Washington Case Law Update: Determining Whether Communications Between Attorneys Constitute a Settlement Agreement

Attorney Profile Case Update Template -2016 Kyle

Washington Case Law Update: Determining Whether Communications Between Attorneys Constitute a Settlement Agreement

From the desk of Kyle D. Riley: Attorneys representing their respective clients often engage in email, telephone and in-person discussions to reach a settlement agreement.  But which statements by counsel are sufficient to constitute a binding settlement agreement? Read on to find out.

Claims Pointer: In this case arising out of a dispute over a construction project, the plaintiff sought to enforce communications between the attorneys as a settlement agreement.  On review, the Washington Court of Appeals determined that the communications were insufficient to constitute a settlement agreement because defendant’s statements failed to show an assent to be bound by the terms of a settlement agreement.  This case serves as an overview and example of how courts review communications to determine whether certain statements constitute a settlement agreement.

Goebel Design Group, LLC. v. Clear NRG, LLC., No. 77090-0-I, Washington Court of Appeals Div. I (August 6, 2018) (unpublished).

Goebel Design Group, LLC, (“Goebel”) entered into a contractual agreement with Clear NRG, LLC (“Clear”), under which Clear agreed to perform remodel and construction work on a project.  Following a dispute, Goebel filed suit against Clear.  Thereafter, attorneys for both parties entered into settlement discussions.  Goebel offered to settle the suit for $50,000 and a personal guarantee by Clear’s sole member, or $65,000 and no personal guarantee.  Clear responded by offering $40,000 and a personal guarantee, or $55,000 and no personal guarantee.

Goebel made another offer, composed of a personal guarantee, and $2,000 monthly payments for 25 months, along with interest on the unpaid balance.  Clear’s counsel responded “[l]ooking like my client is inclined to accept your most recent settlement proposal. Devil is in the details though. Send me the docs...

To View the Full Resource, Subscribe or Log In
The requested URL returned error: 404 Not Found