Q: What happens if I don't pay the agreed settlement as a defendant?
I agreed to a settlement, but unfortunately I don't think I can pay. There are no penalties besides continuing to trial and a clause that says "In the event any litigation arises out of this Agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to its reasonable expenses incurred to enforce the terms of this agreement", which lists attorneys fees, expenses ect. Does this mean if I break it I have to pay extra costs? Can they use this failed agreement against me in court? It's a mutual release agreement as well, so does this mean I can no longer countersue?
A: Contract governs the agreement. So, if you default or breach, go to court and lose, most likely you will pay the additional cost associated with the matter. You should look at the clause(s) where it might say how to get out of it if you cannot pay or show this document to an attorney to help you understand it.
A: The answers to your questions will depend on what the attorney for the other party will do. The other party may ask the Judge to enforce the Agreement and ask for costs and attorney's fees. The other party may just proceed with the trail and ask the Judge for monetary damages as well as costs and attorney's fees. Without reviewing the release it is hard to determine the answer that you asked but generally a mutual release is enforceable only if the settlement is entered by the Court without you breaking the settlement agreement or without going to trial. You should seek a formal opinion from an attorney who practices before the court where the trial is scheduled.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.