LATEST POST

Managing Uncertainty in Mediation Decision Making

Managing uncertainty in mediation decision making is a basic negotiation skill. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of training in law school or in continuing legal education that focuses on the challenges of decision making in the face of uncertainty. I hope this article will fill some of the void. When analyzing uncertainty, statisticians and…

Continue Reading →

Intuition in Mediation and Settlement Decision Making

Understanding the role of intuition in mediation and settlement decision making is important if you want to maximize settlement outcomes for your client. If you use your intuition correctly, you can gain a competitive advantage in the negotiation. If you misuse your intuition, you are likely to make costly decisional errors. Consider this story: A…

Continue Reading →

Decision Making In Mediation-Part 2-Our Brains

In this article, I will introduce you to the relationship of brains and decision making in mediation. There is a complex process of decision making that goes on inside our heads. Many are familiar with Daniel Kahneman’s description of decision making as involving a System 1 and a System 2 in the brain. I think…

Continue Reading →

Decision Making in Mediation

Decision making in mediation is a critical and overlooked skill that needs to be learned and developed. The fundamental difference between trial and mediation involves the power of decision making. In trial, the ultimate decision is made by the judge and jury. In mediation, the ultimate decision is made by you and your client. This…

Continue Reading →

How Mindset Affects Negotiation Outcomes

Your mindset about negotiation skill and mastery affects your negotiation outcomes. One of the most pervasive myths of bargaining is that good negotiators are born that way. Like naive assumptions regarding the stability of human nature, conventional wisdom suggests that people either have the ability to negotiate effectively or do not. Skilled negotiators are imagined…

Continue Reading →

Testosterone, Risky Decision-Making, and Mediation Advocacy

Over the weekend, a study was published in Scientific Reports (part of the Nature Group) that links cortisol and testosterone with financial risk-taking. The authors believe that these neuro-hormones in men may contribute to the destabilization of financial markets. The implications in mediation and legal negotiation are likewise important. Testosterone, risky decision-making, and mediation advocacy…

Continue Reading →

Unrealistic Case Valuations

A common situation in legal negotiation and mediation occurs when you face an unrealistic case valuation from the opposition. At first glance, this situation appears frustrating. Uninformed counsel may become angry at each other, accusing the other of “negotiating in bad faith,” or asserting that the other side is “ridiculous,” “not in this universe,” and…

Continue Reading →

Mediation Advocacy-The Lawyer as Cognitive Counselor

In mediation advocacy, your client will have to make the final decision about whether to make a deal or not. As we have seen, human decision-making in the face of great risk and uncertainty is fraught with peril. Our brains simply do not handle statistics, probabilities, or logical thinking very well, especially when under stress,…

Continue Reading →

Plan your negotiations

The 10 Essential Steps to Preparing for Settlement Negotiation

Preparing for settlement negotiations guarantees better outcomes and less stress. Preparing for negotiation does not have to be a long process. In fact, for an average case, two to four hours of concentrated work will be sufficient. The secret is in knowing how to prepare. Here are what I consider to be the 10 essential…

Continue Reading →

Avoiding Bad Settlement Decisions

Are you certain you are making the best decisions possible in your settlement negotiations? The science says, “Probably not.” Randy Kiser’s research in decision making by lawyers confirms it. Plaintiffs’ lawyers decisions to reject settlement and go to trial are wrong 50% of the time at an average loss to their clients of $75,000. Defense…

Continue Reading →

Page 1 of 4