Federal appellate court justices for the Tenth Circuit issued a clear warning to defendants who argue for more time in the wake of last-minute settlement deals wrangled by co-defendants to avoid trial: Don't count on it.
In Monfore v. Phillips, a doctor was accused of medical malpractice - alongside several other physicians. As often happens in these cases, defendants all presented a united front as the litigation wore on. There are, of course, many benefits to this, such as reduced costs by pooling resources.
However, it's quite common for litigation to end in settlement agreements prior to trial, and it's not unheard of for these developments to occur even on the eve of trial - or during trial. So when every other defendant broke rank on the united front and struck a deal with plaintiff just before trial, the sole remaining defendant doctor claimed he had been blindsided and needed more time to develop a new legal strategy, one that would have pinned the blame on his former co-defendants.