The Most Advanced Legal Negotiation and Mediation Advocacy Training Available Anywhere
Doug teaches legal negotiation and mediation advocacy in person to bar associations, law firms, insurance claims departments, and corporate counsel offices and online.
- 9 hours of cutting edge information
- 45 video lectures
- 137 page e-Book
- Litigation Budget Spreadsheet template
- Risk Analysis worksheet template
- Decision tree template
- Short form Memorandum of Settlement template
- Links to resources
- 9 hours of MCLE, including 2 hours of Ethics and 1 hour of Elimination of Bias
“I just completed the nine hour on line course. I have been a full-time neutral at JAMS since 1995, when I retired from the bench. Before that I practiced law for 24 years in an active practice involving a great many of negotiations. Therefore I thought I had a pretty good handle on all of the ins and outs involved in negotiating a deal. I found out I was wrong. Doug’s program is well researched, articulately presented and full of best practices tips for anyone involved in a negotiating process, inside or outside of the mediation arena or the practice of law.” Kevin Midlam, Calfiornia Superior Court Judge (Ret.)
About 4 hours of billable time, and the investment in your career is priceless.
“Doug’s course is one of the best I have ever taken.” Peter Weschler, Esq., Miami FL.
Advanced Legal Negotiation and Mediation Advocacy Skills Course Description
Module 1 – Negotiation Fundamentals
- Believe it or not, most lawyers come to the negotiating table with a built-in handicap… they went to law school! You see, the typical attorney’s professional roles don’t even BEGIN to prepare you for real-world negotiation and mediation success. So you’ll start by discovering what negotiation really IS… and possibly more important, what it ISN’T. You’ll understand how negotiation differs from jury arguments, legal briefs and ordinary conversations — and what you need to do to deflate the common myths about negotiation that I’ll GUARANTEE are holding you back from real kick-ass negotiator status in your legal practice.
- Negotiation isn’t easy… but it doesn’t have to be tough, either. To paraphrase Einstein, the best negotiators construct their deals to be “as simple as possible… but no simpler”. It all gets a lot easier when we reveal the two principal types of negotiations you’ll find yourself dealing with as a lawyer. Plus, you’ll understand the role of ethics and your legal responsibilities, and know how to position yourself as the leader in any negotiation scenario. For example, do you negotiate a personal-injury case differently from business cases and lawsuits? More importantly… SHOULD you?
- From here, we’ll investigate the real-world negotiating scenarios you’ll be faced with on a day-to-day basis… with PRACTICAL questions like “Should you compete, or collaborate?”… How to use game theory to structure your negotiation, and predict your outcome with 95% certainty… the Shadow Negotiation – a deal-breaker, or your trump card to triumph?… and the 4 major conflict resolution and negotiation models you’re most likely to face… along with the advantages, the limitations and the MUST-HAVE requirements for your negotiations to stick.
- And, for an “extra-enlightening” discussion, we’ll help you figure out your OWN negotiating personality… are you a diplomat or a junkyard dog? By the way, you don’t have to choose just one… they BOTH have their place — Depending on the nature of your CLIENT’S dispute (and your opponent, of course!)
Module 2 – Attributes of a Master Negotiator
- To know the player, you have to understand the game. So we’ll shine a light on what it takes to be a Master Negotiator… and show you how you can develop the qualities you need to excel as quickly as possible. You’ll soon realize how the typical “law school” curriculum — and their definitions and “short-shrift” treatment of negotiation as a career builder — scuttles your chances for success in and out of the courtroom.
- Plus, when you’re faced with the choice of “A jury of your peers” vs. “Courtroom Roulette”… what does it REALLY take to sway the outcome so it’s profitable for your client… AND your legal practice? In this section, you’ll learn to “predict the unpredictable” — Using human “cognitive bias”, irrationality and decision-making errors to your favor (Hint: Almost everyone behaves in recognizable patterns that you can build on, positioning your case advantage with remarkable precision)
- Can you go from “negotiation newbie” to Mediation Master in a single sitting? Probably not. But to get up to speed as quickly as possible, it’s best to know where you’re starting from… and then focus on developing the talents you have, and augmenting the skills you need. The surest path to your success as a negotiator AND a litigator — overcoming the built-in ancestral human instinct that sabotages your success as a negotiator, so you can even USE it to leverage your success! The only place you will find this cutting edge legal negotiation skill training is here–Negotiation Mastery for the Legal Pro.
- As we mentioned earlier, becoming a Master Negotiator isn’t “all about you”. In this next section, you’ll get up close and personal with the details you need to vet with EVERY case you consider taking on, so you can evaluate your likelihood for successful negotiation, even if you have limited trial experience going in. Plus, we’ll reveal how to use BATNA and WATNA to determine your client’s best outcomes beforehand (and avoid a blowup when your bill arrives or they’re carted off to jail.)
- Finally, you MUST be prepared for negotiating in “the shadow of the Law”… to understand how the law continues to influence the outcome of your best and worst negotiations. Is the law biased? That’s a loaded question… so know where you stand before setting your sights on a massive settlement. We’ll go deep into issues of punitive damages (Should you even CLAIM punitive damages in a negotiation?)… Deception, credibility and the burden of proof… the likelihood, outcomes and reverberations of coercive damages… and the ACTUAL roles of equity, equality and fairness in a settlement award.
Module 3 – Evaluating Your Negotiation Targets
- Calculating the value of potential settlements in your case is critical to deciding your negotiating strategy. Here’s how to know the values for you AND your client if you pursue a negotiated deal… so you can choose between negotiation and a drawn-out legal battle with confidence. After all, preparing a litigation budget does more for you and your client than merely “rough out the dollars”… it provides a guideline for decision-making, minimizes billing ‘surprises’ and improves your selection of profitable cases – eliminating the unprofitable ones from your calendar, right from the start.
- For this lesson, you can download a detalied Litigation Budget Template in Microsoft Excel, then follow along with a video walk-thru of exactly how to fill it out in minutes instead of hours — letting my category-centered approach do the work for you. Again,this is not offered anywhere except in this advanced legal negotiation skills training.
BONUS: Downloadable Litigation Budget template in Excel
- How do you make the critical “go or no-go” decisions that each settlement case hinges on? More importantly, how can you guide your client to their best decisions, in the face of aggressive opposing counsel, the uncertainty of a jury’s verdict, or even the intangibles of a case’s “wear and tear” on your client’s financial and emotional well-being? As a companion to your litigation budget, you’ll see how to conduct a thorough risk analysis to reduce your client’s emotional attachment to the issues as you both see them taking shape on paper, right in front of you.
BONUS: Downloadable Risk Analysis template in Excel
- We’ll finish up this section with an in-depth look at the risks of litigation. Remember, your client is looking to you for guidance as they make legal choices that can have significant, long-term effects on their lifestyle, livelihood, health and finances. So here’s where we’ll reveal tools we use that help you make authoritative, strategic case decisions, assessing your client’s most profitable settlements with more than 95% accuracy (so you BOTH get paid!)
- And this discussion wouldn’t be complete without revealing the most important 10 minutes of your entire brief. In addition, it will be CRYSTAL CLEAR why you MUST be involved in jury selection, from start to finish — when you discover the thinking process rolling around every juror’s mind as you present your case… and how to influence their biases in your favor by the format of your argument.
Module 4 – Client Relations in Negotiations
- If you want to avoid a negotiation malpractice claim**, LISTENING is SO important when you first meet a potential client. But WHAT you’re listening FOR is vastly different when you’re taking a negotiation approach vs. a litigation and verdict approach. Here’s what to ask, what to listen for… and what it all means to you, your client and your firm.
- Determining who your REAL client is… setting and communicating expectations… and then managing your client’s emotions effectively throughout the entire negotiation process is the only way you’ll keep the case on track. Heres’ how to put it all together so you AND your client both get PAID at the end of it all.
- If you’re playing a supporting role at the negotiating table, your primary role changes. Because you’d better have a thorough risk analysis, decision trees and damage analysis in the brief to support your boss as the case goes forward. Here’s how to produce a brief book to WOW your lead negotiator … AND keep your job.
Module 5 – The Psychology of Successful Negotiations
- The five basic negotiation personalities… including when and how to use each one to complement your opponent’s style, for rewarding negotiations from start to finish. Plus, discover two lethal combinations that get on like FIRE and WATER at the bargaining table… avoid mixing these at all costs, unless you intend to leave the table with your tail between your legs!
- Knowing the difference between advocacy and persuasion — and the significant time perspectives that influence your opponent’s decision-making values and emotional triggers with each one — defines a master negotiator’s success. Here’s where you’ll unearth distinctions that truly set you apart from the “also-rans” in the legal profession
- Do emotions play a part in your negotiations? More importantly, SHOULD they? You’ll be surprised at the answers here, and learn to recognize and respond to beliefs, boundaries and cognitive biases at work in every high-pressure negotiation you’ll experience in your career
- You’ve heard of “pain vs. pleasure” hundreds of times before. But do you know HOW to USE those instinct-driven concepts for more than merely bringing your opponent’s risk-aversion tendencies to the forefront… when you can actually trigger them to your benefit at the bargaining table? Also, when it’s all said and done, your CLIENT is feeling the same emotions, too… what’s your role as a lawyer, decision leader and influencer?
Module 6 – Power in Negotiations
- Who REALLY has the power in an ongoing negotiation… and WHERE does it come from? Or try this… With a loud and forcefully aggressive opponent, what’s more likely to get you and your client the results you want — the “strong, silent type” or a bigger bulldog? Believe it or not, there isn’t a single answer to that question, so you’d better understand how the balance of power ACTUALLY works by absorbing the revelations in this module.
- Your ultimate strategy — and your client’s success, satisfaction AND settlement dollars — depend on your answer to this question: If you manage to have the power in a negotiation, should you brandish it like an invincible weapon… or sneak up on your opponent with the stealth and cunning of a chess master?
- And since your ego probably helped you with your reply to the previous question, let’s ask it another one — what role does EGO actually play in creating the conditions for your client’s BATNA and WATNA outcomes? Find out the meanings and repercussions of all these and more, before they cost you far more than just a volley or two at the bargaining table.
Module 7 – The Mechanics of Distributive Negotiation
- Understanding the rules of negotiation begins with one stark statement: There are no rules. At least not in the same way as there are laws on the books. But the norms of bargaining behavior are based on “unwritten” rules signaling every expectation, every advantage and every “sore-spot” weakness along the way… to the skilled participant, that is. This module illustrates the bargaining model most commonly understood by casual negotiation observers — then jumps right in to the tactics and triggers you can use to set your bargaining off on the right foot.
- The boundaries between “playing your cards close to your chest” and outright lying in a negotiation are implicit, yet unforgiving. Fortunately, a practiced observer can pick up boundless clues at each step of their opponent’s offers, concessions and behaviors. This module gives you the upper hand in plotting your course through layers of “negotiating intrigue” to a decisive victory for you and your client.
- As common as it may be, flying by the seat of your pants is rarely advised in a complex negotiation. As you’ll see in actual case studies, the effects of offer and concession patterns on negotiation behavior are measurable and even somewhat predictable. At the same time, you’ll need to listen closely and respond to new information as it surfaces during a session on a moment’s notice. Here’s where you’ll learn to read the signs in even the most unpredictable bargaining formats.
- We’ll explore and analyze the “nuts and bolts” inner workings of a solid negotiation, including anchors and opening offers… reservations and concessions… and the four fundamental questions you MUST answer when developing your concession strategy. PLUS, you’ll discover how you can use a remarkable software tool to simplify the task of creating value in any upcoming negotiation (even an ongoing one)… improving the odds that you’ll reach a worthwhile settlement on the toughest negotiations, no matter where you’re starting from.
- Finally, we’ll reveal insider tweaks and tactics on one of the most valuable skills you’ll ever develop, inside AND outside of the courtroom or negotiation chamber — the art of FRAMING. Remember, in a risk-averse society like ours, getting your position accepted depends heavily on the words you use to present it to your opponent. At the same time, this module also helps you AVOID falling victim to manipulation, by showing you the structure and subtleties of genuine, effective framing in a real-life contex
Module 8 – Direct Negotiation and Mediation
- Interest-based negotiation is my favorite form of conflict resolution — an extremely sophisticated process that helps people move away from knee-jerk System 1 thinking to problem-solving System 2 thinking. It differs from distributive negotiation by focusing on interests, rather than positions – which means neither side has to give up a lot to get a little.
- In addition to typical mediated arrangements, we’ll talk about direct negotiation — how to conduct negotiations WITHOUT a mediator. There are advantages and disadvantages to this strategy, of course… including the dangers of using this approach with opposing counsel!
- To round out your skills, we’ll dive into a 3-part series on Negotiation and Mediation, starting with how to select the best timing and the best mediator for your session. Should you accept your OPPONENT’S choice? Plus, once you’ve decided on mediation for your case, you’ll want to prepare your client for the process, too… here’s how to get it done WITHOUT another extended client meeting.
- For our second lesson in Mediation, you’ll discover a seldom-used but powerful session format for lawyers who appreciate the value of knowing more about their opponent to reach a profitable settlement. In addition, you’ll pick up case-shaping tips on how to leverage the mediator’s position for your client’s case, especially when emotions in the room are reaching the boiling point.
- Finally, in our third lesson on Mediation, you’ll learn to squeeze maximum value out of emotion-charged mediations with “caucusing”. You’ll find out about the best situations to use this high-level technique, and understand the game-changing role of aggression in mediation… should you use it at all? And how do you defend against i
Module 9 – Real-life Negotiation and Response Tactics
- Reaction, response and positioning sets the wheels in motion to speed you towards your biggest mediation triumphs. It’s not only what you SAY that determines your success track in the mediation chambers… but choosing your words well is a GREAT start! After all, most lawyers are so predictable when they (mis)handle a negotiation, their inexperience and emotions get the better of them even BEFORE their opponent does. So we’ll cover exactly how to position yourself as the experienced negotiator in the room – AND let you in on the REAL meaning of your opponent’s poorly-chosen “power bargaining statements” so you’ll sway them YOUR way.
- The key to disabling commonly-used negotiation tactics is in understanding the emotional trigger they’re designed to tweak… and in being ready with your effective counter-move. In this section, we’ll reveal 12 on-the-surface negotiation strategies — from aggression to stalling, manipulation to outright deception — AND show you how to strike them dead in the water BEFORE they derail your chances for an attainable, profitable outcome at the table (Besides, don’t kid yourself… people are using these tactics AGAINST you in real life, every single day. Now you’ll know how to beat them at their own game!)
- Okay, now that you’ve negotiated a workable, reasonable settlement that both sides agree to… how do you get it on paper, so your settlement is legally enforceable in a court of law? In this section, we’ll walk you step-by-step through the same process we use to reduce even complicated agreements to a simple judgment — with the right balance of plain English and “lawyer-ese” to control liability. You’ll reduce the sticking points that arise as you draft settlement terms, AND be sure there’s enough teeth in the court’s jurisdiction to enforce the judgment to its conclusion. BONUS – You’ll receive a downloadable copy of the template I’ve created for short-form settlement agreements in California. Use it as the basis of your own settlements in this state, or as an excellent starting point for customizing most multi-jurisdictional agreements you may need to prepare.
- Next, we’ll consider the essentials of cross-cultural negotiation for reaching an enforceable settlement in the multi-cultural world we live in… both here in California, and in all areas of the US. Remember, “culture” refers to MUCH more than simple “ethnicity” when you’re dealing with individuals. And we all react to the various professional… gender-based… political… regional… generational… technological, religious and social cultures we’re most familiar with. What’s more, we expect others to do the same! So here’s how to avoid those cross-cultural assumptions – including language, customary references and even simple hand gestures! — that can generate frustration, disrespect, and poor communication between you and your opponent. These are often the cause of an unexplained impasse in your negotiation, when things start to go sideways in spite of your best efforts.
- Is “apology” a shrewd negotiation tactic… or an admission of guilt and liability, to be avoided at all costs? In actual fact, it can be both. Here’s how to tell the difference, and how to make sure you position your client on the right side of the law AND your potential liability. After all, lawyers are generally suspicious of apologies, because there is a fundamental “structural tension” in the law. And where it’s relevant, remember that forgiveness is a process… not an event.
- Who would believe we’re still dealing with gender bias in 21st-century negotiations! You’ll learn how to recognize bias in your own mediations, and in the built-in language of your opponents. The best part is, you’ll also discover how to neutralize the unconscious effects of subtle or blatant gender issues — and move rapidly towards a solution both parties desperately want. Discover the role of “Gender Triggers” and stereotypes like aggression, discipline, self-awareness and the ‘relational imperative’… along with empirical evidence that alternately supports and defeats SEVERAL of these common socialized habits (expect a few surprises here!)
- To wrap up, we’ll summarize the #1 secret to kick-ass negotiation… “I wish somebody had told me this when I was first starting out in law.” Plus, we’ll show you how to claim all of your MCLE credits, and let you in on how you can participate in advanced webinars & chat rooms, with access to resources that have been reserved only for graduates of this course!