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In federal court can prior settlement communications be

In federal court can prior...
In federal court can prior settlement communications be discussed in a motion to compel arbitration?
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
9/28/2017
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 18,126
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Yes, it may be. The bar on settlement communications is an evidentiary one. That means that it pertains to what the jury can see, not what the judge can consider in ruling on a motion. The Rule 408 says:

(a) Prohibited Uses. Evidence of the following is not admissible—on behalf of any party—either to prove or disprove the validity or amount of a disputed claim or to impeach by a prior inconsistent statement or a contradiction:

(1) furnishing, promising, or offering—or accepting, promising to accept, or offering to accept—a valuable consideration in compromising or attempting to compromise the claim; and

(2) conduct or a statement made during compromise negotiations about the claim—except when offered in a criminal case and when the negotiations related to a claim by a public office in the exercise of its regulatory, investigative, or enforcement authority.

(b) Exceptions. The court may admit this evidence for another purpose, such as proving a witness’s bias or prejudice, negating a contention of undue delay, or proving an effort to obstruct a criminal investigation or prosecution.

Note that it's not being used to establish that there's actually liability. The purpose behind this rule is so that you can't go to the jury and say "he offered me X so obviously he thinks he's liable". It can't be used as evidence of liability or to establish the amount of damages. But it can be used for other reasons, such as they're not acting in good faith, or we tried to settle it but can't, so send us to arbitration, etc...

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 18,126
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Follow up. Does this basically mean confidential settlement communications can be discussed freely in front of judge but not jury?

If the judge allows it. The other party might object, but the rule pertains to admissibility in front of a jury.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you

You're welcome, and again, good luck to you!

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