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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148195 Find in a Library
Journal: Illinois Bar Journal  Volume:82  Issue:3  Dated:(March 1994)  Pages:154-159
Author(s): C Niro
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 6
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using a fictitious memorandum from an attorney to her client, this article describes one approach to the evaluation and negotiation of settlements based on the facts of a fictitious case.
Abstract: The memorandum contains figures and explanations of decisionmaking "trees" that portray the options and consequent costs and risks associated with a settlement and continued litigation. The defendant has made a settlement offer of $400,000, compared to $1 million in actual damages and $1 million in punitive damages being sought by the plaintiff client. Acceptance of the settlement offer guarantees the plaintiff $400,000 less expenses to date. Continued litigation means giving up the guaranteed $400,000 in an effort to gain more money for the client through litigation. Litigation, however, means more costs and assumption of the risk that the litigation outcome may bring the client less than the $400,000 settlement. The decision "trees" presented in the article show the estimated costs and risks of winning and losing (based on the strength of the plaintiff's case and outcomes in similar cases) if the plaintiff proceeds to summary judgment. Risks and awards are projected in accordance with whether the plaintiff's witnesses are "good," "moderate," or "bad." Given the factors displayed in the decision tree, the attorney recommends that the client accept the settlement. 7 figures
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Civil proceedings; Decisionmaking; Negotiation
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