New York Law Journal "Oral Settlements in Open Court Enforceable Without Follow-on Writing" Thomas E.L. Dewey

May 25, 2017

An agreement to settle a case is generally not binding until it is put into writing and either signed or entered as a court order. But as a recent case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York illustrates, there is an important exception: Agreements made between counsel in open court are enforceable, even if one party changes her mind before an anticipated written agreement is complete.

 

In Doe v. Kogut, No. 15-CV-07726 (SN), 2017 WL 1287144, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. April 6, 2017), the plaintiff sought to scrap a settlement reached as part of a conference with Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. Among other things, she asserted duress on the part of her attorney, whom she had since fired. But the plaintiff's own statements in a colloquy with the judge—in which she affirmed her voluntary intention to enter a binding settlement contract—made the settlement enforceable.

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In his Settlement and Compromise column, Thomas E.L. Dewey discusses 'Attestor Value Master Fund v. Republic of Argentina'—a case that “reconfirms the...

New York Law Journal "Argentina’s 'Offer' To Settle Held Unenforceable for Lack of Countersignature" by Thomas E.L. Dewey

January 24, 2020

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