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Settlement Conferences

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 Alonso at on the same day that it is provided to opposing counsel. Do not file the letters with the Clerk’s Office.

Individuals with full and complete authority to settle on behalf of the parties must attend the settlement conference in person.  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.

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