How do you start up negotiations, so that it starts better, and you’ve got a better chance of settling your dispute?
No matter what the dispute is about, we want to get it resolved earlier, rather than later.
The longer the dispute runs, the more likely the conflict spirals out of control to the point where you’re basically at war with the other party. This does not give you a good chance of settling.
Lawyers have their place is a dispute, and understanding your legal rights and the process if you can’t resolve it is important. However, if you go to a lawyer and you find out your legal position, and then you entrench into that position, it may not be the best way to try to settle the matter.
If you push towards a settlement that sticks to a certain percentage, or aligns with your legal rights, you may cause the other party to also entrench into the opposite position.
The best way to try and settle the matter is actually to work out what you want.
What you want is not based on your legal rights, but what outcome you want from this.
Does there have to be a working relationship with the other party moving forward? What are your underlying interests to having this resolved? What do you need moving forward? Sometimes you might need some guidance in working that out.
What a good lawyer will do is actually explain all your different options, which is what you want to know. You want to know your different options and the different processes about how to proceed.
Finding some alternative dispute resolution as early as possible is one of the better ways to start negotiations.
Is there some community mediation centre that you can help resolve your matter without having lawyers involved? There are private mediators that you can use, which would cost a fraction of what the legal fees would be if you took it legal.
Having an understanding of your options is really important so that you can approach a dispute and resolving that dispute in a way that means you’re more likely to settle it, than inflaming it and making it take longer to resolve than it needs to.