At our mediations, we tell the parties to make sure that someone will be present who has full settlement authority. Sometimes, counsel will show up and that key person is available by phone. In the court-annexed mediation programs we support, the same requirement generally exists. The court directs that full settlement authority be present, so that there is the best chance for the mediation to be fruitful. But what constitutes full settlement authority?
If the matter involves a claim well into six or seven figures but the insurance company that will eventually pay the bill feels that it has a strong defense and would never pay more than a tiny fraction of that, have they provided full settlement authority if they grant that tiny fraction to counsel to put on the table at the mediation? That is the subject of this interesting article, just out: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/what-does-it-mean-to-have-settlement-36848/
We can see the arguments to be made on both sides of this issue. What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment.