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Victoria Pynchon

As the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, I offer my services as a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant....

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She Negotiates

She Negotiates

The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

10 Reasons To Negotiate Instead Of Suing The Bastards

Now more than ever.

Mediation Awareness Week. See the televised event by clicking on the image and begin at the 57-minute mark.

Ten Reasons To Negotiate Resolution

1. The Los Angeles Superior Court has closed four court houses and dozens of court rooms. 

2. Time is literally money (see the time value of money).

3. The law (and your lawyer) only care about relevant facts - the most important part of your dispute may well not even be addressed, let alone resolved, by a jury verdict in your favor.

4. As your trial date nears, everyone - the judge, your lawyer, their lawyer, your spouse, your friends, and random acquaintances will urge you to negotiate a resolution with a neutral third party (a mediator).

5. Your attorney settles 90% of every case s/he litigates. S/he rarely goes to trial anymore. Ask her about the last verdict she won and then the one before that. If you have a skill (piano, golf, cooking a souffle) ask yourself how well you'd perform if you haven't used that skill recently or often.

6. Litigation is an extremely expensive board game, much of which is simply the cat and mouse exercise of discovery. Here's how it's played. I ask for documents. You object. I write you a letter demanding compliance. You write back refusing to comply and reminding me I have to "meet and confer" with you before we ask the discovery referee to intervene. We meet. We accomplish nothing. I make a motion (write a "brief") to compel you to turn over documents. You write an opposition. I write a reply. We pay the discovery referee to read our papers and listen to our oral argument. The discovery referee splits the baby in half or fourths or tenths. One of us asks the Judge not to sign off on the discovery referee's decision. More papers, more writing, more time, more of your money. The Judge, not a lion of courage, splits the baby again and refuses to award either party the costs of forcing compliance. Two months later (at least six have now elapsed) you get a stack of documents and a privilege log listing the documents that aren't being provided. I write you a letter demanding that you turn over documents on the privilege log. Rinse. Repeat.

7. As if the disrespect of the original dispute were not enough, I now get to sit you down in a conference room with a court reporter and spend a day or two asking you questions you don't want to answer. Often, the questions are asked in a disrespectful manner. When you complain to your attorney, he says "that's just the way the game is played." Focus on the word game. Are you having fun yet?

8. You get a bill for legal services rendered every month but you're no closer to resolution after receiving and paying 12 of these than you were on day one.

9. You're a business person. You negotiate business deals every day. Your lawyer does not.

10. You have given away any power you might once have possessed to resolve this dispute to a lawyer who does not understand your business, your life or the facts that drove you to seek legal advice in the first place.

Had enough? There are people out there - mediators - who are specially trained in helping you first communicate with your attorney and then helping you negotiate the resolution of your dispute with the "other side." Choose carefully. There are as many bad mediators there as there are litigators. My best advice? Negotiate the resolution of the dispute yourself even if it requires you to swallow your pride and to be the first one to say, "let's sit down and figure out how best to serve your interests and mine at the same time."

 

Comments (4)

Read through and enter the discussion by using the form at the end
Jim W Hildreth - May 10, 2013 7:18 AM

Great wisdom in these ten points, others "I'm right, your wrong", "My lawyer will crush your lawyer", "I don't care what it cost" "I will spend $100,000 to make $10"

Joe Markowitz - May 11, 2013 4:34 PM

A lot of the time, litigation is not exactly a choice. If you're the defendant, it's almost never a choice. And even if you're the plaintiff, you might only be resorting to filing a lawsuit because all other means of trying to resolve the dispute have already failed.

And if parties do find themselves in litigation, it doesn't always have to turn into the vicious and super-expensive kind of discovery war you are describing. Most cases barely involve any discovery, and lots of litigants refrain from running up costs in hope that they can reach a negotiated agreement. I have seen plenty of litigants in mediations who have deliberately held off from doing discovery until absolutely necessary. In my litigation practice, I almost never file motions to compel. I also never write meet and confer letters, and I never respond to them except by calling the other side and inviting them to talk about it.

In other words, it's not an either-or choice between negotiation and litigation. Litigation can be a legitimate means to an end, and is sometimes the only way to resolve a dispute when the other side won't agree to anything reasonable.

トートバッグ 心細く制作 - October 29, 2013 1:32 PM

I'm extremely impressed with your writing
skills and also with the layout on your blog.
Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.

トートバッグ 心細く制作 - October 29, 2013 1:32 PM

I'm extremely impressed with your writing
skills and also with the layout on your blog.
Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.

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