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Aggregate Settlements Aggregate Settlement Rule Outline

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This is an extract of our Aggregate Settlements Aggregate Settlement Rule document, which we sell as part of our Complex Litigation Outlines collection written by the top tier of Georgetown University Law Center students.

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Aggregate Settlements (Aggregate Settlement Rule) a. The principal ethical limitation applicable to aggregate settlements is the Aggregate Settlement Rule (ASR), which is Rule 1.8(g) of the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility. b. Rule 1.8(g) provides: i. A lawyer who represents two or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate settlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement as to guilty or nolo contendere pleas, unless each client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client. The lawyer's disclosure shall include the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas involved and of the participation of each person in the settlement. (CB 553) c. An "aggregate settlement" or "aggregated agreement" occur when two or more clients who are represented by the same lawyer together resolve their claims or defenses. ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 06-438 (CB 554). i. It is not necessary that all of the lawyer's clients having claims against the same parties, or having defenses against the same claims, participate in the matter's resolution for it to be an aggregate settlement or aggregated settlement. ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 06-438 (CB 554). ii. The rule applies when any two or more clients consent to have their matters resolved together. ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 06-438 (CB 554). iii. The ASR applies to "common representation of multiple parties in the same matter" and to common representation of multiple parties "in separate cases." ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 06-438. d. TEST: In order to ensure a valid and informed consent to an aggregate settlement or aggregated agreement, Rule 1.8(g) requires a lawyer to disclose, at a minimum, the following information to his clients: i. (1) The total amount of the aggregate settlement or the result of the aggregated agreement.

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