let us look at game below. In this game both players will benefit if they go for (2,2) where payoff for both are high. But both will always play (1, 1), which is Nash equilibrium i.e. they will stick to this strategy rather than (2, 2). The reason is distrust; both are reluctant to try different strategy unilaterally.


If players trust each other and cooperate then they don’t need lawyers and can settle issue among themselves, it will save lawyers’ fees (lawyers are not cheap), and payoff for both is high.


But each player feels insecure and feels that if he don’t hire lawyer and if other player does, then he will be at disadvantage i.e. his payoff will be nil if he loses case. So to feel secure both hire lawyers and keep paying fees as case drags on for years.


At present there are 3 crore cases pending in Indian courts, so lawyers are assured of their livelihood. I am encouraging my son to join National Law School.


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