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Can your attorney settle a case without your approval?
No, attorneys are supposed to consult with clients before making a decision about whether to settle a case. Attorneys have a duty to communicate settlement offers to clients so that clients can give informed consent and make a reasoned decision.
The Comment to Rule 1.4 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct provides:
For example, a lawyer who receives from opposing counsel an offer of settlement in a civil controversy or a proffered plea bargain in a criminal case must promptly inform the client of its substance unless the client has previously indicated that the proposal will be acceptable or unacceptable or has authorized the lawyer to accept or to reject the offer.