Avoiding the Courtroom: Presenting Offers, Settlements & Private Agreements (pt 2)
Litigation is a synonym of war. This idea is reinforced by the fact that client/lawyer agreements often include a fixed rate for the lawyer/firm based on the received compensation and amounts paid from the case. While there is nothing wrong about fighting for what’s right, whether a fair compensation for a client or proving intellectual property infringements, going to war for every case and every client may result in negative outcomes.
We discussed that before heading into battle, all attorneys need to ask their clients what the best-case scenario in order to close the case. Legal practitioners who are not fully aware of clients needs are often surprised about their responses. many opt for public statements that include clarification and an apology.
In a world where reputation means money, influencers, YouTubers – public figures and many corporations will prefer secrecy and/or an apology over money. Instead of always looking for a counterparty to engage in combat with, both client and lawyer need to realize that the main purpose of the legal system is to resolve differences in the best possible way. Entering the room with a negative attitude denies everyone the possibility of a swift transaction where both parties can benefit, or rather, not lose as much. It is necessary to mention also, that the way lawyers present alternatives can have a great influence on the decision to engage litigation or to propose any option outside the courtroom. As winning a case means that the client is satisfied with the outcome, crushing the other party in front of a judge is not always the best option.
From criminal offenses to immigration, and everything in between, legal systems provide the tools and legislation for alternative dispute resolution. Take the time to discuss these options, by pointing out the ups and downs of a settlement, a deal, or an arbitration procedure.
Lawyers must embrace these alternatives given that, the vast majority of clients want to avoid litigation if possible. Present these options as different ways of winning the case. Doing this will guarantee client satisfaction, retention, and future referrals. Subscribe to the Leopard Blog for discussions on negotiations, diversity, law firm insights, and other relevant topics.
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