A Difficult Personality and How to Soothe The Beast

Difficult Personality

We’ve all dealt with a “difficult personality.” This is the person we are afraid to run into on the elevator at work, the family member who never fails to offend, or the jerk at the furniture store who refuses to refund your money on a delivery that was never made.The difficult personality is a confounding …

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Is Settlement Counsel a New Trend in Litigation?

George nervously drummed his fingers on the desk. He was torn. On the one hand, he’d known this lawsuit ought to settle the moment Brad Givens retained him. The facts were weak, the law was unsettled, and Brad could make real money in partnership with the defendants, if they could stop shouting at each other.But …

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When to Negotiate the Litigated Case

There are two eternal truths about litigated cases:1) There is a tremendous likelihood the case will be settled without trial; 2) The settlement could occur any time from the moment the case is filed until the eve of trial. That vacuum of time provides many favorable and unfavorable opportunities to negotiate a resolution to a …

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The Negotiation Dance: 5 Reasons Not To Sit Out

Negotiating price (or a settlement amount) can be a long and frustrating process.Think about the last time you bought a car. Exhausting, wasn’t it? And yet research has shown that the outcome is often predictable. Professor Peter Robinson of Pepperdine University reports that such negotiations usually end with an agreement about halfway between the first …

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What Commercial Mediators Can Learn From Divorce Mediation

Family mediation evolved separately from civil and commercial mediation because it addressed specific needs and concerns, and faced different challenges. Unlike in civil mediation, where the subject of mediation can be any claim traditionally litigated in tort or contract, family mediation deals chiefly with dividing marital assets, determining child custody and visitation, and dealing with …

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BATNA & WATNA: Finding and Using Negotiation Power (Part I of III)

What is the power of finding and using a BATNA & WATNA? The goal of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process is to come to a resolution together so that the parties can both agree on and avoid the eventual litigation that could arise in the dispute. However, not every mediation or negotiation ends in a …

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Pre-Negotiations: Succeeding in Negotiations

Pre-negotiation is a stage in the negotiation process that is often overlooked, but it is an important step in ensuring that when the parties are actually negotiating, they have the proper understanding of what is needed and how to move forward.  Pre-negotiation is beneficial for parties that are facing a large and multifaceted conflict that …

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The Broken Family

The Central Valley of California, known for its good weather and rich soil, is considered the breadbasket of the country. The many people who live in this agricultural community work hard. They know that the literal fruits of their labors feed people, and they are proud of their role in society. They are strong believers …

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Bad Fences Make Bad Neighbors

“They’re just sore losers,” Myrna said. She had called me to ask whether I’d mediate between her and her neighbors, who were complaining about a fence she’d built and various other things. She’d won in arbitration, but the Smiths didn’t like the arbitrator’s decision, so they sued her in state court. The court told them, …

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Power in Negotiation

Physics defines power as work divided by time. Work, in turn, is the application of force in a direction. Power, then, can be thought of as the ability to get things moving (more) quickly in a desired direction. The same definition applies in social interactions like negotiation.  Power is the ability to get desired things …

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