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On an infant's case, or on a death case, how do I know that everything is being done appropriately?


A: In New York, the Courts oversee all lawsuits. In particular, the Courts must approve any settlement involving an infant (any child under the age of 18) and any death case. After an infant's case or a death case has settled, I must apply to the Court for permission to formally settle the case. If the Court does not approve of the settlement (for various reasons) then I cannot settle the case, and we must attempt to remedy the problem immediately. [In 16 years of practice, I have not had any Court refuse to sign a settlement that I have recommended, and the Client accepted- but I have seen it done to other attorneys.] The Court reviews a large packet of materials in support of the proposed settlement to make sure everything is correct, and all documentation about expenses, calculations, allocation of monies and the proper parties are reviewed. Only upon receiving the Courts' approval, are we permitted to finalize a settlement.