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You've Been Waiting Years for a Trial. The Defense Lawyer Finally Makes a Settlement Offer to Your Attorney. Can He Keep it Secret From YOU?

The answer is no.

He can't.

Your lawyer is supposed to represent your interests.

That means he's supposed to do everything he can to advance YOUR interests, not his.

His feelings don't matter.

His reputation doesn't matter.

His perception of settling your case early doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter what his reason or rationale is.

Your lawyer has an ethical and moral obligation to share the settlement offer with you.

It doesn't matter if the offer is $5.

It doesn't matter if the offer is offensive.

It doesn't matter if the defense's offer is just an apology.

He has an obligation to disclose that offer to you.

He has an obligation to discuss the offer with you.

He has an obligation to give you his professional opinion about what you should do with that offer.

Then, it is YOU who makes the final decision about what to do.

Do you accept the offer?

Do you reject the offer?

Do you want to make a counter-offer?

Do you begin to negotiate?

You see, your lawyer may WANT to try your case.

He may feel confident that he'll get a great result.

Maybe he wants the experience.

Maybe he wants media exposure.

Maybe he wants a large verdict associated with his name.

Maybe he wants to be recognized by his peers as an accomplished trial lawyer.

Whatever the reason, beware the attorney who has this hidden agenda.

That would mean that your lawyer's interests are not in alignment with yours.

If you tell your lawyer to settle your case within certain parameters and he ignores that instruction, that's a problem.

A big problem.

An attorney who violates these ethical rules runs the risk of being sanctioned and fined by the grievance committee in the county in which he was admitted to practice law in New York.

Even if the settlement offer comes during trial.

Your attorney MUST tell you about it promptly.

Even if the offer comes during jury deliberations.

Your attorney MUST tell you about it promptly.

Imagine if the jury is out deciding your case and the defense makes an offer before the jury comes back with their verdict.

If your attorney witholds this offer until after the jury verdict, he has prevented you from making an intelligent decision about whether to accept the offer, negotiate or reject the offer and take whatever the jury gives you.

To learn more about settlement offers in medical malpractice cases here in NY, I invite you to watch the quick video below...


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer