Tuesday, October 14

Vanishing trials: Out-of-court settlements on the rise

Well, if it's true, why don't more lawyers bother to understand the art and science of settlement?

Is it so hard?

Hey! The intersection where legal principles and the behavioural sciences meet has got to be more interesting than, oh I don't know - say the rule against perpetuities maybe?


If you are a young lawyer under the tyranny of an old lawyer, do yourself a favour and read The New Lawyer: How Settlement is Transforming the Practice of Law underneath the desk during your lunch break (you get one of those, right?).

Or, if you are worried about getting caught, just read this extensive book review online.

Best line;
'...pit bulls just don't naturally sit down and chat with a fellow pit bull...'

Contents;
Changes in the Legal Profession and the Emergence of the New Lawyer/Constructing Professional Identity/Three Key Professional Beliefs/Translating the Beliefs into Practice: The Norms of Legal Negotiations/The New Advocacy/The Lawyer-Client Relationship/The Role of the Law and Legal Advice/Ethical Challenges Facing the New Lawyer/Where the Action Is:Sites of Change

Synopsis;
"An adversarial "client warrior" image dominates historical notions of the lawyer, and a commitment to "zealous advocacy" remains one of the core norms of the legal model. Yet structural changes within both the justice system and the legal profession have rendered the "warrior" notion outdated and inadequate, with a shift toward conflict resolution rather than protracted litigation.

The new lawyer's skills go beyond court battles to encompass negotiation, mediation, collaborative practice, and restorative justice. In The New Lawyer, Julie Macfarlane explores the evolving role of practitioners, articulating legal and ethical complexities in a variety of contexts drawn from Canadian and American legal literature as well as from her own empirical research. The result is a thought-provoking exploration of the increasing impact of alternative, consensus-seeking strategies on the lawyer-client relationship, as well as on the legal system itself."

Hat Tip; Vanishing trials: Out-of-court settlements on the rise

1 comment:

Marvin Schuldiner said...

I was mediating a commercial case recently and in a caucus session, the defense attorney said to his client in presenting a settlement possibility "I am more than willing to take this to trial, but you hired me to solve your problem which may not necessarily be a trial." I almost fell out of my chair.

As I posted on my blog, law firms need to change their business models if the trial is vanishing. Getting "courthouse step" settlements is not what clients want, especially if they could have had the same deal much earlier.