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A.J.
A.J., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4211
Experience:  Licensed to practice law, I have experience in Employment, Appeals, and Landlord/Tenant Law
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I am a Pro se Plaintiff. Civil Case is in US District Court.

Resolved Question:

I am a Pro se Plaintiff. Civil Case is in US District Court. Defendants Counsel is an Assistant US Attorney. Case is scheduled for Jury Trial. RE: Case is a 6 year old Appeal of (OFO)EEOC decision. Timely filed, RFR filed, and denied, now an active CIVIL case. Due to Plaintiff's increasing age, Plaintiff is considering Sending a Settlement Proposal to the Defendant, (Secretary of a FED Agency), thru the Defendants LEGAL Counsel. Plaintiff's Settlement proposal is fair and equitable, less than the Plaintiff is seeking. Removing the demand of punitive damages from the proposal. (Applicable and permitted in this case).
Question: Is Defense Counsel obligated to forward the Settlement Proposal on to the Defendant, rather than respond on behalf of the Defendant, without contacting the Defendant, giving Counsels (only counsel), reaction and/or answer? If Counsel is obligated to inform the Defendant of the Plaintiff's Proposal, may Counsel refuse to forward the Proposal to the Defendant?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  A.J. replied 9 months ago.

A.J. :

Hello, and thank you for using Just Answer. My name isXXXXX am an employment law professional and I look forward to answering your question this afternoon.

A.J. :

The short answer is yes, counsel is obligated to communicate good faith offers of settlement to their client, unless the client has either (a) given counsel the express authority to reject or accept settlement on their behalf, or (b) has instructed counsel not to consider any offers of settlement. However, even in those circumstances, counsel at least needs to communicate that an offer was made, to see if the client wants to change their mind.

A.J. :

There is not generally a specific statute dealing with this type of issue, it generally falls under an attorneys ethical obligations to their client and to the court.

A.J. :

This is in part due to a lawyer's obligation to abide by a client's decisions (Rule of Professional Conduct 4-1.2(a)). If a lawyer fails to communicate a settlement offer to a client, it would be impossible for them to abide by the client's decisions, making this a breach of the lawyer's ethical duties.

A.J. :

A lawyer also has specific duties to keep a client reasonably informed, which would implicitly include offers of settlement (Rule 4-1.4).

A.J. :

Finally, a lawyer is considered an "officer of the legal system" (preamble to the Rules of Professional Conduct), and failing to act in good faith to resolve a conflict, including communication of settlement offers, arguably violates a lawyer's duty to act as an officer of the legal system.

A.J. :

So, long story short, as a general matter lawyers are obligated to communicate offers of settlement to their clients.

Customer:

Regardless of the position that the attorney holds?

Customer:

US Attorney?

A.J. :

Yes. So long as the attorney is representing the client in question as a defendant, that attorney must communicate an offer of settlement to whomever the decision-maker for the client is.

Customer:

Great, Thank you.

A.J. :

So long as the US Attorney is representing another entity as counsel, then yes, a settlement offer must be communicated.

A.J. :

You are welcome. Let me know if you have any additional questions. Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

Thank you. a load off my mind.

A.J. :

You are very welcome, I am happy to assist where possible. If you do not have any additional questions, please remember to RATE my answer so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

Will do- OUT!

A.J. :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX of luck to you.

A.J., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4211
Experience: Licensed to practice law, I have experience in Employment, Appeals, and Landlord/Tenant Law
A.J. and 6 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  A.J. replied 9 months ago.
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Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I have rated your answer at the highest possible tier. Excellent Service. Lost the connection while waiting. My sincere thanks for your excellent response. Howard

Expert:  A.J. replied 9 months ago.
You are most welcome Howard, and I wish you the best of luck. Also, if you wouldn't mind, it appears as if the "RATE" did not go through, would you mind trying again, if it isn't too much trouble? If it doesn't work again, I will forward on for assistance from the site.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you.

Adam

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