Take the money and run
This article is the preview of a study that reports that the Plaintiffs bringing a lawsuit are far more likely to be wrong in turning down a settlement and proceeding to trial than Defendants. Plaintiffs were "wrong" in 61% of the cases that went to trial. "Wrong" meaning that the Plaintiff would have gotten more from the settlement than from the jury verdict. In contrast, Defendants were "wrong" only 15% of the time. The authors speculate that contingency fees and a financial incentive to go to trial on the lawyer’s part may explain the discrepancy. I lay out the risks and benefits of a trial as opposed to a settlement offer and let my client, whether they are plaintiff or defendant (I’ve represented both) make the ultimate call. It seems to me that the financial incentive of an attorney would be greater on the defense side where typically the attorney is being paid by the hour. That means whether or not the client wins or loses at trial, the attorney gets paid. A plaintiff’s lawyer contingency fee agreement however, would only let the plaintiff’s lawyer recover a percentage of what the plaintiff received. Therefore, the rejection of a settlement leaves money on the table for the attorney as well as the client.