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The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion.

Posner, Circuit Judge. We are asked todecide a judge’s authority to rule that acase has been settled on the basis ofsettlement discussions that wereconducted before him but not recorded ortranscribed. The case, filed by Lynch in1999, involved claims and counterclaimsfor copyright infringement and otherwrongdoing. On September 21 the partiesand their lawyers appeared beforeMagistrate Judge Denlow, whom the partieshad consented to have preside over thecase, to discuss settlement. No courtreporter was present and no transcriptwas made. But according to the magistratejudge’s recollection, which the partiesdo not question, at that conference theparties “reached an agreement inprinciple to resolve the litigation” by awritten settlement agreement. After theconference they exchanged a number ofdrafts of the agreement. On November 23they again appeared before the magistratejudge. Again no court reporter waspresent and no record of the conferencewas made. According to Judge Denlow’srecollection of this conference, asdescribed in an order that he issued twoweeks later, the parties “advise[d] theCourt that one issue regarding Section 5of the settlement agreement remainedunresolved. It was agreed that in theevent the parties could not resolve theirdifferences, the parties would submittheir competing versions of paragraph 5to the Court and the Court woulddetermine whether this issue had beensettled and if so, which versionaccurately reflects the agreementreached. At no time did the parties indicate any dispute regarding paragraph 2and therefore the Court does not addressparagraph 2.” Judge Denlow compared theversions submitted by the parties andapproved SamataMason’s as the one thataccurately reflected the agreement thatthe parties had told him at the November23 conference they had reached. Hedirected them to execute that version.Lynch refused, whereupon the judgeordered the litigation dismissed withprejudice but stated in the order that hewas retaining jurisdiction to enforce thesettlement agreement.

 
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