NYLJ “Valid Claim for Breach of Oral Settlement Agreement Even Where Party Stated Need...”

By Thomas E.L. Dewey


Many counterparties have reached settlement terms and closed the conversation by stating the need to “paper” the agreement later. But does this caveat preclude enforcement of the oral agreement? A recent decision by the Judge Hurley in the Eastern District of New York, Westside Winery v. SMT Acquisitions, No. 2;19-cv-4371, 2021 WL 21668 (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 4, 2021), provides a good warning to counsel that such statements may be insufficient to preclude an action to enforce a settlement agreement.

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This article first appeared in the New York Law Journal on April 16, 2021. Angela L. Harris, an associate of the firm, assisted in the preparation of the article.

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