Settlement forms to consider

# Settlement forms to consider

With regard to settlement negotiation I like to have a basic form letter to my client where I outline information about the matter. By having it a form I eliminate the problem of overlooking something I should say and it gives me an opportunity to add or revise for the particular case. I’m giving you an example of a letter to the client about this.

In addition, I want written settlement authority from my client for any settlement we made. This avoids the potential for misunderstanding and protects me against later "buyer remorse" issues with clients. I’ve included a basic simple form for this purpose.

I like t o keep track of the negotiation process on a form designed for this purpose rather then making random notes on a yellow pad. This gives me a permanent record of what went on during the negotiation process. I’ve included a form for this purpose as well in the materials below.

Dear….

We have agreed with the representatives of the defendants to attempt to settle your case through a process called "mediation." This involves agreeing to an impartial third person who will assist the parties in attempting to reach a settlement of your case.

There are many advantages to this procedure, but in your case the primary one is the increased chance of settlement for the maximum amount possible by using an impartial third person as the mediator. Mediation allows both sides to give their position confidentially to the mediator in order to help them understand how best to settle the case. It allows the defense to "save face" in agreeing to a settlement they might not otherwise agree to by relying upon the mediator’s recommendation.

Both sides will submit in advance to the mediator information about our case and our position. The mediator will review this in advance of the meeting. You need not bring anything with you dealing with your case unless you feel there is something important we have not provided the mediator.

There is nothing to be lost by this process except time. If we can’t agree nothing that is said or provided can be used against us at trial. Everything is confidential. In general, we have had very good success in mediating cases like yours and feel it should be attempted here.

There are several things you should know:

1. Be sure to bring reading material with you. The process involves a group meeting first and then separating the attorneys and clients for parties in different rooms. You and I will be in one room and the defendants and their attorneys plus insurance representatives in another. The mediator goes back and forth in communicating negotiation. There are often long delays while the mediator is talking to the other side. The process can take a full day so be prepared to stay.

2. No settlement will be made without your approval. You are present for all stages of discussion involving our case and the mediator. The mediator can only communicate offers and make recommendations. They cannot force you to settle your case. We will have plenty of opportunity to discuss offers and what is happening during this procedure. You have the final say so on settlement. Your attorney will be there to assist you, but the final decision is yours.

3. This is not a trial. All of the information is provided in advance and the balance is given at the time of meetings. There is a brief initial meeting at which all sides can make general statements about the case but no argument and no witnesses are called. You will not be questioned as a witness, although the mediator may ask you some general questions about facts not provided in the written materials.

You should dress as if you were going to trial as the impression you make can have a bearing particularly if the insurance representative will be seeing you for the first time.

We are providing information about where this will take place and when to meet the attorney. If you have questions would you please advise me.

CLIENT SETTLEMENT AUTHORITY
CLIENT:

We hereby authorize our attorneys to submit a demand for full settlement of our case. We understand fees, costs, unpaid medical expense, interest due, subornation, liens, amounts due others and all expenses owed will be deducted from any gross settlement amount we authorize. We hereby authorizes gross settlement of the entire case for not less than $. Note: Settlement demand range$ ___________________to $____________________________ Comment:_____________________________________________________________________ X ___________________________________________________________________________ Date: / / X___________________________________________________________________________ Date: / / ———————————————————————————————————————— Plaintiff Defendant:  DATE AMOUNT Amnt. Less DATE AMOUNT Amnt. More 1.$ $1.$ $2.$ $2.$ $3.$ $3.$ $4.$ $4.$ $5.$ $5.$ $6.$ $6.$ $7.$ $7.$ $8.$ $8.$ $9.$ $9.$ $10.$ $10.$ $11.$ $11.$ $Defendant:_____________ Defendant:__________________  DATE AMOUNT Amnt. More DATE AMOUNT Amnt. More 1. 1 2 2$ 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7

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