Hello I have a dispute with my brother in law that's going to trial. And we just agreed on a settlement , but when he talked to his lawyer he refused to settle.
You are answering your own question - "he refused to settle". It sounds as if you have no agreement. Unless and until signed and reported to the court, he could change his mind. On advice of counsel, it appears he did. FYI, the purported settlement cannot be used as evidence at trial.
To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state (in WV, on inactive status as of 9/13), I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.
Unfortunately the only option here is to proceed to trial. Until the agreement was finalized a settlement is really a separate agreement from the underlying lawsuit that it's related to. An agreed upon number for settlement is not the same as an agreed upon number for what you are owed legally. It's a number everyone can live with, often less than you might be due, to give up your right to pursue legal action. As my colleagues have mentioned, possible settlements are banned from being brought up later for the legal trial, as they are not admissions of fault, and allowing them to come back later would make it more likely people would refuse to discuss settling, which is against public policy.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.
Sounds like either your brother in law was less than forthcoming with you or that his attorney has advised him not to settle.
You mean the lawyer dissuaded him after you had a hand shake agreement? Ask the judge for a settlement master or a mediator. That might help. Otherwise short of the agreement being in writing or before the court, practically speaking there is little to be done.
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