Should I Settle?
Clients often indicate this decision was an emotional one. Be sure you have enough facts to believe you are reasonably informed before you make your decision. The following is not intended to be legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for your specific situation.
A settlement buys you peace of mind and, if you settle through an attorney, the ability to settle and make payment anonymously. But it also ensures the plaintiff a profit. We want our clients to be sure they have all the available facts they need to make an informed decision: to settle, to fight, or to do nothing and wait.
If you do not settle, this may put you at risk of having to appear in court, pay larger legal defense fees, and pace the possibility of being held legally liable for a large amount of money. Not settling forces the plaintiff to have to prove their case in court - something they may or may not be able to do. If the plaintiff cannot prove their case in court, you may have to pay nothing to them. In no event should you ignore being served a summons.
Can I Just Do Nothing and Wait?
Yes. If you have received notice from your ISP that it has been subpoenaed to provide your identity - and even if you have received a settlement demand letter from a law firm, if you have not been served with a lawsuit you can do nothing and wait. I have often described this phase as a game of chicken (a horrible game in real life) where you can either not spend a dime because the case goes away (or they don't get to sue you for some reason), or if they do sue you it will cost you more for defending it, to settle the case, or both. You should reflect on how you feel about these outcomes; nobody is in your shoes but yourself. Consult an experienced attorney to analyze the facts applicable to your circumstances and the plaintiff you are facing.
35 East Wacker Drive, Suite 1875
Chicago, IL 60601
Tel (312) 201-8310