According to a recent study, plaintiffs in civil lawsuits should be more willing to settle their cases, and perhaps defendants should stick to their guns and take more cases to trial.
The study (as reported in this New York Times article), concludes that when plaintiffs reject the defendant’s settlement offer and go to trial, they end up with a worse result 61% of the time. Defendants fare far better: only 24% of the time do defendants receive a worse result at trial than they would have had the plaintiff taken their last settlement offer. In 15 percent of the cases, both sides were right to go to trial — the defendant paid less than the plaintiff demanded but the plaintiff won more than the defendant offered.
The full results of the study will be published in the September Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. We’ll be waiting to see if the full published study makes any recommendations specific employment litigation.