The trend towards settling out of court, as opposed to bringing a dispute before the courts, raises an important issue: is an out-of-court settlement…

The trend towards settling out of court, as opposed to bringing a dispute before the courts, raises an important issue:  is an out-of-court settlement final?  For example, in 2008 Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss entered into a settlement with Facebook over their allegations against Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook.  They alleged that they had hired Zuckerberg, their classmate at Harvard University,  to work on their social networking site, ConnectU, but instead, he stole their idea and launched his own site.  The dispute was settled for $20 million dollars and $45 million dollars in Facebook shares.  In 2011, the Winklevoss twins attempted to have the settlement overturned on the basis that they had been misled during negotiations about the value of the shares they would receive as part of the settlement.  They lost their attempt at both the US Circuit Court and the US Court of Appeals.

Discuss why settling out of court is a good or bad option to going off to court? 

Are there some legal issues that would not benefit from ADR?

Do you believe it is a good trend – why or why not?Why do you think that courts reluctant to reopen settlements?