The Art of Settlement
The lawyers at Stahl Cowen work with clients to determine the optimal business outcome for every dispute, then devise and pursue a plan for achieving that result.

Sometimes that means fighting a lawsuit up through and including appeal. Other times, the only realistic objective is to limit our client's liability. In a case involving the sale of coffee beans, for example, our opponent claimed breach of contract, misrepresentation, passing off, fraud (and attorney’s fees to boot). Our aggressive defense and vigorous deposition work transformed a $2.5 million exposure into a $225,000 settlement – a check our client was happy to write.

Still other times, the client's goal is best met by an uncompromising offense that lays the groundwork for a favorable settlement. In another lawsuit, we represented a client who was clearly defrauded by a former employer. The litigation turned ugly quickly when we uncovered several misrepresentations and a scheme to hide assets from our client.

With our guidance, the client chose to force the former employer into negotiating a beneficial settlement, and we quickly filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, Motion for Pre-Judgment Attachment, and a Motion for Sanctions. The strategy paid off: the employer agreed to resolve the case on terms favorable to our client, who saved the hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation costs that a courtroom fight would have cost.

Other examples of note include our work to expeditiously negotiate the buyout of a minority shareholder’s interest in a real estate investment company, and the resolution of a meritless claim filed by a seller against our client, a real estate attorney, for fraudulent misrepresentation. In both cases, we achieved a favorable outcome for our clients: a positive economic result for the minority shareholder, and a settlement that required no payment from, and a full release of claims against, the real estate lawyer.

Whenever possible, our goal is to deal from a position of strength, and we know how best to play our cards, regardless of the hand our client is dealt.