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Settlement Conferences

A.        Pre-Settlement Conference Letters   Prior to the settlement conference, the parties are required to exchange pre-settlement conference letters and provide copies of these letters to the Court. Plaintiff’s letter is due at least 14 days prior to the settlement conference and defendant’s letter is due seven days prior to the conference.   Plaintiff’s letter should describe the nature of the action and the theory of liability, and provide an itemization of damages and plaintiff’s demand, including an explanation for the demand. Defendant’s letter should describe the theory of defense and the defendant’s settlement offer, including an explanation for the offer. It should also identify the points in plaintiff’s letter with which defendant agrees and disagrees.    Each party should email a copy of its letter to Judge Durkin’s proposed order box on the same day that it is provided to opposing counsel. The email address is:  

Do not file a copy of the letters with the Clerk’s Office. These letters will not be made part of the court’s record and will not be admissible at trial.  

B.        Persons Required to Attend   Individuals with full and complete authority to settle on behalf of the parties are ordered to personally attend the conference. This means that if a party is an individual, that individual must personally attend; if a party is a corporation or governmental entity, a representative of that corporation or governmental entity (other than counsel of record) with full and complete settlement authority must personally attend. “Full and complete settlement authority” means the authority to negotiate and agree to a binding settlement agreement at any level up to the settlement proposal of the plaintiff. If a party requires approval by an insurer to settle, then a representative of the insurer with full and complete settlement authority must attend. Having a client or representative with authority available by telephone is not an acceptable alternative, absent unusual and extenuating circumstances. Any exception must be cleared with the Court in advance of the settlement conference.

Note: The court does not control nor can it guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this information. Neither is it intended to endorse any view expressed nor reflect its importance by inclusion in this site.