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What is a gag order?

 

A:

You are close to settling your case and as a condition to settling your case, your attorney tells you that the defense requires that you not publicize the terms of the settlement. You are shocked. Your outraged.
You had every intention of telling the world about your horrible tragedy and what to you and your family went through. You want to shout to the world what this wrongdoer did that turned your lives upside down.
However, your attorney is telling you that the only way you can settle this case is if you agree to a gag order also known as a non-disclosure agreement.
Why would a defense lawyer and the insurance company request or require that you not publicize the terms of your settlement?

There are two immediate reasons:

1. They don't want the publicity. They don't want the general public to know that something bad occurred and now they're settling your case. A routine statement that settling your case has no bearing on admitting responsibility is trite. Many people recognize that settling the case may be business decision, however the common thinking is that a company or a wrongdoer is not voluntarily going to settle a case unless there is some responsibility behind it.
2. The defense does not want to let other plaintiff's attorneys know what the case is settled for. Otherwise, it might set the standard by which similar cases are defined and expected to be settled for.

Should you settle your case with the gag order?

Only you and your attorney can answer that question.

To learn more about gag orders here in New York, I invite you to watch the video below...