Negotiation 101: How We “Get To Yes”

Professional Regulation

Negotiation 101: Vancouver Litigation Lawyers

Negotiation is a critical aspect to all types of litigation. Lawyers that are effective negotiators can save their clients significant amounts of time and money by framing issues in particular ways and using out-of-court processes to advance their client’s case. At the Kushner Law Group, we believe that negotiation is an important part in all of our litigation matters and many of our cases proceed on dual tracks whereby we constantly engage in negotiation while still preparing a case for trial. The negotiating practices of the Kushner Law Group are based on the principles set out in “Getting To Yes”,  by Roger Fisher and William L. Ury who were members of the Harvard Negotiation Project. This post will discuss the five principles used in this model.

1) Separate the people from the problem

This principle is especially important in high conflict legal cases such as estate litigation and family litigation. It means that during a negotiation, it is critical to keep the parties focused on the issues between them and not the personal background or acrimony that created them. Clients can get (often rightfully so) caught up in the emotional aspects of a case and a good lawyer will understand how to listen to their client but still focus on the actual legal issue and not the emotional history.

2) Focus on interests, not positions

This is critical when parties are attempting a negotiation and starting from radically different positions. Rather than trying to horse-trade and exchange offers to reach a mid-point which can be exhausting and often fruitless, the principle encourages parties to think about what they want to accomplish by highlighting their interest rather than focusing on where they are stuck in their position.

3) Invent options for mutual gain

Inventing options for mutual gain requires lawyers to think outside the box and determine how both parties can benefit by considering new ideas. One example is that if one party is wanting to get paid a sum of money, consider whether they would be willing to take less and get paid in a more expedient manner.

4) Insist on using objective criteria

Objective criteria is important in any negotiation because it can help remove the emotional issues often attached to more subjective measures. Objective criteria can include using a percentage formula if there is a dispute over numbers or making agreements-in-principle on certain issues to bring the parties closer together while having an agreed upon formula to determine the actual values in play.

5) Know your BATNA (Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement)

The BATNA in many cases is what the lawyer believes a judge would decide if they heard the full case. It is important before any negotiation that your lawyer reviews similar cases to see how a Court has ruled and use this information to determine the BATNA.

Looking for a Negotiation and Litigation Lawyer in Vancouver?

The experienced litigation lawyers at Kushner Law Group in Vancouver BC can assist you in achieving just results through both negotiation and litigation.

If you need legal mediation or litigation services, please don’t hesitate to call our Vancouver law firm at 604-629-0432 or click here to contact us online.

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