The Rules

RULE 1. Both parties want to find a dollar amount which will settle their case (Settlement number) by making bids. What makes us different: the bids are secret.

RULE 2. Either party can invite the other party. The inviter must first sign in and create a case: click here.

RULE 3. Both parties sign onto the site on a date and time they agree on for a 30-minute Settlement Session.

RULE 4. Each party will be charged a secure payment of $100 through Paypal.

RULE 5. Once both parties have signed in and paid, the Settlement Session begins.

RULE 6. Bid Round #1:

Party A has 5 minutes to make a confidential bid. Remember, Party B won't see the bid. A countdown clock, visible to both parties will run. If no bid is made, "NO BID" will be entered instead of a bid number.

Party B then has 5 minutes to make a confidential bid. Remember, Party A won't see the bid. A countdown clock, visible to both parties will run. If no bid is made, "NO BID" will be entered as the bid.

If the confidential bids overlap, the parties will see, "Good Job! There is Overlap. Your Settlement Number is ______ (the Settlement Number, which is the average of the overlapping bids).

If the confidential bids do not overlap, the parties will see, "Sorry No Overlap. Go to Bid Round #2."

RULE 7. Bid Round #2 (works the same way as Bid Round #1)

RULE 8. Bid Round #3 (works the same way as bid #1)

RULE 9. At the end of the Settlement Session, each party will be emailed a receipt showing that Party's bids (for future reference). The other Party's bids will remain confidential. If a settlement number was reached, it will be shown on the receipt under "Results".

Our Suggestions

Suggestion 1. This site works best when both parties really, really, really want to settle the case. Thus, if the bids of Bid Round #1 do not overlap, the party offering to pay to settle should raise its number in Bid #2 and the party with the claim should lower its number in Bid #2.

If the bids of Bid Round #2 do not overlap, then each Party should grit its teeth and bid its "Bottom Line Number" in Bid #3 to maximize the chances of overlap and getting to a Settlement Number.

Suggestion 2. If the Parties are bidding through their attorneys, the Parties' authorizations for each of Bid Rounds #1, #2 and # 3 should be clear to their respective attorneys. Some Parties prefer to be present in their attorney's office during the bidding.

Suggestion 3. The bidding parties (or, if represented by counsel, their attorneys) should connect by telephone just before the pre-scheduled session to make sure both are ready to proceed.

Suggestion 4. There is always regret when a case which could have settled did not. Thus, the Parties may wish to try again in a new Settlement Session.

Suggestion 5. The parties control the content of the settlement agreement and/or mutual release documents formalizing the resolution of their dispute. All we do is to provide the opportunity to get to a Settlement Number. If there are sticking points on other terms, which the parties are unable to resolve, they can take the Settlement Number and the disputed terms to a shortened mediation.


Settlement Number: The numerical average (i.e., the mean) of overlapping bids.

Overlap: Bids on® are secret; you won't ever see the other party's bids, nor will the other party ever see yours. But if your bid and the other party's respective bid overlap, then we'll immediately let you and the other party know that you've reached a Settlement Number. A notice will show on your screens that you've reached a Settlement Number and the amount of the Settlement Number. Remember, each of the three bids per settlement session is its own separate chance to overlap the other party's respective bid. All prior bids expired when there was no overlap. (See Rules 6, 7 and 8, and Suggestion 1.)

Confidential Bids:® uses a confidential bidding process. Each party enters a bid, and then we secretly compare the bids for overlap. Neither party sees the other's bids at any point in the process, even after bidding ends.

Name of Case: We recommend you use the names of the parties.

Short Description: We suggest a short, simple description of the matter in dispute, like "slip and fall" or "non-compete" or "child support" or "lost pay" or "loan dispute" or "emotional distress damages" or "attorney fees."

Your Role: The party with the claim is the Plaintiff. The party offering to pay to end the dispute is the Defendant.

Settlement Session:® provides parties with a 30-minute period to meet online and submit bids toward a Settlement Number.

Bottom Line Number: Before starting the bidding process, you should identify the number that represents the farthest you would be willing to go to settle the dispute ("Bottom Line Number"), so you have it ready to use if you proceed to Round 3, the third and final bid in your session. (If Your Role is the Plaintiff, this is the minimum dollar amount you'd accept; if you're the Defendant, it's the maximum dollar amount you'd be willing to pay.)