What are “Out of Court” Settlements?

Why Settle When you Can Fight?

Understand That Winning Can Take Place Without Trial: Realize that you are interested in results, not catharsis. Trials can be satisfying, indeed, are often the most exciting event in a person’s life. However, if equivalent results…or nearly equivalent results… can be achieved by settlement, consider them carefully and listen closely to the lawyer’s cost-benefit analysis.

Objectify the Discussion

A good settlement is a settlement no one particularly likes. Both sides should walk away slightly or more than slightly dissatisfied. The question is not whether you feel you have “won,” but whether the end result is preferable to the likely or possible result of litigation. The court can seldom do more than award you money.

Your Lawyer Should Describe the Settlement

Completely: Let Him or Her Do It. You need a full and complete and objective analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of settlement from your lawyer. Do not argue with him or her when they list the advantages of the possible settlement. Discuss, do not argue.

Be Flexible and Creative in Responses

Litigation is a process that serves only one function: to determine the rights and obligations of the parties. That may mean you are owed money. It may be that you owe money. You can bend it to your needs if you spend time to inventively and creatively outthink your opponents by pondering settlements that might be appropriate but not considered by your opponents.

There is Nothing to Gain and Much to Lose by Refusing Settlement Discussions

At the worst, it will compel the other side to waste time and energy pursuing settlement and, at best, your case may settle to your advantage.

The Role of Your Counsel is not to Win at Trial no Matter What

It is to get you the best results he or she can…and that means a full, exhaustive, objective and aggressive examination of all settlement possibilities. The role of your counsel is not to win at trial no matter what. It is to get you the best results he or she can.

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