At a settlement conference, a judge or pro bono counsel assists the parties by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the case and attempting to negotiate a settlement of the dispute, but without making any decisions or orders in the case. Billing conferences can be mandatory (court-ordered) or voluntary. Mandatory settlement conferences are often held close to the date on which a case is to be heard. For more information, see the court`s local rules. In many common law courts, a case conference can be used to settle a case. If, during the settlement conference, the judge can determine that there is no hope of an agreement, a certain trial date will be set and all parties will begin to prepare for the fight. Perhaps the most typical example of a comparative conference is a case of bodily injury. The plaintiff (usually an injured victim) and the defendant (often an insurance company) agree on the amount of compensation the defendant pays to the plaintiff for his injuries. This will be based on the strength of the claimant`s evidence, the extent of its harm and the costs incurred. Often, the parties exchange several counter-offers before reaching an agreement that suits both parties.
If your lawyer knows this in advance and has discussed the value of the settlement with you prior to this conference, they may be able to resolve this issue on your behalf during this conference. If you decide to accept a settlement offer, the recommended best practice is to do so in open session and have the settlement recorded by a court reporter. The comparative conference itself is held free of charge for the parties. However, lawyers may charge clients for their preparation and assistance time at the settlement conference. A settlement conference can also be a useful way to resolve a divorce or custody case. This may allow spouses to deal with these private matters with more dignity than discussing them in open session. Spouses can only disagree on certain aspects of a divorce, which can make it easier to reach an agreement. For example, they may agree to adjust asset splitting in exchange for a reduction in spousal support (support), or they may change their custody agreement while changing child support payments.
In some courts, the rules require lawyers to «meet and advise» before certain types of motions or motions are heard by the judge to try to resolve the case. Settlement conferences may be requested if the parties certify that: (1) settlement negotiations have been conducted between the parties, claims and offers have been submitted in good faith, and the decision has failed; (2) A court-supervised settlement conference provides an essential opportunity to reach an agreement. and (3) the case has evolved to such an extent that all parties are legally and factually prepared to submit the issues to comparative scrutiny and no further discovery for settlement purposes is required. For more information, see Local Rule 2.2.1. If the settlement conference is to be heard by a lawyer who specializes in voluntary settlement, the settlement conference letter must be submitted to the court and not to the lawyer. For more information, see local rule 2.2.2. Assuming a settlement offer is made by the defense, one of the following two things can happen at this conference. On December 15, 2009, Governor David Paterson signed an expanded version of the Mandatory Settlement Conferences Act.
Section 3408 of the New York Act and Rules of Civil Practice now provides that the court will hold a mandatory settlement conference for all loans for one to four family homes within sixty days of the date the proof of service was filed with the county clerk.  The new law also requires the defendant owner and the plaintiff lender to negotiate in good faith at the settlement conference prescribed to them. The requesting lender is required to have a representative or lawyer appear at the settlement conference who has the authority to negotiate and fully resolve the matter.  If a participant is not fully prepared or does not participate in good faith, the court may continue the hearing and/or impose sanctions on the offending party. If the hearing proceeds as scheduled, the orders made will not be reviewed because the lawyer is not aware of the case at the time of the hearing. For more information, see local rule 2.2.2. To schedule a settlement conference at the Central Civil Division, refer to the list of judges in the Civil Settlement Conference (CSCP) program and contact their departmental clerk. A settlement or pre-litigation conference is a meeting between the opposing parties to a lawsuit in which the parties attempt to reach an amicable settlement of their dispute without having to proceed to a trial. Such a conference may be initiated by both parties, usually by submitting an offer of settlement; or it may be ordered by the court as a precedent (preparatory stage) for the holding of a trial.
Each party, the plaintiff and the defendant, is usually represented at the settlement conference by its own attorney or counsel. Conferences are often held by a judge or other neutral party in the form of mediation. Now you know what happens behind closed doors when your attorney goes to a settlement conference on your case in the state court system here in New York. «The insurance company doesn`t think your client`s injuries are that big, and they won`t negotiate until you become more realistic about what you`re going to accept. Most experienced litigants will look to their opponents before such a settlement conference for insight and insight into the defense`s settlement position before appearing in court. In this way, they have an idea of what might happen during this conference. The reality is that you could go to court but sit in the courtroom or wait in the hallway while your lawyer goes to the judge`s conference room. Note: Settlement Conference briefs are «filed» (not filed) with the court and are not suitable for electronic filing. Bringing a trial to court can be costly, stressful and time-consuming.
Moreover, each party rarely knows exactly what to expect when their case goes before a jury. This uncertainty often motivates the parties to reach a compromise outside the court rather than leaving the outcome to chance. An agreement may be reached relatively soon after the case is filed, if the facts are clear, or it may be reached once the discovery process is complete. Gathering evidence can give each party a better idea of how a judge or jury would likely resolve a dispute. At other times, they can only reach an agreement shortly before the date of negotiations. This is to encourage settlement negotiations and continue the discussion if there is a possibility that your case will be resolved. A request for an agreement and a bona fide offer must be exchanged prior to the settlement conference. Lawyers acting on behalf of their clients must be fully familiar with the case and have full negotiating and arbitration powers. The lawyer must be authorized to make a specific claim and must be allowed to make an offer or counter-offer of a certain amount. Lawyers who appear at a settlement conference need to know the meticulous details of your case.
2. How do I apply for a voluntary comparative conference? «Why not? This is my case. Why can`t I go to court with you and find out what`s going on? However, if this is the first time an offer of settlement has been made, your lawyer has an ethical obligation to discuss the offer with you before making a final decision. Yes. Written statements of each party`s position shall be submitted to the judge of the conciliation conference and notified to the other parties five days before the settlement conference, unless otherwise ordered. For more information, see Local Rule 2.2.3. All parties must be present in person at the settlement conference. Claims adjusters of insured defendants or representatives of rights of way in sentencing proceedings must be present and have full authority to settle the case.
Any person attending a comparative conference must attend in good faith and be willing to settle the matter. For more information, see local rule 2.2.2. If an initial comparison conference fails, this may not be your only opportunity. The judge may propose another attempt at settlement once other evidence is discovered. The foreclosure proceeding is effectively terminated until the arbitrator or tribunal hearing agent (JHO) of the settlement conference determines that the settlement conferences are closed, either because the parties have successfully modified the home loan or received another foreclosure solution, or because the arbitrator has determined that one of the parties has not met their legal requirements….