By Stephen Ware, a law professor at KU, in Lawrence, Kansas.

Principles of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Principles of Alternative Dispute Resolution
Principles of Alternative Dispute Resolution, in its third edition, is a Concise Hornbook, published by West Academic. More information is available by clicking on the photo.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Richard Posner on Sealing Settlements

Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner is arguably the most influential figure in the Law & Economics movement and perhaps the most influential non-Supreme-Court judge of our era.   Writing for the Seventh Circuit, Judge Posner rejected a pair of requests to keep two unrelated settlements under seal, explains Jacob Gershman of the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog here.  

Martha Neil at ABA Journal explains the lessons: (1) don't attach to a public filing the document you are asking the court to seal and (2) when the plaintiff is a minor courts may scrutinize how much of the settlement payment goes to the minor and how much goes to the minor's lawyer.  As Judge Posner writes: "An outsider to the litigation could not evaluate the dispute over the district judge’s modification of the settlement without knowing the amount of the settlement (including fees and costs) before and after the modification.  That is information important to future negotiations over attorneys’ fees in cases in which the plaintiff is a minor; and no good reason—in fact no reason at all—has been given for thinking that concealment of the information would serve some social purpose."

Judge Posner's blog, with Nobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker, is a good read.

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