Ambiguity in settlement agreements can sabotage finality and certainty as a recent California decision shows. Where a settlement agreement is silent regarding litigation costs, an employee may obtain mandatory costs as the prevailing party under state law as the settlement proceeds constituted the required “net monetary recovery,” the California Court of Appeal has ruled. DeSaulles v. Community Hosp. of the Monterey Peninsula, No. H038184 (Cal. Ct. App. May 2, 2014).

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