Abuse of Discretion and Its High Standard

It is well known that the trial court is vested with the discretion to decide whether a party has made a good faith effort to settle the case. Beyond this, there is no way the trial court’s decision will be overturned unless plaintiff’s counsel can show abuse of discretion.

Since these battles are always very acrimonious it is easy to forget, in the fray, the very high standard required to establish abuse of discretion. It is more than an error of law or judgment. Counsel usually must show that the court’s attitude was unreasonable, arbitrary or unconscionable.