The plaintiffs were injured in a motor vehicle accident and sued the driver of the other vehicle for damages. The plaintiffs’ attorney had been advised by the clients’ son that his parents had returned to Belize (where they lived); he was also advised they did not have a telephone, or postal service, and that the only way to reach them was by a monthly delivery by Federal Express. The son offered to facilitate communications between the attorney and his parents. The discovery requests were sent to the son and after an appropriate delay the verified responses were returned with the clients’ notarized signatures (which the son had advised was required in Belize). Eventually the defendant made a settlement offer which was accepted; the settlement agreement was returned with the clients’ notarized signatures and the settlement check forwarded to the clients – care of the clients’ son.
Some time later the plaintiffs’ attorney came to believe that the clients’ signatures on the discovery responses and the settlement agreement had been forged by the son and the son’s girlfriend. Your editor does not know what prompted the attorney’s concern, nor what the attorney decided to do; when your editor last spoke to the attorney, he was considering whether he should travel to Belize to meet with the clients and possibly have to unravel the settlement or let the proverbial sleeping dog lie…What would you do?