Let's face it. Trial skills and negotiation skills are not one and the same. While intuition, hard-work and intelligence work in both arenas, when an attorney is looking for the best psychological angle with which to approach his or her opponent in the negotiation ring, a fresh perspective is often critical to one's success. In cases of particular import, this is when you may want to consider bringing Beth on as special Negotiation Counsel.
Negotiation Counsel can be as visible or as behind the scenes as you wish. In essence, when hired in this capacity, Beth is available in the following arenas:
Overall Case Evaluation With an experience base in excess of 4000 cases, your case will be carefully evaluated. A cold, hard "no rose colored glasses here" assessment will be given you, along with tangible suggestions as to how best to play to your case's strengths.
Client Education As an attorney trying the important case, your client deserves to be well informed along with being well prepared for the possible long road ahead. While hiring Negotiation Counsel does not (nor should it) replace your involvement in this important piece of the process, Negotiation Counsel can help communicate between you and your client, making sure that what you are saying is being heard and vice versa. Every experienced litigator knows the problems inherent when counsel and client are not on the same page; having this third party in on the process can assure your case will not falter internally as a result.
Witness/Client Preparation While typically it is recommended that Negotiation Counsel only act in tandem with the trial attorney present, having someone who can candidly come in and talk with your client about what to expect in deposition, mediation and trial can help smooth the way. Plus, having a knowledgeable third person explain to the client their case's potential pitfalls and problem areas eliminates the client from wondering whether you as the trial attorney truly believe in the case.
Of course, when you are dealing with a client who is in need of a better look at how they personally may be coming across, working with an outside third party professional can be invaluable and saves the trial attorney from time spent concerning her or himself with the minutia of appropriate attire, speech mannerism that distract and facial expressions that do not well serve.
Mediation PreparationAs the attorney is well aware, the mediation experience is rarely what the client is expecting and coming into it cold turkey can result in a client who is anxious, stressed and may as a result, exercise poor decision making. Having Negotiation Counsel work with your client in advance of "the day" can help keep your client cool, calm and collected during a process that can be long and arduous.
Mediation Opening Session
While the course for a successful negotiation does not completely ride on the success or failure of the opening session, this is a critical time when you as trial counsel set the overall tone of your case and the negotiations to follow. Again, your case will be carefully evaluated and by working with Negotiation Counsel, you will be given a candid assessment of your best angle for this critical juncture.
Negotiation MovesAlong with deciding where's the best place to start your negotiations, as well as where you ideally would like to end, a truly prepared advocate will give careful consideration to the steps taken from start to finish. Negotiation Counsel can help make sure the process keeps moving and help you time your critical moves so as to maximize your client's chances for achieving the best results possible.