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You’ve Received a Settlement Offer. Now What?

Judge gavel and money on brown wooden table. Many hundred dollar bills under judge malice on court desk. Judgement and bribe

Receiving a settlement offer during the pendency of litigation can feel like the light at the end of the tunnel. Particularly if the litigation has been protracted and adversarial, you might feel compelled to accept a reasonable settlement offer when it comes across your desk. Before you accept, however, it’s important to conduct all relevant due diligence on the other party. By conducting appropriate asset searches, background searches, and other intelligence investigations before accepting a settlement offer, you can ensure that you get the best deal for your client and protect your own professional interests. Below, the intelligence-gathering experts at Millennium Intelligence Agency (MIA) discuss some of the important facets of due diligence essential for any attorney to conduct prior to accepting a settlement offer.

Why Due Diligence Matters

It’s important to conduct your due diligence on the defendant before filing a lawsuit, during the pendency of the claims, and after receiving a settlement offer. As an attorney, it’s your job to represent the interests of your clients to the fullest extent possible. That means making sure that a settlement offer is the absolute best you can get under the circumstances, given the issues at hand as well as the resources of the defendant.

If you have received a settlement offer, conducting due diligence on the defendant can reassure you as to their actual financial circumstances. You may find that they have deeper pockets than you previously knew. Fight for the best results for your clients, secure a bigger recovery for your law firm as compensation for your efforts, and avoid potential malpractice liability down the line for the commission of an avoidable mistake. Get help from a dedicated insurance gathering agency to conduct due diligence on the defendant to protect your clients’ best interests as well as your own.

Asset Search

Part of your due diligence should be to verify the assets available to the defendant. Do not take their representations of their assets at face value. If they are offering a lowball settlement by claiming a lack of resources, you owe it to your clients to ensure that the other party is being honest. They may have other assets that are attachable or on which the party can rely to secure additional resources.

Retaining an intelligence-gathering agency to conduct an asset search of the other side can be an invaluable step in the settlement negotiation process. Before you accept a settlement offer, MIA can conduct an asset search to identify, for example:

  • Real estate and Deeds
  • Mortgage Information
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Offshore accounts
  • Judgments
  • Employment
  • Vehicles
  • Aircraft & Boats
  • Bank Accounts
  • Corporation & Business Affiliations
  • Federal and State Tax Liens
  • Bankruptcies

If they have additional assets beyond those already disclosed, you may have leverage to make a counter-offer more favorable to your client. Additionally, the professional investigators at MIA can help provide assurances about your counter-party’s ability to pay even if you accept the settlement. An asset search can help track down liabilities that might interfere with payment, including:

  • Prior bankruptcies
  • Criminal convictions
  • Prior judgments
  • Current lawsuits
  • Current and past employment

If you are performing due diligence in advance of a settlement, gathering evidence for pending litigation, tracking down a debtor’s assets, or trying to locate a missing party, Millennium Intelligence Agency is here for your support. Call our professional legal investigative team today at 213-986-9888 for thorough and experienced intelligence-gathering services.

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