The internet has expanded the public’s access to litigation documents, including the bad act allegation(s) disclosed in a complaint. Most litigations are amicably settled using confidential agreements. However, typical confidentiality agreements prohibit parties from publicly elaborating on the settled matter, thus hampering a defendant’s ability to combat reputational harm caused by the online publication of the complaint. An additional settlement clause may be justified to ameliorate this difficulty.
The preponderance of civil litigation filed are settled. Cornell University’s Theodore Eisenberg examined data gathered from about 3,300 federal cases in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Northern District of Georgia and found that the aggregate settlement rate across case categories were as high as 87%. Other sources claim settlement ranges from 80% to 97% depending upon if a settlement is a measure of plaintiffs’ litigation success, or as a measure of litigated disputes resolved without final adjudication.