Let's think about some basic ideas and tools for the negotiation and settlement of lawsuits. First things first! The basics -- the first three items you need before you can make a really successful settlement --- are:
"Effective negotiation and mediation call for advocacy skills and advocacy - style presentations.
Losing lawyers don't do a really persuasive presentation before reaching the settlement table.
Wining attorneys do the softening up of the other side that is needed before you ever put a dollar figure on the table."
Many trial lawyers use a trial notebook in the process of developing the case. Yet few bring their trial notebook to mediation. They should. You should. Mediation lends itself to persuasive advocacy. Throughout the process you will be persuading the other side of the value of the case. And you should be persuading the other side that you are ready for trial. Not by telling them so. Show them --- by bringing a trial notebook to the mediation that shows your organization by its mere presence.
First things first! You should be using a litigation notebook system. If you have a trial notebook, such as the LitigationReady!© system, that notebook should be brought with you to any settlement conference or mediation. Bringing the reality of your excellent preparation to the mediation impresses your adversary and is helpful to the mediator when she in private conference with your adversary wants to say that your side is confident about the probable outcome of a trial.
Next, you need to be able to state what the case is about in a few words and get your client's commitment to settlement at the ranges you are first discussing with the other side, as well as what the case is realistically worth. If you want a form method of doing that, effectively and quickly, you will want the training and information in our Case Summary Before Negotiation format.
Before you get to any mediation you need to have prepared certain information and given it to the adversary. The information and presentation can be packaged best in the Indexed Brochure that is the SettlementNow© format.
Whichever side of the case for whom you are the attorney: you need to include specific information in your opening offer to settle the case.
Your opening offer with the critical information has to go to three persons: (1) the opposing attorney; (2) the opposing party or claims manager; and (3) the mediator. Most attorneys only consider the need for the opening offer to go to the other attorney. That is a mistake. You should have your opening offer packaged in a substantial format so that the opposing attorney feels compelled to send a copy to her client. You do that by using a process like the SettlementNow!© process. Before you get to any mediation you need to have prepared certain information and given it to the mediator.
Whatever standard format you start with in building your opening offer to the adversary, you must --- must --- remember to have a psychologically designed offer. It's not how many pages you send to the other side. It is the way you parcel and present the information in phased bursts in one information package.
It does not matter which side of the counsel table you are on! Your opening offer must be written, short, memorable, and building successfully page by page to produce the effect you want on the (1) mind and (2) emotions of the adversary attorney and his/her decision maker person.
You have to meet not only the need of the adverse attorney to have the facts to support a recommendation to settle in your favor, but also to drive the emotions of the adverse attorney to want to settle in your favor!
We recommend to you the SettlementNow!© format. We built it to be the best for plaintiffs (although defense counsel have told us they have used the format also). We built it to package the critical settlement-driving information and presentation. We built it to be the format that not only you, but also your legal assistant can use as the framework for each of your tort cases. Click Here for more Information about the SettlementNow!© process. SettlementNow!© is psychologically polished for best results.
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