We have had several confidential settlements during our 37 years in practice. At Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. we oppose confidentiality in settlement agreements. It is obvious the public good is better served by open and full disclosure of settlements especially in product liability cases.
Hushed outcomes and returned proprietary discovery materials harm future victims and reward stonewalling and secrecy. All plaintiffs’ lawyers are conflicted by such agreements because it is impossible to walk away from an otherwise workable settlement for your client to serve the public good. Our ethical duty to the client is at odds with our moral duty to publicize the truth about dangerous products and practices.
During our 37 years of practice we have seen such settlement conditions go from rare to routine. Legislation is needed to protect the public interest against the confidentiality conditions routinely required to get a fair settlement.