Settlement and the Courts

Settlement and the Courts

Professor Michael Moffitt
Spring 2018 reading group
M 5:00pm - 7:00pm
1 classroom credit

Prerequisite: None

Exam: No Exam

This reading group will examine the intersection of litigation and settlement. The courts’ public role and litigants’ private decision-making combine to create a complex system in which settlement has become the norm, but with what legal and policy coherence? We will consider a range of views on the appropriate incentives and legal structures associated with the voluntary resolution of disputes. What do existing policies and settlement incentives tell us about the balance between the disputants’ interests and the public’s multiple, potentially legitimate policy goals? To what extent do those incentives depend on the type of claim, on the jurisdiction, or on the litigants’ resources? In what contexts should courts examine, or even reject, the terms of a settlement? In what contexts should the public have access to settlement terms? What assumptions should courts make about parties’ settlement behavior? And what, if any, role do issues of race, class, and privilege have on these questions?

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: TBD.