From John DeGroote’s Settlement
“You can pay them, or you can pay me. But don’t pay us both.” My friend Robert Manley told me that as we sent him a new lawsuit a few years ago, and his quote sums up one of Early Case Assessments’ biggest benefits. As we have discussed before, getting your ECA done — gathering the information required by the Early Case Assessment Checklist discussed in Part II and Part III of this series — requires an up-front investment. This post will tell you why, if you plan to settle your case, a thorough Early Case Assessment will be worth that investment.
I have settled cases I didn’t know enough about and I have settled cases after Early Case Assessments, and I’m confident I got better deals in the disputes I knew more about. The settlement value of your case should have nothing to do with the other side’s opening settlement demand, and I like to know what that value is before settlement discussions start. Early Case Assessments are the best way to get there.
ECAs drive better settlements through better information and the savvier strategies that result from that information. Here are a few reasons why you’ll be happier with your next settlement if you do an Early Case Assessment first:
Better Information Through Early Case Assessments:
Savvier Strategies Through Early Case Assessments:
As our friends in the DuPont Legal Department make clear, an effective Early Case Assessment program can drive better settlements. And if your Early Case Assessment doesn’t help you settle your case, Part V of this series will tell you why a thorough ECA is a good investment anyway.
I’ll leave you with one final thought about valuing your dispute: If you and the other side value the case differently, at least one of you is wrong. Make sure it isn’t you.
Dispute Settlement Counsel by Michael Zeytoonian. I was reading a Scriptural passage this week as part of my daily meditation. The passage was about two mediators – Moses and Jesus...By Michael A. Zeytoonian
Originally published in Family Court Review, Vol. 49, pp. 257-281, April 2011 - republished with permissionThis article summarizes empirical research about Collaborative Practice, the Collaborative movement, its interaction with other...By John Lande