On March 24, 2009, a New Jersey federal judge granted Epstein Becker Green’s motion to enforce a settlement it reached on behalf of its clients during a court mediation. In doing so, the court reinforced the principle that New Jersey litigants must abide by settlement agreements made by attorneys with settling authority.
Although the settlement was entered in court, the defendants later claimed it was based on a misunderstanding with their lawyer regarding the amount of money involved in the settlement. U.S. District Judge Jose Linares, however, upheld the settlement reached by the parties based on the defendants’ lawyer’s authority to settle and New Jersey’s strong public policy of fostering settlement.
The New Jersey Law Journal reported on the decision in an article entitled, “Client Thwarted in Move to Undo Settlement Brokered by His Lawyer.” It noted that the plaintiffs’ team —Epstein Becker Green attorneys Diana Costantino Gomprecht and Patrick Lucignani—reached a settlement with the defendant’s attorney by which the plaintiff agreed to turn over two Web sites and the defendant agreed to pay 380,000 euros.
Diana Costantino Gomprecht is an Associate in the Litigation and Labor and Employment practices in the New York office.
Patrick Lucignani is an Associate in the Litigation and Labor and Employment practices in the Newark office.