Settling Employment Cases: Think Beyond Money

thinkstockphotos-512549722When you’re negotiating settlement of an employment action, you have much more to consider than just “how much money.” There are many nonmonetary remedies that can—either alone or combined with money—bring the parties to agreement. And how money is paid out can also be a good bargaining chip. Continue reading

“I Moved This Much, Now You Move This Much”

negotiate_25114957When 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. Continue reading

Checklist for Your Next Negotiation

ThinkstockPhotos-459334539Negotiation skills are one of those things that lawyers tend to think they have innately. But actually, negotiations skills are learned and honed over time and practice. As you engage in your next settlement negotiation, use this checklist to be sure you don’t miss an opportunity. Continue reading

Should You Make the First Settlement Offer?

ThinkstockPhotos-488306818Skilled 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. Continue reading

Settling a Car Accident Case: Drafting Your Demand

ThinkstockPhotos-84461514You’re representing someone injured in a car accident and you’ve reached the point at which you’re ready to send a demand letter to communicate a settlement offer to the defendant’s insurance carrier. But what should that letter include? To get you started, here are some sample provisions to include in your letter as well as drafting suggestions. Continue reading

When You Can’t Settle, Consider a Mini-Trial

Boy (5-7) making pinching gesture, close-up of handA mini-trial is basically a sophisticated settlement conference. When you have complex questions of mixed law and fact, a mini-trial may be your best way forward. Continue reading

Think Creatively about Settlement Options

462604973In the vast majority of cases, there are more options for settlement than meet the eye. Having more options on the table increases the likelihood of finding one that is mutually acceptable. This is your chance to get creative! Continue reading

When Settlement Pits Client Against Attorney

482228991Settling a case that involves potential court-awarded attorney fees raises a big issue—a conflict of interest between plaintiffs’ counsel and their clients. But it’s definitely possible for plaintiffs’ attorneys to deal with this sticky situation with their ethical duties intact. Continue reading

Got an Employment Case? Consider Mediation

mediation_80405170Deciding whether and when to mediate an employment case can be complex, but here are some factors that will help both sides of the case make the decision. Continue reading

Do You Know Which ADR Process to Pick?

168712376With the vast majority of civil cases settling rather than going to trial, California attorneys need to be familiar with the various alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes. Once you understand the big picture of the ADR options available, you need to hone in on the right one for your case.

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