Angel Sales Inc. v. Hollywood Gadgets Inc., No. 07 C 1362, Min. Order (N.D. Ill. Nov. 19, 2007) (Denlow, Mag. J.).

Judge Denlow sanctioned defendant in the amount of plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and costs for preparation and attendance at a settlement conference before the Court.  Defendant’s counsel attended the conference, but defendant did not appear.  In a subsequent order, the Court entered a sanctions award of $1,710 based upon plaintiff’s fee affidavit.

There is not much to say about this opinion, but I included it as a practice tip and a cautionary tale.  Parties often do not want to personally attend settlement conferences before judges, or they attempt to send a representative without full settlement authority.  But that is a perilous choice.  It can result in sanctions, as here, and, at the least, it usually harms the chances of settlement.  The opposing party that took the time to be at the conference is generally offended that its time was wasted.