A Little Humor Leads to A Global Settlement
Recently Judge Toskos mediated a professional malpractice litigation involving several parties. With so many parties, trying to get them to agree on an issue was “like herding cats.” After 8 hours of negotiations the Plaintiff’s demand was still in the millions while the collective offer by the Defendants was in the tens of thousands. At that point one, then another defendant spoke with Plaintiff in an attempt to reach a separate resolution. When Judge Toskos spoke with Plaintiff’s counsel the offers were rejected because the Plaintiff wanted a “Global Settlement with all Parties.” Jokingly Judge Toskos commented that if the remaining parties see the Plaintiff individually, they will get a Global Settlement. After a good laugh Judge Toskos realized that perhaps there was a pathway to a global resolution. He was able to get the Plaintiff and Defendants to agree to a procedure whereby Plaintiff conveyed a separate demand to each Defendant without the others knowing the amount. Judge Toskos then mediated each demand and offer separately. After a day of negotiations, each party quickly resolved their claims without knowing the amount paid by their co-defendants. Only the Plaintiff and Judge Toskos knew the total amount of the Global Settlement.