If you have a settlement conference coming up, you might be wondering what it is and what you should expect. A settlement conference is essentially a meeting with the opposing party and the judge or magistrate assigned to the case. The purpose of a settlement conference is to try to get the parties to settle and avoid going to trial. Trial costs can be very expensive, and it is usually in the best interest of the parties to settle before racking expenses associated with trial.
The settlement conference will usually start with the judge and parties in the same room. The attorneys for each side will present their position on the case and then the parties will be split up. The judge or magistrate will spend the rest of the settlement conference going back and forth between the parties assisting in settlement discussions. The judges will facilitate settlement discussions by communicating offers and counteroffers to the parties. The judge may also make his/her own recommendations.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the case will continue toward trial. If they do reach an agreement, the parties’ attorneys will work together to draft a settlement agreement. The parties will each sign the agreement, and the judge will dismiss the case.
You may be thinking that settlement conferences sound like mediation, and you would be right. A settlement conference is set up very similar to a mediation. However, settlement conferences are different in that the settlement conference is handled by a judge, not a mediator. Settlement conferences also tend to be shorter than mediations.
If you have a settlement conference or mediation coming up and need representation, call McNeelyLaw today at 317-825-5110 to speak with an experience Indiana attorney.
This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.