Gerhardstein provides a number of examples in which the factors identified by Roger Conner and Patricia Jordan--ripeness, a window of opportunity, and a symbolic act or gesture--came together to facilitate apology by a public leader. But he doesn't think that the window of opportunity needs to be exogenously determined. Rather, advocates can, through litigation and settlement demands, create that window. He believes that apology by public officials can do more to promote healthy civic society than can mere monetary settlement.
Alphonse A. Gerhardstein,
Can Effective Apology Emerge Through Litigation?,
72 Law and Contemporary Problems
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/lcp/vol72/iss2/22