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G. Heilman Brewing Co. v. Joseph Oat Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
871 F.2d 648 (7th Cir. 1989) (en banc)


In this suit, a federal magistrate ordered Joseph Oat Corporation (Oat) (defendant) to send a “corporate representative with authority to settle” to a pretrial conference to discuss the possibility of settlement. Oat’s attorney showed up, but no Oat corporate representative did. The district court thus imposed a sanction on Oat—amounting to the costs and attorney’s fees of G. Heilman Brewing Co. (plaintiff) attending the conference—pursuant to Rule 16(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Oat appealed, arguing, among other things, the well-settled concept that a district court may not coerce settlement. Oat had stated that it was not going to agree to any settlement that required it to pay money.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kanne, J.)

Dissent (Posner, J.)

Dissent (Coffey, J.)

Dissent (Easterbrook, J.)

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