Settlement Perspectives

Thoughts on how to resolve disputes and get your deal done.


Add Your PerspectiveNovember 25, 2013

Settlement the Way Your Clients Want It — The Presentation

It’s hard to imagine a better audience than the Dallas Bar Association’s Bench Bar Conference to discuss litigation, settlement, and new ways to look at both.  I recently got the chance to do just that, and the talk — and the debate that followed — were even better than I had imagined.

Clients often have a different perspective on settlement than their lawyers, and we had fun exploring why.

No, we didn’t start with stories about settlement.  We began with the Zig Ziglar’s take on how a newlywed couple cooked their fist roast — and we decided that just because we’ve been settling cases one way for the last 30 years doesn’t mean we need to settle cases the same way tomorrow.

I won’t repeat the whole talk here, but a few highlights include:

  • The quote from one of my old clients that first put it all into perspective for me:  “I’m not in the litigation business.  I’m in the business business.”
  • Why — and how — clients are different from the lawyers they work with; More…

Categories: ADR,Mediation,Negotiation,Settlement

Add Your PerspectiveNovember 24, 2013

Negotiation Ethics: The MWRA Presentation

I recently had the pleasure of presenting Negotiation Ethics: From Oxymoron to Everyday Practice to the Mississippi Water Resources Association’s 2013 Educational Conference in Vicksburg — and I think we all learned something in the process.

As you can imagine, a talk on negotiation ethics for engineers is a bit different than one to lawyers, but a few of the quotes that resonated with the MWRA’s membership apply to lawyers, too.  A great example is this one from Warren Buffett:

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.  If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

and another is this one from Stephen M. R. Covey’s The Speed of Trust:

When trust is low, in a company or in a relationship, it places a hidden ‘tax’ on every transaction:  every communication, every interaction, every strategy, every decision is taxed, bringing speed down and sending costs up.

While the talk might have explored the formal boundaries that More…

Categories: Negotiation,Negotiation Ethics

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Settlement Perspectives
is the professional weblog
of John DeGroote.

I created this site to help clients and their counsel navigate the challenges that inevitably result from disputes, settlement efforts, impasse, and negotiation in general. The perspectives I bring are based on my experience, summarized in this abbreviated bio. If you have any questions or thoughts about this site, or an issue you’d like to see addressed, please email me at:


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