Active listening techniques are often lauded as indispensable in legal negotiations, and for good reason: You’re more likely to reach agreement if you can both understand and demonstrate your understanding to the other side. But there are some common ways that negotiators fail in their efforts to use active listening.
The following is a guest blog post by Teddy (Theda) Snyder. Ms. Snyder is based in Los Angeles and conducts civil and workers compensation mediations throughout California.
Careful preparation of a mediation brief is the best way to achieve the optimal settlement result. The exercise forces you to organize your case and create guideposts for the settlement negotiation.
The following is a guest blog post by Anderson Franco, who practices landlord-tenant, personal injury, and general litigation throughout the Bay Area.
Before filing a lawsuit, a plaintiff should always consider whether to try for settlement. If settlement is the goal, then a settlement demand letter becomes a key negotiation tool. A settlement demand letter explains to the opposing party why they should pay money to settle the case immediately rather than litigating through the court system.
When arguing over money, negotiators often put pressure on the side that’s conceded less by claiming that it is only “fair” for both sides to concede in roughly equal amounts. “Look how much we came down,” they will say. A variant of this strategy is the proposal to “split the difference” after you’ve negotiated for some time and then reached an impasse. Both tactics are difficult to resist. Here are a couple of considerations that may help you stand your ground.
Skilled negotiators disagree on whether it’s better to make the first offer or demand, or to let the other side go first. Although the correct approach will likely vary from case to case, in the context of settling litigation, it’s often advisable to have the other side open. But there are times to take the first plunge.