Tale No. 5 Caveat Emptor, or in this instance attorney beware!

To be enforceable a settlement agreement must be signed by the party. Plaintiff’s attorney represented to defense counsel his clients had agreed to the settlement and defense counsel, relying on the representation, neglected to post jury fees. At the pre-trial conference the plaintiff advised the court he had changed his mind, there was no settlement and he wanted to go to trial – a court trial. The judge ruled that since the plaintiff had not signed a settlement agreement there was no enforceable settlement, and further that the defense had waived the right to a jury trial by failing to post jury fees, the reason for the failure being immaterial.

 But the defense motion to set aside the jury waiver was granted and the matter was set for jury trial When the plaintiff was again faced with a jury trial, the case settled on the terms as originally agreed!