If the option to ask for one at the CMC was available, should the defendant opt in to attend a settlement conference? Seeing how it may be beneficial for a final effort to settle outside of court?
I can't imagine there is a blanket answer to your question. It would obviously be case specific.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
The whole concept of a settlement conference is to have a neutral party stand between the sides of the case in an effort to bring them together to achieve a settlement. Frankly, most of the time, settlement is a good thing. It puts and end to the case with a specific outcome. Usually, each side gives up some part of its position, i.e. compromises, in order to avoid the uncertainty of a trial where, no matter how great your crystal ball is, you still can't predict the outcome with any guaranty. Settlement also stops the bleeding of litigation costs, expenses and attorney fees.
If you are unrepresented and the other side is not, however, you are likely going to be at a substantial disadvantage in being able to present your side of the case in settlement conference in such a way that the neutral can really twist the other side's arm to come to the table for a reasonable settlement.
If you are unrepresented, you are much better off with, and should seriously consider hiring, legal counsel than without.
The information given is generic and does not constitute legal advice, which would only be given after a consultation and complete review of the specific facts of your case.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.