Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Practice tip: Additional thought on settlement strategy... ask for settlement conference

On January 20th I posted a practice tip on settlement strategy in the "post-announcement" phase, suggesting that (a) as to clients who have not yet been identified to the RIAA we should advise the clients that some "John Doe" cases have been dropped without the RIAA obtaining the sought after discovery, and (b) all settlement offers by defendants should be put in writing so that they get delivered unimbellished to the decisionmaker(s).

It occurred to me that there is a third point which should be made, which is that -- as to clients who are strongly interested in settling -- if you are in the midst of litigation you should ask the Court for a settlement conference.

In Maverick Recording v. Goldshteyn, the Magistrate Judge ordered the plaintiffs to appear for a settlement conference and to produce the "principals" of the companies at the conference (although he later accepted Matthew Oppenheim as the "principal" of all five of the plaintiffs).

December 27, 2006, Order Scheduling Settlement Conference*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

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Anonymous said...

... (although he later accepted Matthew Oppenheim as the "principal" of all five of the plaintiffs).

Really, something needs to be done about this guy.

Lior said...

The Matthew Oppenheim remark is interesting considering the RIAA's position in Tennenbaum that Mr. Oppenheim is their lawyer, so that his opinions and records are covered by attorney-client privilege.

If he can at the same time be their lawyer and a principal who can make binding decisions, then every pro se defendant should be immune from deposition on the theory that he is his own attorney.

Of course, taking contradictory positions in different courts is an RIAA SOP -- which is the real reason why they are fighting tooth and nail to keep the cameras out of the court in Massachusetts.

raybeckerman said...

Yes Lior, that is one of the big reasons. It would interfere with their practice of saying whatever they think will profit them at any given moment, without regard to whether it has even a shred of truth in it.