Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Limiting Secret Settlements - the Florida Experience

Parties often agree to keep settlements confidential -- defendants will often pay extra for the secrecy and plaintiffs are willing to promise quiet in exchange for the settlement. But it's a public concern if the confidentiality keeps the public from learning of unsafe products or conduct that could affect them as well as the particular plaintiff who settled.

Florida attempted to limit the number of such settlements with the Sunshine in Litigation Act, that required openness if the information related to a public hazard. But in the decade or more since the act, the courts and parties in Florida have still allowed secret settlements.

Prof. Roma Perez reviews Florida's experience and suggests improvements in Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back: Lessons to Be Learned from How Florida's Initiative to Curtail Confidentiality in Litigation Have Missed Their Mark, 10 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 163 (2009).

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1 comment:

BloggerPal said...

Public interest should be considered in every agreement. However, if the settlement merely affect the parties concerned then confidentiality may be effected in its maximum.