Skip to menu
Skip to content
The Yau Law Firm
Focused on Protecting Businesses and Representing the Injured

Negotiate instead of Litigate: how negotiating can lead to saving grief and money–Part 1

As an attorney at the Yau Law Firm who handles various types of litigation, I speak from personal experience: negotiating with the other party can save you grief and money, and it can even result in a better outcome for everyone. This tidbit of info works whether you are at the beginning of litigation, in the middle of litigation, or just contemplating litigation. It also doesn’t matter what kind of dispute you are involved in: personal injury, business law, intellectual property, or even family law.  Everyone can benefit from a negotiation!

In law school, lawyers are trained to be great writers, litigators, and readers. Some attorneys receive certificates in special areas, such as Sports Law. These are specializations in particular areas of law that set us apart from other attorneys. But, one thing is for sure: law school doesn’t necessarily teach someone to negotiate, much less offer certifications in that skill. Many lawyers know how to litigate, but few appreciate the art of negotiating.

For one, it is important to understand that you don’t have to go to a formal mediation to negotiate. Negotiating can be as easy as picking up the phone to make a call (or better yet, have your lawyer pick up the phone to make the call for you). I will mention one important caveat, though: having a lawyer to make negotiations for you can be the difference between getting what you want or not getting what you want at all. Parties to litigation tend to be very emotionally involved. This is particularly true in family law where either parties fight tooth and nail to “win” as much as they can get. It takes an attorney who can review facts from a less emotionally involved position, who understands the law and how judges decide, to see the good and the bad with every case. In fact, when someone other than the involved party is negotiating, the communication is a lot less heated.

Rushing into litigation, guns blazing, and with the belief that you can absolutely win can ultimately lead to disaster. Even the most seasoned litigators know that the best preparation in winning a trial is anticipating a loss.

Here are some things you can think about when deciding to negotiate:

  • Can you benefit from preserving the relationship, or having a better relationship, with the other party? 
  • Does litigation cost more than the possible monetary relief you may get at the end of the case?
  • Is the other party likely to agree to a certain result if you present a reasonable offer?
I will address these questions in the next part. Stay tuned! If you’d like to know before the next blog posts, contact us today!
Article by: Florence Chen Monauer

Leave a Reply

« »