Can we settle a dispute on our own?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Yes. There is no requirement that lawyers be involved in the settlement of disputes, even after a lawsuit has been filed. People and companies can resolve their differences informally. If they do, it is often helpful for such informal agreements to be reduced to writing. Where a lawsuit has been filed, if you agree to settle, the settlement agreements generally provide that the suit will be dismissed “with prejudice,” which means that it cannot be re-filed. If the issues at stake are important, or a substantial amount of money is involved, it is a good idea to consult a lawyer, as inexperienced persons can inadvertently bargain away their rights.

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