How to Begin a Difficult Conversation
by:  Patrick C. Coughlan, Esq.

Many attorneys and their clients put off the start of a challenging conversation with opposing lawyers and clients for two reasons:

1) They are not sure how to approach the other side to begin the discussion (perhaps fear of looking weak.)

2) They are concerned that they could make matters worse.

Never lose sight of the fact that without a dialogue NO progress toward resolution can occur. What often alienates the other side is moving forward with discovery without ever having discussed why the information is needed, and lacking clarity about the goal one is seeking to achieve. Information can often be obtained more easily and much less expensively without formal discovery simply by explaining the “what and why.” It is always in the clients’ best interest that they understand the risks, inefficiency, and expense of litigation and that litigation should always be considered as a last resort to solving a dispute.

Although all “important” information may not be known at the time, early mediation often clarifies the issues, identifies essential missing information, and promotes civility between the parties. The mediators’ help in facilitating the exchange of information usually results in quicker settlements!

Pat and Devon Coughlan are highly experienced in assisting parties in the identification and exchange of “essential information.” Document and information exchange that occurs as part of the mediation process can often be kept confidential, thereby encouraging the parties to be more forthcoming with information.

Call us if you want to take advantage of the opportunity of settling a matter early.