August 8, 2007
A plaintiff in a discrimination claim acknowledged and accepted the terms of a settlement in open court. Problems arose thereafter--"the legal equivalent of buyer's remorse"--when the terms were being reduced to writing. As often happens in such cases, the lawyer and client clashed on certain fact issues, leading to the lawyer's withdrawal from the representation.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court's decision to refuse to allow the plaintiff to reopen the case. Because the terms of the settlement agreement had been fully agreed to, the lack of a formal writing confirming the agreement was not a defect that permitted undoing the settlement. (Mike Frisch)
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