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Blog Navigating Settlements

Navigating Settlements: Your Role in the Decision-Making Process

One of the most frequent questions asked is, “Who makes the decision on whether or not to settle my case?”
A lawsuit is a partnership between a client and their lawyer. When the time comes to decide whether or not to settle a case, the lawyer will provide their professional advice, but the ultimate decision belongs to the client.

Whether it’s our firm or another lawyer, there are basic steps taken when navigating a settlement: 

1. Settlement Offer: Your attorney is obligated to share all offers of settlement with you, the client. 

2. Discussion: Your lawyer should sit down with you and discuss all aspects of the case, including the current status, potential outcomes, likelihood of success, and costs and expenses.

3. Time: You should always be provided ample time to consider the settlement offer and ask any questions that you may have.  

4. Documentation: You should be given copies of all settlement documents, including releases and distribution sheets, to read, as well as the chance to ask questions before signing.

5. Funding: Your lawyer should be able to give you a good-faith estimate of when the settlement will be funded. 

Starting the client-attorney relationship on solid footing is crucial. Have early conversations with your lawyer about the settlement process and be clear that you expect each of the above steps to be part of the process. A good lawyer will appreciate the open and honest communication and be happy to work with you. 

American Bar Association Rules

The American Bar Association mandates that attorneys can only settle a case after informing and obtaining consent from their clients. Violating this rule can lead to severe repercussions, including suspension or disbarment. You can learn more about professional responsibility guidelines set forth by the ABA in Rule 1.8 here.

In summary, settling a claim is a collaborative effort. Your attorney guides the process, but you make the final decision. Understanding your rights ensures a resolution that aligns with your needs.

Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Our team is here to provide you with the support and guidance you need every step of the way. Together, we'll navigate the complexities of the legal system and work towards a favorable outcome.



LPM Power of Attorney, IV. Approval Necessary for Settlement, 4.01 "No settlement of any nature shall be made without Client's approval...."

“Rule 1.8: Current Clients: Specific Rules.” American Bar Association,

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