Friday, August 31, 2007

Lawyers need client approval for settling cases

A bit tardy reporting on this news from August 28, but things are a bit hectic back here at the ranch. I am a little bit surprised at this news and need to find time to read the case. I thought it was generally understood that one cannot settle any case without the client's approval. The following is from the Indiana Lawyer Daily news report, Attorneys cannot agree to settlements for clients.

The fact a party authorizes an attorney to enter settlement negotiations and knows the negotiations are occurring does not mean that the attorney has authority to approve a settlement, according to a ruling today by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

In Carol and David Bay v. Michael Pulliam and Cardinal Transportation, LLC, 49A05-0612-CV-704, the Court of Appeals reversed a Marion Superior Court decision that granted a motion to enforce settlement agreement in favor of Pulliam and Cardinal Transportation. At issue was whether a settlement between an attorney for the Bays and Pulliam's insurance company could be binding if the Bays did not agree to it.