5 Reasons Now is a Good Time to Settle Cases

Rahm Emanuel, who was President Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, once said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Although impolitic on its face, the statement has a deeper meaning, which is, “There is great opportunity for good even in a crisis.”

As you sit quarantined and harassing your dog, who can’t wait for you to go back to the office, there is an unprecedented opportunity to focus on settling cases for several reasons.

, plaintiffs’ lawyers who juggle 100-200 cases and are running constantly to depositions and hearings, actually have time to focus on cases ripe for settlement. Many times these very busy plaintiffs’ lawyers don’t make demands simply because they are too busy. Well, right now, they are as busy as you are!

, plaintiffs’ lawyers who believe that they will get the best offer “if they wait to get to the courthouse steps” now face great uncertainty as to when they will get to the courthouse steps, as all cases will likely be delayed at least six months or more.

, due to the uncertainty in employment and financial markets, many plaintiffs will be pressuring their counsel to push for settlements; a bird in hand is better than two in the bush.

, plaintiffs’ lawyers also face financial uncertainty and potential financial duress and so, they are incentivized to become more reasonable in negotiating. An uncertain case life is a very strong leverage point for them to close a case.

, your own counsel is getting caught up on files ($$) and perhaps you should refocus him/her on resolving cases as opposed to continuing to bill on cases.
Bottom line: If you take a disruptive approach to closing cases, the next 60 days may be one of the greatest opportunities of all time. So, take a look at your pending files and create Red Flag criteria such as:
  • Cases open over 6 or 9 months
  • Cases where the Cost of Defense is at least 75% of the Value of the Case
  • Cases where MSJ is pending
  • Cases which were on trial calendars

In fact, this week we have had several clients transfer files to our Disruptive Lawyer team for a “second look” or to reach out to the plaintiff to discuss this “unique window to re-open settlement negotiations.” Let us know if we can assist you in resolving cases that may have been difficult to close.

In conclusion, give your dog a break and go close some files!