Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

Settlement Confidentiality: It's Up To You

Settlement agreements are sometimes confidential, meaning some part of the deal cannot be disclosed or discussed. Most of the time confidentiality applies to the names of the parties to a settlement and the amount.

Confidentiality is generally disfavored, especially when the information about a settlement could help prevent similar incidents from happening again. I agree that confidentiality is bad for deterrence and takes away from one of the main goals of injury suits, making us safer. When the public cannot learn about a settlement, they cannot decide whether to interact with the person or company that was sued.

However, at the end of the day, the decision on confidentiality is entirely up to you, the client. If the client wants confidentiality, then I will request it. If the client doesn’t have a preference, then we won’t do it. It is completely my client’s decision whether to agree to confidentiality.

Remember, confidentiality is a two-way street. It applies not only to the defendant in a civil case for damages, but also to the plaintiff. Some clients prefer to keep the fact and amount of a settlement confidential so that no one knows their business.

Although confidentiality undermines deterrence, it is ultimately up to the client.