Leading Clients to Settlements

Tech tipsComputer Tricks

Clients with unreasonable expectations can be their own worst enemy.  But, we cannot blame clients since they hear about huge awards or settlements for cases that appear far less egregious than their own case.  Justice to some clients only comes if they feel they can bring significant harm to the other side.  Clients need to be informed, educated, and led by lawyers.  We are not just their agent; we are their counselors.  Counselors need to have well honed leadership skills in order to gain the trust, the credibility, and most important, the authority in their relationship with their clients so that their counseling and advice makes a positive difference with their clients.  Lawyers who do not lead their clients are hired guns and hurt not only their clients and themselves, but also the legal profession as a whole.  Leadership training helps lawyers develop the qualities necessary to become the authority worth hundreds of dollars an hour that clients seek when they hire them.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Leadership and Negotiation

Tech tipsComputer Tricks

Courses are taught in negotiation. Books are written on negotiation, and they are useful.  However, what has been missing in the professional development of lawyers and their continuing education are courses that show lawyers how to be better leaders, and therefore, better negotiators.  Negotiation is a function of understanding your opponent, understanding your own position and its strengths and weaknesses.  These are leadership skills that take solid research, understanding of the situation as well as human nature, and understanding the risk tolerance of all parties to negotiation.  Leadership skills once honed help negotiators know when to push an item and take a stand and when to back off.  They help negotiators understand the big picture goals of their clients as well as attending to details so no small advantage is left on the table.  Most importantly, leaders take time to make sure they develop the reputation they need to walk into negotiations where the other side respects them, knows they are tough, but fair negotiators, and knows that the negotiator will be totally prepared.  I was once told by opposing counsel that the other side settled a case with me, quite favorably for my side, because “I” acted as if this was my only case.  Leaders dedicate the resources to win negotiations.  Leadership development courses will make you a better negotiator, not once, but throughout the life of your legal career.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Leadership and Litigation

Tech tipsComputer Tricks

I have been a litigator for 28 years.  Litigators know that they need to move people in order to achieve the result they and their clients’ desire.  Whether you need a jury verdict in your favor, a judge’s decision, or to win a critical motion, or to achieve a favorable settlement, a lawyer who is an active litigator needs to be a skilled leader.  The leadership qualities most needed by litigators include being able to motivate and persuade others, be able to develop a command over and organize the subject matter and evidence of the case, and be able to understand the prevailing law that governs the case.  When it comes to achieving a favorable settlement or a favorable verdict or decision, credibility of the lawyer is paramount.  In addition, leaders know how their words and actions will be understood and analyzed by those who hear them.  Leadership skills of lawyers can be developed and will help lawyers in each of these areas to improve the outcomes they obtain in litigation.  Finally, lawyers in litigation settings often have to lead their clients who might have unreasonable expectations.  Leading clients is a critical skill that lawyers, who know they are more than hired guns, possess and develop throughout their careers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment