Michael Moffitt

Settlement Malpractice
Michael Moffitt
Roger D. Fisher Visiting Professor in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Harvard Law School. Philip H. Knight Chair in Law, Professor, and former Dean at the University of Oregon School of Law.

For their feedback, I thank Professors Ian Ayres, Rishi Batra, Glenn Cohen, Noam Ebner, Deborah Eisenberg, John Goldberg, David Hoffman, Louis Kaplow, Andy Kaufman, Andrew Mamo, John Manning, Martha Minow, Bob Mnookin, Scott Peppet, Jeff Seul, Jean Sternlight, Andrea Schneider, Guhan Subramanian, Cass Sunstein, and Rachel Viscomi. I benefited enormously from feedback at faculty colloquia at Harvard, Maryland, and UNLV. And I thank my research assistants Haley Banks, Christopher Dotson, Juhi Gupta, Ayoung Kim, Ben Pincus, Jordan Shapiro, Austin Smith, and Elise Williard, without whose careful work this research would have been impossible.

Most clients likely believe that their lawyers have provided outstanding service in such contexts—and most clients are likely correct in that assessment. Given that most lawsuits settle3 and that lawyers play a central role in settlement negotiations and decision-making, however, we must assume that at least some lawyers sometimes fall short of the profession’s standards of care in the settlement context.