Is Your Lawyer a Skilled Negotiator?
If you are in the market for an attorney to help you with a family law matter, then you need to make sure that the attorneys you are considering are skilled negotiators. This is true for alimony, post-separation support, child custody, child support, equitable distribution and other types of family law cases. One of the little known secrets about the legal profession is that at least 50% of what a family lawyer does in a day consists of negotiation. That being the case, having a skilled negotiator as your attorney provides you with a greatly increased chance of resolving your case without the time, expense and emotional trauma of going to court. A good family law attorney should also be experienced in the court room and be willing to pursue a case in court if necessary. However, I strongly believe that an attorney should not counsel a client to allow a judge to make decisions for their family unless and until the attorney has done everything they can do to reach an agreed resolution outside of court. Going to court takes all control out of the hands of the client and puts it squarely in the hands of a judge that knows neither the client, nor the client’s family.
Therefore, having an attorney that has actual negotiation skill (as opposed to just experience) is crucial to obtaining the best possible outcome in your case. Many attorneys have experience negotiating. Some have been doing it for decades. But, do not confuse experience with skill. Skill requires possessing knowledge of specific negotiation techniques and strategies. Experience requires neither technique nor knowledge. Acquiring skill as a negotiator requires obtaining training in the many types of negotiation settings (mediation, collaborative law, direct negotiation between attorneys, etc…). It further requires that attorneys obtain training on specific skills such as how to deal with cooperative negotiators, aggressive negotiators, difficult negotiators and unskilled negotiators. It also requires that the attorney study his her own personality and negotiation style to pinpoint their own strengths and weaknesses. Only then can the attorney capitalize on their strengths and bolster their weaknesses. Few attorneys actually obtain training in negotiation and therefore few attorneys actually possess the skills necessary to obtain the best result in your case. Instead many simply rely on their “experience” or “gut”, instead of skill, in trying to resolve your case. This leads to a premature breakdown of negotiations, an increase in hostility and a stranger making the rules for the intimate details of life for you and your family.
If you are looking for an family law attorney, I encourage you to inquire into that attorney’s specific training in negotiation. Don’t rely on their experience alone to help you resolve your case.
Tre’ Morgan is an experienced family law attorney with extensive negotiating training and education to help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case. He is a North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission Certified Mediator, has trained in the Collaborative Law process and has studied and is trained in numerous other negotiation skills and techniques. He continues to actively supplement his negotiation skills through education, training and daily negotiation in family law cases.
If you are interested in legal representation, please contact me by email or at (919) 781-1311. You can also find me at www.nichollscrampton.com (this site currently being updated).
Please note that nothing on this blog should be considered legal advice and that viewing the information on this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. You are advised to consult with an attorney to confirm the current state of any legal information contained in this blog, as the law constantly changes.
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