Settlement agreements in business litigation matters often involve complicated terms and promises of future performance. Perhaps for this reason, there is a tremendous amount of litigation involving the subsequent enforcement of settlement agreements. When settling a case, it is a good idea to include language that pertains to possible future disputes about the settlement. For instance, the parties could agree to a venue or specific tribunal to decide any dispute that arises, such as a retired judge, mediator, or mutually trusted business associate. Likewise, the parties may want to agree that the prevailing party in any dispute regarding the settlement agreement will be awarded their counsel fees. This provision should discourage a bad faith dispute intended solely to delay performance of the settlement. Penalty provisions can also be placed in a settlement agreement. Although penalties may not ultimately be enforced in court, they serve to disincentivize bad faith.
Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.