A recent New Mexico federal court order (Arispe v. Allsup’s Convenience Stores, Inc.) instructed the parties before the court to engage in a settlement conference on December 14, 2018 at the federal courthouse in Roswell, New Mexico, and included multiple requirements. The order specifies what the parties are to do in a manner likely to either cause a settlement of the case or bring the case much closer to trial-readiness. This is helpful from the plaintiff perspective because defendants often employ delay tactics that can be very frustrating. If you have questions about legal matters of this nature, contact a New Mexico personal injury attorney.
The order was entered on October 30, 2018, thereby giving the parties a month and a half to prepare for the settlement conference.
Among the requirements of the order, which was entered by a New Mexico federal magistrate judge is that the parties or a designated representative of the parties other than counsel, having full authority to resolve the lawsuit, must attend the settlement conference. Counsel trying the case were also required to attend. The plaintiff was ordered to serve on the defendant by November 27, a brief summary of the evidence and principles allowing it to establish liability, a brief explanation of why damages or other relief would be warranted and an itemization of damages, and a settlement demand. The defendant was ordered to serve on the plaintiff, by December 4, any points in the plaintiff’s letter with which the defendant agreed, any points in the plaintiff’s letter with which the defendant disagreed, with references to evidence and supporting legal principles, and a counteroffer. The parties’ letters were to be limited to a maximum length of five pages, and counsel was ordered to ensure that each party read the other side’s letter prior to the settlement conference.