One question that some people ask me just when they’re hiring me is, “Andy, can you settle my case without my consent?” And the answer is no. Number one, I would never do it. But number two, a lawyer is not allowed to do it. It is up to you whether or not to settle your case or go to trial, not up to your lawyer.
What happens in my firm is, when we get a case to the point that we have a good sense of what it’s worth, we bring the client in, we confer with them, we tell them what we think the trial value is, and then we start negotiating. When we get our last and best offer we communicate it to the client with a recommendation. Sometimes the recommendation is to turn down the offer and go to trial. Sometimes the recommendation is to take the offer, and it just depends what the offer is and if we thinks it’s in our client’s interest. But I always tell my clients that just because I make a recommendation doesn’t mean the client has to take it.
We cheerfully do whatever the client wants to do. A recommendation is just that, a recommendation.
I’d say ninety percent of the people follow our recommendation, but for the ten percent who don’t, that’s their right, and we just respectfully go ahead and pursue it the way the client wants to.