Detroit Symphony hit with sanction for rejecting Case Evaluation
When cases are sent to a procedure called Case Evaluation in Michigan, three attorneys make a settlement recommendation which the parties are free to reject. They are given a 28 day period to accept or reject on a confidential basis. If any party rejects, the case goes to trial. If a party does reject, however, and if it doesn't improve its position by ten percent, it faces mandatory sanctions after a trial and potential sanctions in the event of a dismissal by motion. The latter sanctions can be avoided in the discretion of the Court, based on "the interests of justice."In a recent premises liability case against the DSO, the Orchestra's attorneys filed an indemnification claim against its architects, arguing that if it was responsible for Susan Fowler's injuries, the liability should rest with the architects. The DSO rejected a case evaluation recommendation because it wanted to assess the outcome of the underlying case before giving up its indemnification claim. When the architects were later dismissed from the case, the Court of Appeals repudiated the lower court's failure to award sanctions, holding that the court had not properly analyzed the "interests of justice" exception.