How can I get around the plaintiff's lawyer and settle?

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Question:

I am the defendant in a civil case. I am trying to settle with the plaintiff directly, because his attorney is more interested in taking depositions than settling and is an impediment to the settlement. I want to file a complaint against the attorney for interference. Can you help?

Answer:

The legal establishment put those hoops in your way so that you would be forced to jump through them. It would bear you no fruit to file a complaint in your situation, for two reasons. First, the lawyer has a right to engage in pretrial discovery. Second, once an attorney is in the picture, legal rules require that you deal with him or her, not the plaintiff.

Assuming your case is of relatively modest size, it may be a candidate for mediation. Ask the court clerk for the mediation rules. If you don't get cooperation from your opponent's attorney, write a letter to the presiding judge asking that your case be diverted to mediation.

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