Document Type



Written civil procedure laws on pretrial conferences in civil actions in Illinois trial courts historically have spoken chiefly to trial preparation. More recently, such laws have recognized explicitly case management and settlement objectives. Trial preparation and case management conference procedures are described better in Illinois Supreme Court Rules and understood better in the legal community. Comparable guidelines and understanding of settlement conference procedures are lacking. Confusion has arisen in several areas of significant practical import, including judicially compelled and invited participation in settlement conference talks, procedural requisites for enforceable agreements arising during such talks, and same and later case enforcement jurisdiction. Amendments to Illinois Supreme Court rule 218 addressing settlement conferencing and its aftermath would promote the more convenient administration of justice in the Illinois circuit courts. In particular, lawmakers should consider possible changes that speak to compelled and invited attendance, the procedural requisites necessary for valid contracts, and same and later case enforcement of settlement contracts. Fortunately, there are good models available from other American states. Amendments to Rule 218 should not alter dramatically current Illinois court practices, but rather would clarify and unify settlement conference procedures.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Jeffrey A. Parness, Guiding Civil Case Settlement Conferences and Their Aftermath: The Need to Amend Illinois Supreme Court Rule 218, 35 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 779 (2004) (with Lance Cagle).


College of Law

Legacy Department

College of Law





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.