I was supposed to start a trial yesterday,but, as often happens, with the judge’s assistance, settlement negotiations began. In fact, in reality, the case probably settled about 3 times yesterday. However, each time we tried to wrap it up, the wife changed the terms, seeking more and more. My client, who believed that that he would probably do better at trial, made a business decision to agree to the changes, in consideration for the costs of trial, risks of loss, etc. That was his call as we were ready to start the trial and were thoroughly prepared.
On the other hand, on top of changing her terms over and over again, the wife became abusive to her attorney who was trying to counsel her that the terms of the proposed deal(s) were probably far better than she would do at trial. On top of that, she had major exposure to pay the husband’s legal fees based on her conduct during the pendency of the matter (multiple violation of court orders and discovery abuses).
That gets me to the point of this post. Opposing counsel was in an impossible position. He knew that the deal was too good for his client but could not force her to settle. She is essentially forcing or demanding a trial, which counsel believes is not in her best interests. His problem became compounded when she became abusive.
At the end of the day, the decision to settle is hers. The refusal to settle may cost her tens of thousands of dollars. The attorney fulfilled his obligation and told her. It may ultimately be an expensive lesson learned.