Settlement Counsel

More than 98% of all civil litigation ends in settlement. The sooner that settlement can be achieved on acceptable terms, the less the consumption of client resources-money, time, energy, distraction, and lost opportunity. It is virtually impossible to plan and achieve the settlement of a dispute while simultaneously preparing for success in litigation.

As Settlement Counsel, we are engaged to explore every possible avenue for settlement-by-agreement on terms that are beneficial to our client. In a Settlement Counsel engagement:

  • A full attorney-client relationship exists with one party, and not the other. We do not serve as a neutral mediator or arbitrator with obligations to both sides. Communications with our clients are protected by attorney-client privilege.
  • We are charged by our client to pursue possibilities for acceptable resolution. This means that we devote our skill, knowledge, labor and creative thought to settlement as opposed to litigation.
  • We work independently of litigation counsel. Litigation counsel devotes their skill, knowledge, labor and creative thinking to the potential for winning by beating the other side. We consult with litigation counsel in order to stay informed about matters that may affect settlement-by-agreement. Our job is to think "outside the box."
  • We involve our clients directly in every aspect of exploring settlement-by-agreement.
  • Because we are focused solely on settlement, we are able to pay attention to critical interests of the parties, which a court or arbitration proceeding often ignores or are incapable of accommodating, such as the time pressures of the modern business world; the privacy interests of the parties; preserving (even enhancing) relationships; and remedies and solutions that can only be fashioned by consensual arrangement.
Clients are concerned about expense, and the engagement of independent settlement counsel can appear to be increasing the expense of litigation. Our experience has shown us that the cost of failing to explore seriously the possibilities for consensual resolution can be enormous.