When Settlement Pits Client Against Attorney

482228991Settling a case that involves potential court-awarded attorney fees raises a big issue—a conflict of interest between plaintiffs’ counsel and their clients. But it’s definitely possible for plaintiffs’ attorneys to deal with this sticky situation with their ethical duties intact. Continue reading

Loose Lips Sunk Settlement

slam_90250057In a recent Florida case, the plaintiff lost $80,000 of settlement proceeds he had received on his employment discrimination claim after his daughter spilled the beans on Facebook. Breaching the confidentiality clause in a settlement agreement—and getting caught at it—is frighteningly easy in the age of social media. Continue reading

Do You Know Which ADR Process to Pick?

168712376With the vast majority of civil cases settling rather than going to trial, California attorneys need to be familiar with the various alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes. Once you understand the big picture of the ADR options available, you need to hone in on the right one for your case.

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Mediation May Be the Right Tool for Wage and Hour Suits

20130709-221302.jpgThe number of wage and hour suits is up again this year, and the recent increases appear here to stay. If your client’s efforts at compliance didn’t work and your client is facing a wage and hour suit, the best move may be to offer mediation.

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10 Steps to Successful Mediation

10steps_121366302In California, fewer than 5% of civil cases filed actually go to trial. Some actions are dismissed or terminated on motion, but most cases settle. Given this reality, you need to be ready for a successful mediation. Continue reading

When Settlement Negotiations Hit a Wall

bumper_91824048Settlement negotiations rarely proceed in a smooth forward motion; in fact, most feel more like a ride in a bumper car with a jerky stop and start motion. A good negotiator learns to move past the inevitable impasses. Continue reading

It’s All in the Execution: 4 Keys to Executing a Settlement Agreement

After you’ve settled a case and prepared the final settlement papers memorializing the agreement, all that’s left for the parties to do is execute that agreement. You’re close to the finish line—don’t slack off yet! Continue reading

Don’t Forget Any Settlement Terms

Congratulations, you’ve reached a settlement! Now you need to set it out in the final settlement documents. You need to include all the terms on which the parties have agreed, as well as terms to make it enforceable. To help make sure you don’t miss anything, here’s a checklist of 14 common settlement terms. Continue reading

5 Questions to Ask When Considering a Structured Settlement

Structured settlements — under which a plaintiff compromises a personal injury claim in exchange for a promise of periodic payments for a specified period — are very common in personal injury actions. But it may not be right for every plaintiff.  Continue reading

3 Problem-Solving Approaches to Negotiation

Negotiations rarely proceed as smoothly or swiftly as we first envision. This is partially because settling a case requires finding a result that satisfies both parties, yet litigators are trained to be zealous advocates for their clients and their clients alone. Instead of thinking how much you can get for your client relative to how much your counterpart can get for his or her own, try thinking in terms of how much more you could both get for your clients relative to litigating in court.

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