Can a Court Ordered Settlement Conference Help Settle Your Case?

At some stage during the litigation life of your case, your attorneys will be required to appear in Court for a settlement conference. You may be required, or, want to appear to get a peek into the process. Our recent settlement conference in New York Federal Court was a stellar example of how a Court ordered settlement conference can help settle your case.

In this case there were multiple parties to the litigation each pointing their finger towards the other. The Judge had a tall order.

In preparation for the conference, each party was required to submit a letter to the Court setting forth the reasons they thought they were entitled to win their case. The letters were required to be a certain length and filed electronically within a specific number of days prior to the conference.

By the time we requested a settlement conference with the Court enough had transpired so that all parties knew the other’s position and had more than just an idea of the documentation to support each party’s position.

It should be noted that there up to this point a lot of work had been done on the case by all parties. There had been the exchange of thousands of documents, numerous depositions of most of the parties and several communications and motions to the Court. Each party was required to have a representative with FULL settlement authorization appear at the conference. If party was located more than 100 miles away, then the party needed to be available by phone.

After a brief introduction, the Judge asked each party (by their lawyers) to address why the other side’s position believing they were entitled to win was misplaced. Then, each party had another turn for a quick response.

Then, one by one we were then called into the Judge’s chamber.  Representing the Plaintiff and initial creditor in the action, we were called first.

The Judge drew a chart and asked us for a number. The Judge’s chambers became a revolving door, each party visiting the Judge on at least 3 occasions.

Despite best efforts, we were deadlocked and a settlement was not reached. The Judge gave us some options which included continuing litigation, accepting the low ball offers or having the Judge suggest a settlement. We opted for the Judge’s recommendation.

When the Judge came out of his chambers and met us all in his courtroom, he told us the settlement figure that he suggested and, the way in which the payment would be apportioned among each of the three parties.

Parties were to advise the Judge by phone within one week’s time as to whether or not they would accept the Judge’s suggested settlement. If any parties did not agree to settle, the case would continue, and, only the Judge would know who declined to accept the deal and follow the Judge’s recommendation.

Thanks to the Court’s assistance I am pleased to report that all parties agreed to the settlement. The settlement was fair when considering the age of the debt, the amount of legal work and fees going forward and, in the best interest of our client.

The Court Ordered Settlement conference helped settle our client’s case because of:

  1. The amount of work that had been done on the case before the conference,
  2. The clear and concise letters submitted to the Court detailing each party’s position,
  3. The requirement that the parties appear and participate in the settlement conference (in addition to their counsel), and
  4. The Judge’s approach and evaluation of the case.

In order to have your case primed for resolution at every stage, it is imperative that you have the right representation for your New York debt collection claim.  For inquiries please contact jnager@ffgnesqs.com.  We have the experience that pays…….

 

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