Legal Negotiations—Some Stalemates Cannot Be Overcome
Negotiating is a fine art and one that can end in triumphs or sometimes stalemates, unfortunately. While the process may sometimes be seamless, and all parties involved may be able to agree expediently, those are usually the bonus deals. In most cases, you would not be present at the negotiating table to begin with if everyone was having an easy time coming to an agreement. And just like going to court, you will not win every round of negotiations, unfortunately—as hard as you may try.
To hedge your bets, however, do not enter negotiations lightly or without an arsenal of information regarding the other party, committed to memory and notes. It is critical to know who you are dealing with in legal negotiations, and to know them well. Research the other party’s background, and as much personal and business information as you can glean during the case. Understand what makes them tick, and how likely they may be to concede to your client’s wishes—or what they may agree to compromise on further. This can be key to unlocking negotiations when everyone is at an impasse—one party may be able to hand over something of little importance to themselves, while to the other party it is of great significance.
Along with understanding the other party, consider what type of atmosphere will work best for your negotiation. You may want to discuss all this with your client, as they may have firsthand knowledge of the other party and their personality, quirks, and habits. While you don’t want to seem like a master manipulator, this is the type of scenario where you at least want to walk away feeling like everyone has won. For some, negotiating at a restaurant may be preferred, while for others an austere corporate atmosphere. Other times, a more mediation-like setting that is comfortable and relaxed—and even with more flexible scheduling—helps everyone involved reach their goal.
In some instances, however, there may be a stalemate that simply cannot be overcome. And like in meditation, it is the negotiator’s job to help everybody come to an agreement—and when that seems challenging, to try other tactics. There may be some cases where you just cannot force the issue though. It may be possible to walk away for a couple of hours, a couple of days, a couple of weeks. That may help give everyone enough time to think about the situation and for their compromise, but in other cases a deal may not be struck. For you and your client, there may be great disappointment in the amount of time and effort expended only to get nowhere in the end.
Are you interested in becoming a skilled negotiator? Our mission at CDTA College of Law is to educate, train, and develop extraordinary legal advocates. Your legal education will be comprised of bar-tested academic subjects, skills training, and values reinforcement. Upon completion of your 4-year course of study you will be fully qualified to take and pass the California Bar examination. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.