“Sorry, it’s the way I negotiate.” — a certain political figure
Settling a lawsuit can be a difficult and delicate process and not everyone is a master of negotiating technique. Fortunately, there’s now a template for success.
Plaintiff’s Attorney: Thank you for coming. Let me begin by saying that your client is a nasty woman who presents a danger to the world that must be stopped. We will accept nothing less than $10 million and complete cessation of all aggressive activity.
Defendant’s Attorney: But your client’s car was only worth $20,000 …
PA: I consider your client to be a close personal friend — a friend that I love and who has great potential. So we have an agreement?
DA: What? Have you met my client?
PA: I have and so has my wife.
DA: Is that your wife back there looking at the floor? Now I think she’s trying to hide behind a plant.
PA: My wife is not in love with you and has no intention of living in Canada.
DA: OK. Our offer is $5,000 in exchange for a dismissal with prejudice.
PA: I’m the least prejudiced lawyer you’ve ever met. There’s not a prejudiced bone in my body.
DA: You just called my client a nasty woman.
PA: I never said that.
DA: Shall I have the reporter read back your statement?
PA: The failing court reporting system is an enemy of the people. Those are fake transcripts.
DA: Whatever. Are you willing to negotiate or not?
PA: We had two very productive phone calls over the weekend.
DA: With whom?
PA: Officials in your office. Very productive, believe me.
DA: I don’t have officials in my office. I’m a sole practitioner.
PA: Exactly. You have no support. And I am ordering all other car drivers in this country to refuse to drive anywhere near your client.
DA: You can’t do that.
PA: I can but when we have a deal, drivers should stay on the freeways and do a great job.
DA: Umm, OK …
PA: Great. So we have a deal: $10 million and your client never leaves the house.
At this point, the satisfied plaintiff’s lawyer refuses to answer any further questions, leaves the room, announces a record-setting, historic settlement on Twitter, then later announces a boycott of the defendant lawyer’s firm, then wonders why traffic accidents can’t be avoided by blowing up freeways.
If the settlement is rejected, blame Obama.