“Most of our cases settle before trial!” proclaims the lawyer on the TV. (Cue video of insurance company executive writing check.) That’s a truly amazing track record of success . . . isn’t it? Is it “success” at all?
Whether a law firm’s high settlement rate is considered “success,” it most certainly is not amazing. One fact is inescapable: The vast majority of civil lawsuits are settled before trial. What does this mean for the client? Whether your client initiates a lawsuit or is served with one, you and your client should plan as much for success at settlement as for success at trial. Here are a few things to keep in mind when devising a strategy.