• March 3, 2010

Apparently electricity travels about 66% the speed of light through a coaxial cable (about 125,000 miles/second?).

It used to take a little bit longer to transmit settlement proposals and responses to settlement proposals but those days are over.

E-speed is a bit too fast in some cases as lawyers pop off an email before rushing out the door and find themselves arguably having settled a case, which the client does not see the same way (or sends off an email failing to settle the case, but the opposing lawyer does not see it the same way?).

Clearly one of these two scenarios was the case in TJC’s Transportation Solution v.  Rivard Cos., now pending before U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kyle, Sr. (D. Minn.), where the Court will hear motions argued in a case involving settlement negotiations via email on April 1.  More after the break…

In a series of emails regarding settlement negotiation, Defense counsel emailed Plaintiff’s counsel, “I agree with everything in your email.  I am actually running to a meeting right now. I think today is the deadline to Answer, no? If so, and you want to get something on file today, can you please handle the letter to the Court?” (Defendant’s Motion to Enforce Settlement is here (and responding to Plaintiff’s Rule 60 motion for relief from judgment), setting out the emails in part.)

Whether the ultimate outcome of this settlement melt-down favors plaintiff or defendant, it might serve as a salutary reminder that “speed kills” from time to time not just on the road but in cyberspace too.

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