Add Your PerspectiveMarch 30, 2012
Sometimes I don’t need to hear why, or how, it happened — the thing just speaks for itself. A few months ago I read an article in The New York Times and made up my mind by the third line, which detailed the audience’s anger as “a cellphone began ringing – and ringing, ringing, ringing without cease – during a performance by the New York Philharmonic.” Through first-hand accounts available from thousandfold echo, Superconductor, and Max Kinchen, we now know that no one cared why, or how, it happened. Fellow concertgoers yelled, “Thousand dollar fine!”, “Get out!”, and “Kick him out!”.
Later I learned the rest of the story, and the case of the unrelenting marimba ringtone is now an easy way to More…
5 PerspectivesJune 7, 2010
a .pdf copy of “Break that Impasse: Practical Solutions to Eliminate Deadlock in Settlement Negotiations” is available here
Lately I have heard about impasse more often than normal — Marc Lanzkowsky posted 3 Settlement Techniques that Will Help Move a Case to Resolution on The Claims SPOT, which drove a great follow-on discussion about impasse among LinkedIn’s Commercial and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Group. As the comments continued, I thought about how much we all try to avoid — or work through — impasse, and an old article of mine came to mind. This is a quick post intended to reintroduce that article to the discussion.
Break that Impasse: Practical Suggestions to Eliminate Deadlock
It seems like only yesterday, but in 2004 I co-presented Break that Impasse: Practical Suggestions to Eliminate Deadlock in Settlement Negotiations to the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Annual Meeting in Chicago with an all-star group of copanelists, including Eric D. Green, Ross W. Stoddard, Melvin S. Merzon and Mark Tatelbaum. The paper, available here, is more than a few years old and I wrote it before my mediation training (so all disclaimers apply), but “Break that Impasse” includes:
- 20+ pages of ideas about how to prevent and break impasse — written primarily from the client’s perspective;
- Over 100 footnotes to mediators, judges, lawyers, clients and others who contributed their ideas to the paper; and
- A sample mediator’s proposal form, supplied by copanelist Ross Stoddard.
Take a look at “Break that Impasse” the next time impasse approaches — I hope it helps.
2 PerspectivesMarch 22, 2010
It’s no secret that I went to Duke Law School and I’m happy to see the Blue Devils advancing through the NCAA Tournament brackets this year, but this isn’t a post about basketball. I wander off topic every now and then, but there are limits.
This post is about bracketing — one of the more important, and overlooked, aspects of negotiation. First, a summary:
In negotiation no number is irrelevant, and no proposal is ever forgotten. Every offer you make, every figure you float, and every potential path to settlement you communicate to the other side will forever impact your negotiations.
Negotiators ignore this rule at their peril.
What Are Negotiation Brackets?
The message from my client’s deal lawyer was as informative as it was economical: “We’re bracketed at 250 and 400.” With this shorthand he More…
7 PerspectivesMarch 11, 2010
In a world of alternative fees, law firm convergence, the ACC Value Challenge and more, what does the client really want? Is it lower fees, predictable expenses, more “value” for the company’s legal dollar, or something else? What’s the best way for a law firm to respond? It turns out that clients are eager to share the answers to all these questions — all you have to do is ask.
A few months ago the lawyers at DrinkerBiddle did just that — they asked. The firm invited a few of us with real experience as clients to the firm’s partner retreat to share our perspectives on client service. They got what they asked for.
The Question Outside Counsel Don’t Ask Often Enough
As soon as we began our talk it became clear that I wasn’t the only one who had thought about the law firm/client relationship before we got there. One of my co-panelists, P.H. Glatfelter Company’s GC Thom Jackson, started by sharing a simple question that outside counsel apparently don’t ask him often enough: More…