Conflict is inevitable, in both deals and disputes. Yet when clients call in the lawyers to haggle over who gets how much of the pie, traditional hard-bargaining tactics can lead to ruin. Too often, deals blow up, cases don’t settle, relationships fall apart, justice is delayed. Beyond Winning charts a way out of our current crisis of confidence in the legal system. It offers a fresh look at negotiation, aimed at helping lawyers turn disputes into deals, and deals into better deals, through practical, tough-minded problem-solving techniques.
In this step-by-step guide to conflict resolution, the authors describe the many obstacles that can derail a legal negotiation, both behind the bargaining table with one’s own client and across the table with the other side. They offer clear, candid advice about ways lawyers can search for beneficial trades, enlarge the scope of interests, improve communication, minimize transaction costs, and leave both sides better off than before. But lawyers cannot do the job alone. People who hire lawyers must help change the game from conflict to collaboration. The entrepreneur structuring a joint venture, the plaintiff embroiled in a civil suit, the CEO negotiating an employment contract, the real estate developer concerned with environmental hazards, the parent considering a custody battle—clients who understand the pressures and incentives a lawyer faces can work more effectively within the legal system to promote their own best interests. Attorneys exhausted by the trench warfare of cases that drag on for years will find here a positive, proven approach to revitalizing their profession.