On the day before the scheduled settlement conference in peer to peer file sharing case Atlantic v. Huggins, in Brooklyn federal court, the RIAA's attorneys have asked the Magistrate Judge for permission (a) to allow the Shook Hardy Bacon attorney to appear by telephone rather than in person and (b) not to bring a corporate representative of the record companies.
The RIAA's attorney represented that the lawyers have "complete authority to discuss settlement", but did not say that they have settlement authority, which is the more usual term.
Ed. note. Based on my experience with the RIAA cases, the lawyers do NOT have settlement authority. Having authority to "discuss" settlement is meaningless; it means having authority to waste the judge's and opposing counsel's time.