When In Doubt, Settle Your Lawsuit

Posted on March 19, 2017 in Disputes

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Writer and humorist Ambrose Bierce (1842-c1914) once wrote of litigation: “[It is] a machine which you go into as a pig, and come out of as a sausage.” The sentiment still holds true today.

The New York Times reported on a recently released study of civil trials, which indicated that plaintiffs who settled their cases before trial ended up recovering more ($$$) than those plaintiffs who took the case through trial. In other words, proceeding to trial ended up being a mistake for the majority of plaintiffs surveyed. It was a mistake for only 24 percent of defendants. As reported,

In just 15 percent of cases, both sides were right to go to trial–meaning that the defendant paid less than the plaintiff had wanted but the plaintiff got more than the defendant had offered.

According to the study’s co-author, Robert Kisner, “the vast majority of cases do settle– from 80 [percent] to 92 percent by some estimates.” So, depending on which side of the fence you’re sitting, make sure you accurately assess your chances for success. After all, half a loaf is better than none.

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