Bifurcating Settlements

64 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2019 Last revised: 9 Feb 2024

See all articles by Michael Abramowicz

Michael Abramowicz

George Washington University Law School

Sarah Abramowicz

Wayne State University Law School

Date Written: 2018


In settling a lawsuit, parties agree on their obligations to one another, but they need not separately address each issue, claim, or remedy that a trial court would have confronted. The legal system, however, can bifurcate the settlement process, requiring separate resolution of components of a settlement. Bi-furcation can protect third parties, for example, by preventing divorcing parents from trading child custody for money. In addition to identifying a wide range of contexts in which preventing trade-offs may be desirable, this Article shows that bifurcation will generally have only modest (and sometimes beneficial) effects on settlement rates.

Suggested Citation

Abramowicz, Michael and Abramowicz, Sarah, Bifurcating Settlements (2018). Bifurcating Settlements, 86 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 376 (2018) (with Sarah Abramowicz)., GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2019-16, GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-16, Wayne State University Law School Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Michael Abramowicz (Contact Author)

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Sarah Abramowicz

Wayne State University Law School ( email )

471 Palmer
Detroit, MI 48202
United States

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