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Western Thrift and Loan Corp. v. Rucci

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

February 9, 2016

Western Thrift and Loan Corp., a Nevada corporation, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Sebastian Rucci, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted November 16, 2015

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis.

For Western Thrift and Loan Corp., a Nevada corporation, Plaintiff - Appellee: Mark T. Berhow, Jessica L. Nelson, HINSHAW & CULBERTSON, Minneapolis, MN; Shushanie E.K. Liesinger, ONEBEACON INSURANCE GROUP, Minnetonka, MN.

Sebastian Rucci, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Huntington Beach, CA.

Before SMITH, BYE, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 723

BYE, Circuit Judge.

Sebastian Rucci appeals the district court's[1] order enforcing the terms of an agreement he entered into with Western Thrift and Loan Corporation to settle a malpractice lawsuit. We affirm.

I

During a settlement conference before a magistrate judge[2] in November 2013, Western Thrift and Loan Corporation (Western Thrift) and Sebastian Rucci settled Western Thrift's malpractice lawsuit against Rucci. Under the terms of the settlement, Rucci agreed to pay money to Western Thrift within fifteen days of the dismissal of the case. The parties agreed to release " any remaining claims, claims that were dismissed, [and] everything . . . that was or could have been brought in connection with [the] lawsuit."

Page 724

The magistrate judge read the terms of the settlement into the record and noted the parties did not need to memorialize the settlement agreement for it to have effect:

And the other thing I want to emphasize to both sides is, you know, once we get on the record and everyone accepts, both sides presumably accept on the record, once that's done, we're done. Even if he -- no one, you know, follows up and executes anything, I'm going to enforce [the settlement]. So, I want to make that clear that once we're done with the record, it's a done deal.

The magistrate judge then questioned both parties on the record and confirmed that they agreed to the material terms of the settlement as stated by the court. Rucci, appearing pro se, asked the magistrate judge if there would be settlement documents. The magistrate judge explained that typically the parties would prepare a stipulation of dismissal and settlement documents to submit to the court, but the magistrate judge also noted the court could still enforce the terms of the settlement without written settlement documents: " I mean, theoretically, if you walk out of here and don't ...


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