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Settlement Psychology

Content Partner:  HB Litigation Conferences
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Price: $195.00*

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Description: Mediator, arbitrator and settlement conference neutral Jeff Trueman says the lawyer’s mind can sometimes play tricks on him when it comes time to settle a claim.
“The central question on the minds of counsel, their clients, and insurance professionals in civil litigation is, of course, ‘What’s the case worth?’ For mature torts there is enough historical settlement and verdict data exist for counsel to argue why a particular case should or should not fit within a certain settlement range. In the midst of these discussions, the human brain plays tricks on us. For example, litigators sometimes assume that their trial experience can determine how jurors will negotiate with one another and resolve factual discrepancies after closing arguments. This assumption is a ‘heuristic’ – a cognitive shortcut called attributional error or illusion of control.”
Backed by his decades of psychological and economic sciences research, Trueman says there is a lot of room for attorneys to change their mindset when moving into settlement mode.
Litigation Chicken
“When differences over case value intensify, litigators return to threats of relinquishing control: ‘Maybe we have to try this case;’ or ‘We feel good about our chances in front of a jury.’ Underneath the games of litigation chicken that are the hallmark of settlement negotiation, heuristics lead to erroneous valuations and assessments of risk.”
He says attorney would be well served, and would serve their clients well, if they make adjustments depending on their role at a given point in the process. “Many lawyers default to their role as advocates for legal rights without considering the quality of counsel they give to clients regarding risk management. This plays right into the endowment bias that potential clients carry, valuing property or experiences merely because they have them. When thinking about future risk, many lawyers exhibit an overconfidence and self-serving bias in favor of past success. Unfortunately, competitive bargainers are disinclined to compromise even when it would benefit their bottom lines. Of course, it goes without saying that clients are often better served by lawyers who have some experience in a courtroom. But prior success does not guarantee future results.”
Joining Jeff will be Judge John Philip Miller, now retired from the Circuit Court of Baltimore City. Judge Miller spent 16 years on the bench after a career in private practice.
What They Will Cover:
  • What are the cognitive barriers to assessing case value?
  • How can you use this information to your advantage?
  • How can you help your clients with this information?
  • What is the impact of unrealistic expectations -- yours and your client's?
    Answers to your questions via live chat.

Practice Areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution
Online Media Type: Video
Production Date: 03/28/2019
Level: Intermediate
Category: Standard
Duration: 1 Hours, 15 Minutes
Online Format: On Demand

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Total Credits: 1.25
Specialty Credits: 
Status: Reciprocal Credit Available
Expiration: 03/27/2022
Training Type: Online

West LegalEdcenter provides accreditation as described here. You may be able to self apply for credits in states not listed.

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Jeff Trueman - Mediator / Negotiator
John Philip Miller - Retired Judge from Baltimore City Circuit Court
This product is designed to provide information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

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