Hillel J. Bavli

Full-time faculty

Assistant Professor of Law

Phone: (214) 768-2571

Email: hbavli@smu.edu

hjbavli

Biography

Hillel J. Bavli is an Assistant Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law.  His teaching and scholarship interests are in the fields of evidence, torts, complex litigation, law and economics, and empirical legal studies. He is particularly interested in applications of statistics to law, including the use of experimental and quantitative methods to evaluate law-related interventions and applications of probability theory, Bayesian analysis, sampling, and causal inference to analyze and improve the law. 

Professor Bavli’s scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Legal Studies, Law Probability & Risk, and the Review of Law & Economics, as well as in law reviews such as the Iowa Law Review, Boston College Law Review, U.C. Davis Law Review, Alabama Law Review, and others. He has also been awarded various grants for experimental work, and he was recently appointed to serve as a legal and statistical expert on a government-sponsored panel organized to review and improve proposed standards related to DNA testimony.

An experienced litigation attorney, Professor Bavli has practiced in the fields of complex commercial litigation, antitrust law, and criminal law, most recently at the firms Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.  Prior to joining SMU’s faculty, he also designed and taught a seminar course on the economic analysis of law in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. He received numerous awards for distinction in teaching for the course.
 
Professor Bavli received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and his Ph.D. in Statistics in Law and Government from Harvard University.  He also holds an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, an A.M. in Statistics from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Economics from Boston University.  He completed a Fulbright Fellowship studying game theory in Jerusalem, Israel, as well as short-term clerkships at the Supreme Court of India and the Supreme Court of Rwanda.  He also held a visiting fellowship at the Yale Law School Center for Private Law, and he is an affiliate of the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science.

Areas of Expertise

  • Evidence
  • Torts
  • Procedure
  • Law and Statistics
  • Law and Economics

Education

B.A., Boston University
J.D., Fordham University School of Law
LL.M., Harvard Law School
A.M., Harvard University
Ph.D., Harvard University

Courses

Evidence
Torts
Law and Statistics

Articles

Character Evidence as a Conduit for Implicit Bias, 56 U.C. Davis Law Review (forthcoming 2023)
SSRN

An Objective-Chance Exception to the Rule Against Character Evidence, 74 Alabama Law Review (forthcoming 2022)
SSRN

An Aggregation Theory of Character Evidence, 51 Journal of Legal Studies 39 (2022)
SSRN (Preprint) | The University of Chicago Press (Published version)

Credibility in Empirical Legal Analysis, 87 Brooklyn Law Review 501 (2022)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Causation in Civil Rights Legislation, 73 Alabama Law Review 159 (2021)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Cause and Effect in Antidiscrimination Law, 106 Iowa Law Review 483 (2021)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Counterfactual Causation, 51 Arizona State Law Journal 879 (2019)
SSRN | SMU Repository

The Effects of Comparable-Case Guidance on Awards for Pain and Suffering and Punitive Damages: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial, 37 Yale Law & Policy Review 405 (2019) (with Reagan Mozer)
SSRN | SMU Repository

The Admissibility of Sampling Evidence to Prove Individual Damages in Class Actions, 59 Boston College Law Review 655 (2018) (with John K. Felter)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Shrinkage Estimation in the Adjudication of Civil Damage Claims, 13(2) Review of Law & Economics 1 (2017) (with Yang Chen)
SMU Repository

The Logic of Comparable-Case Guidance in the Determination of Awards for Pain and Suffering and Punitive Damages, 85 University of Cincinnati Law Review 1 (2017)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Sampling and Reliability in Class Action Litigation, 2016 Cardozo Law Review De Novo 207 (2016)
 SSRN | SMU Repository

Reductive Sampling: A Framework for Victim Participation and the Reparations Phase of the ICC Trial, 10 Harvard Africa Policy Journal 60 (2015)

Aggregating for Accuracy: A Closer Look at Sampling and Accuracy in Class Action Litigation, 14 Law, Probability & Risk 67 (2015)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Presentations

Selected Recent Presentations

Character Evidence as a Conduit for Implicit Bias, Harvard/Yale/Stanford Junior Faculty Forum, Harvard Law School (June 2022)

Character Evidence as a Conduit for Implicit Bias, Annual Conference of the Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Hong Kong (June 2022)

Character Evidence as a Conduit for Implicit Bias, Evidence Summer Workshop, Vanderbilt Law School (May 2022)

Objective Chance and the Rule against Character Evidence, Evidence Summer Workshop, Vanderbilt Law School (August 2021)

Causation in Civil Rights Legislation, Annual Conference of the Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Cape Town (June 2021)

Causal Sets in Antidiscrimination Law, Michigan Law School 2020 Junior Scholars Conference, University of Michigan Law School (April 2020)

The Effects of Comparable-Case Guidance on Awards for Pain and Suffering and Punitive Damages: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial, Denver Law Review Symposium: Driven by Data: Empirical Legal Studies in Civil Litigation and Health Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law (February 2019)

Guiding Jurors with Prior-Award Information: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, Cornell Law School (October 2017)

Guiding Jurors with Prior-Award Information: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Annual Meeting of the American Law & Economics Association, Yale Law School (May 2017)