Tahlequah Attorney BlogWhat is a Settlement?

A Settlement is an Agreement Intended to Resolve a Dispute

Video Transcribed:  What is a settlement? Hi, my name is Ryan Cannonie. I’m an attorney in Tahlequah with Wirth Law Office, and every case, whether it’s criminal or civil, family related, or even small claims, starts out the same way. Someone files something, the other person gets served with it.

They have to respond. You go to court and then you can set a trial. However, there’s another step in there that ends up being, the vast majority of cases end up taking that other step, and that is a settlement.

So in criminal cases, it’s a plea offer, and everything else, everyone just calls a settlement offer. Potato, potato. It’s the same thing. So a settlement is where both sides compromise and negotiate to something no one is super happy about, to be honest, but at the same time, it’s something both can live with.

Tahlequah attorneySo if it’s custody, well, we’ll settle for joint custody, but my side will settle for joint custody, but your side has to settle with I’m the primary custodian and you only get weekend visitation and certain holidays.

That’s kind of how a settlement works. No one really gets everything they want, but everyone gets something that they did want. Also, it keeps it out of the hands of a judge or a jury, which may or may not rule in your favor.

Now, even when you have really good evidence, sometimes settlements are something you should look at because you never know what the other side’s going to offer or not offer. Maybe they’ll offer something to you that’s the most important thing, and to them, isn’t that important or they don’t see it as that important.

So when you’re an attorney and when people come to me, I always ask them, hey, cards on the table, here’s every option that could happen in this case. We could win. We could lose at trial. We could dismiss right now, or we could agree to what they want.

Or we can go to a settlement negotiations. And if we do settlement, what are the things you want? And what are the line in the sand, things that you will not give up. That way, whenever the other side talks settlement, I know where we stand.

It doesn’t mean that we’re going to accept it. Just because you go to settlement negotiation doesn’t mean that you’re giving up your right to a hearing or trial. It’s just hearing what the other side’s going to offer. If it’s not what you want, then say fine. We’ll just go to trial.

Now, a lot of cases, in fact, the vast majority, get handled this way through a settlement. So whenever you come to talk to an attorney, hopefully, we, have in mind, what is your case that you’re willing to accept and what is your case, you’re not willing to accept.

Because at a certain point, your attorney should be asking you these things. Attorneys should never go into a settlement negotiation without talking to you, the client. They should never make an agreement without talking to you, the client.

That’s actually in my contract with my clients that I will never do any settlement without discussing it with you first. If you have a case coming up, whether it’s criminal, whether it’s civil, family civil, any of those types of things, and you have questions or you kind of want to know how this whole thing works, or you’re looking for an attorney to represent you, then please give us a call, go to our website, go to tahlequahattorney.com, when you need a Tahlequah Lawyer.

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