Each side had a certain number of non-negotiable demands. The major focus of the settlement negotiations was Defendants' demand that any settlement would include a public retraction by Plaintiff of the allegations made in her Complaint.
6. In May, the settlement negotiations neared completion. On May 9, 1995, at 8:09 a.m., Plaintiff's attorney faxed a letter to Defendants' attorney indicating that Plaintiff had accepted certain retraction language proposed by Defendants the day before. This agreement was subject to certain conditions.
7. On May 10, 1995, Plaintiff's attorney faxed a letter to Defendants' attorney indicating that Plaintiff did not accept new language added by Defendants to the agreed-upon retraction.
8. On May 17, 1995, after more settlement discussions, Plaintiff's attorney faxed Defendants' attorney a letter confirming that no settlement had been reached between the parties, and that all Plaintiff's outstanding settlement offers had been withdrawn. This letter also indicates that Plaintiff had decided not to sign a public retraction, although she would be willing to settle without such a retraction.
Vigilant's Settlement Negotiations
9. Simultaneously with the settlement negotiations between Plaintiff and Defendants, Defendants were negotiating with their insurance carrier, Vigilant, for a full Settlement Agreement and Release of Insurance Agreement in exchange for $ 190,000.00.
10. On May 10, 1995, Vigilant forwarded a copy of a Settlement Agreement and Release of Insurance Agreement to Defendants for their signatures. Defendants did not accept this agreement, but proposed additional language.
11. On May 15, 1995, Vigilant agreed to the addition, and requested Defendants to forward a draft of that language for inclusion into the agreement. There is no indication that this language was ever prepared by Defendants.
12. Vigilant decided that Defendants' demand for a public retraction from Plaintiff was going to prevent a settlement with Plaintiff, and determined to negotiate directly with her. On May 17, 1995, Vigilant's attorney contacted this Court and indicated that a settlement was close, and requested a settlement conference with the Court.
13. Defendants' attorney immediately wrote this Court in response and indicated on behalf of both parties that no settlement had been reached. On Defendants' behalf, she informed the Court that Vigilant had no authority to communicate with the Court nor interfere with settlement issues.
14. Vigilant was aware of Defendants' concerns with the retraction requirement as well as Defendants' belief that Vigilant had no power to effect a settlement with Plaintiff because on May 4, 1995, Defendants' attorney had notified Vigilant's attorney in a letter of her concern that Vigilant was conducting settlement negotiations without her present. She informed Vigilant that she needed to participate in all negotiations and that no settlement would be agreeable to Defendants without certain features, including the public retraction.
15. A settlement conference was scheduled with Chief Magistrate Judge Powers for the morning of May 22, 1995. At the last minute, this conference was postponed, due to Braverman's attorney's vacation schedule.
16. Vigilant's attorney apparently did not learn of the postponement and arrived for the settlement conference. While he was there, Plaintiff's attorney called Chief Magistrate Judge Powers, and the two attorneys decided to continue settlement negotiations between themselves.
17. Pursuant to the meeting between Plaintiff's and Vigilant's attorneys on May 22, 1995, a settlement was reached in which Plaintiff executed a General Release and a Stipulation of Dismissal in exchange for $ 200,000.00.
18. Defendants promptly filed this emergency motion to prevent payment of the settlement proceeds and to prevent further settlement negotiations between Vigilant and Plaintiff.
Rule 65(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure establishes the federal standard governing requests for preliminary injunctions. Instant Air Freight Co. v. C.F. Air Freight, Inc., 882 F.2d 797, 800 (3d Cir. 1989) (quoting System Operations, Inc. v. Scientific Games Dev. Corp., 555 F.2d 1131, 1141 (3d Cir. 1977)). Injunctive relief is an extraordinary remedy that should be granted only in limited circumstances. Frank's GMC Truck Center, Inc. v. General Motors Corp., 847 F.2d 100, 102 (3d Cir. 1988). At the trial level, the party seeking a preliminary injunction bears the burden of convincing the court that:
(1) the movant has shown a reasonable probability of success on the merits;
(2) the movant will be irreparably injured by denial of relief;