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conclusive resolving of a matter; especially, a compromise achieved by adverse parties in a civil suit before final judgment, whereby they agree between themselves upon their respective rights and obligations, thus eliminating the necessity of judicial resolution of the controversy. EXAMPLE: A company is accused of discriminatory hiring practices by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Commission will usually file with the company a notice of its accusations and will attempt to reach a settlement before looking to the courts. That method generally gives each party more flexibility. In certain instances, a judge may have to approve the settlement.

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Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016

"Settlement agreements are highly favored and will be enforced whenever possible. Williams v. First National Bank, 216 U.S. 582... (1910); Metropolitan Housing Development v. Village of Arlington Heights, 616 F.2d 1006, 1013 (7th Cir. 1980); Pearson v. Ecological Science, 522 F.2d 171, 176 (5th Cir. 1975), cert. denied sub nom. Skydell v. Ecological Science, 425 U.S. 912... 762 (1976); Kohr v. Allegheny Airlines, 504 F.2d 400, 405 (7th Cir. 1974). There is no requirement that settlement agreements be in writing. Kukla v. National Distillers Products, 483 F.2d 619, 621 (6th Cir. 1973). Federal courts have consistently approved the enforcement of oral settlement agreements. Cooper-Jarrett v. Central Transport, 726 F.2d 93, 96 (3d Cir. 1984); Odomes v. Nucare, 653 F.2d 246, 252 (6th Cir. 1981); Wiltgen v. Hartford Accident Indemnity, 634 F.2d 398, 400 (8th Cir. 1980); Harrop v. Western Airlines, 550 F.2d 1143, 1145 (9th Cir. 1977); Warner v. Rossignol, 513 F.2d 678, 682 (1st Cir. 1975); Massachusetts Casualty v. Forman, 469 F.2d 259, 260 (5th Cir. 1972); Autera v. Robinson, 419 F.2d 1197, 1198 (D.C. Cir. 1969)."

- McCall-Bey v Franzen, 777 F.2d 1178 (7th Cir. 1985)
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