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Please answer if you know the rules for a federal court settlement

Customer Question

Please answer if you know the rules for a federal court settlement conference I think my due process has been violated.I attended a conference with no intent to settle.Finally I did as I knew if the agreement was not 100% to my liking I could change my mind.we put that part on the record but nothing said binding or final.There are two more meetings I am not invited.The draft was not even close.I am invited to the third meeting but must takk through my attorney but anm told out first meeting on the record was binding and final I am then told to sign and innitial some papers and I get today the opposing councils settlement agreement with my signature and innitials I have never seen it before.My attorney has been stuck behind the judge since out first meeting.I write the Judge an email today telling him I wont settle.his secretary tells me I must talk to my attorney.My attorney wont fight city hall.I will not be taken advantage of like this.This settlement is extremley important.The Judge
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.

  1. I am a licensed attorney, and I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information. Please allow me to try and address two issues here -- direct communication with the Judge and trying to get out of the settlement.
  2. One-sided direct contact with the Judge concerning the merits of the case constitutes ex parte communication and is strictly prohibited. So, the secretary was correct on this point.
  3. The legal standard for setting aside a settlement in federal court works like this. To "set aside a settlement agreement, an appellant must show that the agreement is unlawful, was involuntary, or was the result of fraud or mutual mistake." Sargent v. Department of Health and Human Services, 229 F.3d 1088, 1091 (Fed. Cir. 2000). The Courts have held that the petitioner bears a "heavy burden" in proving that a settlement agreement should be invalidated. Asberry v. U.S. Postal Serv., 692 F.2d 1378, 1380 (Fed. Cir. 1982). The way to officialy tell the Judge you will not settle is to file a Motion to Set Aside. You could either do this with your current counsel, with a new attorney, or pro se.

     

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.

If my answer has been helpful to you, please click "ACCEPT" so that I may be paid. This is the only way that I will receive compensation for the work performed. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done. Clicking "FEEDBACK" to leave your positive comments is always greatly appreciated.

The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7639
Experience: Relax. Let's work together. Practical solutions.
LawHelpNow and 15 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Dear Sir,
That was helpful.The problem is I dont think the settlement is final.I called the clerk and it is still open as a settlement.There was long ago things put on the record but only certain things.I am told they mean nothing until a finanl settlement is reached and you are allowed to change your mind anytime.There were two more meetings I was not invited.I never gave my attorney authority to make decisions for me.Two days ago I was invited to a hearing and when I tried to ask a question the Judge referred back to the oriniginal meeting and the record and said everything was final.I have read everyone of his articles and that is not what they say.So at that meeting I signed one page and innitialed several others.Today I get back an agreement I had never seen or read and it looks like my innitials are cut and pasted on the bottom.There are three signatures missing.I dont believe a Judge has the right or authority to turn a settlement conference into a trial and a verdict.It is meant to see if the two parties can finds common grounds not the attorneys but the parties.It was manditory I was there but my sisters were allowed to miss both meetings.My whole issue is what is in the agreement and what is not.The money issue is no problem.I have another case coming up and the way the agreement reads it would hurt me at the next hearings.Just for the record my mother was incpacited.My sisters with the help of an attorney forced her brother to resign after 20 years as trustee and then using five forgeries appointed a new trustee and withdrew $420,000.I was in China and knew nothing.Not one word of what I just said is in the settlement agreement.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am sorry.I must stop the bleeding.I sent an email today but Monday I need to know what I should do to officially put the Judge on notice that I am withdrawing from the settlement conference.
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 6 years ago.

Hello again. Good to hear back from you. I will be glad to comment further.

 

  1. You can certainly send the Judge (through counsel if represented or on your own if litigating pro se) written notice of your withdrawal from the settlement conference if the settlement has not been finalized. You must also copy any opposing parties and/or counsel on your correspondence.
  2. Regarding your additional comments about the signatures missing, initials appearing copied and pasted, etc., there is a federal statutory complaint mechanism set out at Title 28, U.S. Code, Section 351(a), although this is not intended to address complaints related to the merits of a case or a court's decision. Any person alleging that a judge of the United States has engaged in conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts, or that such officer cannot discharge all the duties of the office because of physical or mental disability, may file a complaint with the clerk of the court of appeals for that circuit or applicable national court.

I hope this is of some more help. Take care and thanks again for using Just AnswerTM.

 

 

LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7639
Experience: Relax. Let's work together. Practical solutions.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Dear Sir,
Another issue.Federal court takes jurisdiction over subject matter with diversity.2/22/2007 The opposition get nervous because of five forgeries.They go to California where the trustee by forgery resides and a local state court that is friendly.My california attorney filed for a continuance on 4/11 then expartee withdrew on 5/9 three days before the hearing.The Chicago attorney innitially was going to have someone appear but said forget it the federal court has jurisdiction.The california court approves this person as trustee and all past acts .His attorney says he is and has been a resident of Mill Valley Calif.This person relocated to Colarado 13 months earlier.My Chicago attorney did not appeal.Can I reopen this case based on the forgeries and residency
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 6 years ago.

Hello there. Thanks for writing back. Here are some additional thoughts.

 

  1. If you can show a lack of complete diversity, then you would certainly have grounds to attack subject matter jurisdiction. If the case originated from state court, then I suppose the appropriate remedy would be remand. If this is not the case, then dismissal would likely issue.
  2. Issues of fraud and the like could be addressed by a Motion to Reopen, which personally I would support with an Affidavit laying forth the facts in some detail. I would follow guidance from FRCP 9(2)(b) (although I realize these circumstances are in a somewhat different context) regarding pleading requirements. I have seen numerous instances of a reviewing court summarily upholding the lower court's determinations, so I would proceed carefully and retain well-qualified counsel prior to trying to reopen a federal case.

I hope this helps some more. Take care and thanks again for using Just AnswerTM.

LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7639
Experience: Relax. Let's work together. Practical solutions.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sir,
I am sorry I was not clear.After the federal court accepted Jjurisdiction over the subject matter of the interpleader nthe opposing council ran into a state court in California to approve the fraudulant trustee and his past acts.He worked with two attorneys I was using to make sure I was niot represented.He maintained the the trustee was a long term and present resident when in fact he moved to Colorado 13 months earlier.He did not tell the court the trustees acceptance signature was forged and four others to withdraw $420,000.They granted the motion.Because I would not sewttle the interpleader in Federal court they fil;ed a summary Judgement to take the issue to California.Then the conference started.I agreed to the pay out and the attorneys fees and release of the trustee but only his release as he was not a guilty party Three others are the forgers and withdrew the money however if I give the trustee a full and final release I will jepordize my changes in the Chicago state court against the other three and their financial explotation.Regarding the federal court they are trying to force me to settle.I need to know my legal rights.Thank you for your assistance
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 6 years ago.

Hello again and thanks for writing back.

 

I think I am getting more of the full picture now, and as you obviously know better than anyone this has been a very tangled road of litigation. You have raised a number of elements of fraud here, which is a most serious matter. So, the botXXXXX XXXXXne is that I think you are correct in protesting the settlement and refusing to just go along with the show. Your most immediate pressing issue certainly seems to be notifying the Court (and opposing counsel/parties) of this. After lodging your objection, I truly think your next move is to either reach a meeting of the minds with your current lawyer regarding tactics and strategy or retain new legal counsel. But, I am with you on not allowing yourself to be pushed into settling in light of all of these factors. Counsel has discretion as to many matters in the handling of a case, and the Court certainly has judicial discretion in many of its rulings. The ultimate authority and final decision regarding settlement, however, rests with you as the client litigant.

 

I hope this helps some more. Take care and thanks again for using Just AnswerTM.

LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7639
Experience: Relax. Let's work together. Practical solutions.
LawHelpNow and 15 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the advise.I sent to Judge a letter today it will be delivered Monday morning.Are you sure he can not bind me?

Please let me know if the last payment went through.
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 6 years ago.

Hello again.

 

Yes, I show the payment processed so many thanks for your acceptance! I am unaware of anything that would give the Judge authority to bind you to a settlement to which you do not agree. I hope that everything works out to your satisfaction.

 

Have a nice weekend!

 

Take care and thanks again for using Just AnswerTM.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Mr.Burt,

I dont know if you have interest but this morning I faxed some documents to Just Answe regarding my case but unfortunatly the gentleman has been away.If you have interest Just answer can send them to you and you can let me know how much you would like.

Thank you.
Fred
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 6 years ago.

Hi there.

 

While I appreciate the offer very much, I am afraid I shall have to pass.

 

Many thanks for thinking of me!

 

Take care and thanks again for using Just AnswerTM.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks anyhow,
Fred
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I would like your opinion some more regarding the settlement conference.My mother had an insurance trust I bought for her in 1987.I am a 1/3rd.benificiary and there is nothing in the trust regarding settlement or release.This was an idea my sisters and her husband attorney cane up with as a way to release three criminals with five forgeries although I saved it with an interpleader.So far no damage.Because I was threatening to sue too many times their attorney thought he could get away with an agreement in the federal court and it almost worked.I was part of the interpleader as were my sisters they did not show.So trying to appease the judge I tried to settle when there was an impass.From then on I was excluded and suddenly I am told it is binding.I receive no value,I have no legal obligation or trust obligation to sign.If I do nothing as a benificiary I have three years to sue.I am concerned as my attorney and the judge claim it is binding.The judge has nmany articals about settlement conferences and his procedures but in my case he ignored everyone.There is definantly some politicts going on with people who dont want me to sue my sisters.My sisters arnt about money but about my mother which is sacred to me.I just want to make sure I do the right thing to get out of this as I will not get any help.I sent a letter to the judge today.Can I tell him if he tries to make me sign this he is taking away some legal right as a benificiary or my mothers trust does not call for this.Any help would be appreciated.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Mr.Burt,
Should I send my question to another expert?
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 6 years ago.

Hi there. Good to hear from you again.

 

Yes, that would be just fine. I am afraid this is getting a bit out of my area of expertise.

 

I wish you all the best for a successful resolution of this matter.

 

Take care and thanks again for using Just AnswerTM.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Mr.Burt,
I hope I did not offend you by asking if you would mind looking at my documents.I enjoyed working with you and your answers were very good.
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 6 years ago.

Hello again.

 

Absolutely not. It is just due to time constraints. It has been my pleasure to interact with you.

 

Take care and thanks again for using Just AnswerTM.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Mr.Burt,
I have a question about two trusts and the remaining benificiaries now that the federal court case is closed.Would you mind if I send it to you?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Mr.Burtt,A trust agreement was written while m y mother was incapacitated.I was with my lawyer yeaterday discussing the options.He is for having the judge appoint an independant trustee.I have past legal expenses to be paid and bring a financial explotation claim.If the trust is knocked out my 80 year old aunt by virtue is the previous trustee.She acts and feels a lot less than 80.Because she is a relative I feel safer.My attorney feels the judge will be much quicker to act on an in dependant trustee and he will follow the claims that are suitable.Because all judges want to settle I have a bigger risk of losing the explotation claim with the independant trustee.Of course if I want to pay for everything I can do what I please.I have already paid far beyong what I should have.Please let me know your opinion.

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