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Michigan Law Review

2003

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Apologies And Legal Settlement: An Empirical Examination, Jennifer K. Robbennolt Dec 2003

Apologies And Legal Settlement: An Empirical Examination, Jennifer K. Robbennolt

Michigan Law Review

It is often said that U.S. legal culture discourages apologies. Defendants, defense counsel, and insurers worry that statements of apology will be admissible at trial and will be interpreted by jurors and judges as admissions of responsibility. In recent years, however, several legal commentators have suggested that disputants in civil lawsuits should be encouraged to apologize to opposing parties. They claim that apologies will avert lawsuits and promote settlement. Consistent with this view, legislatures in several states have enacted statutes that are intended to encourage and protect apologies by making them inadmissible. In addition, some commentators argue that defendants ...