NEGOTIATION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Martin Z. Rosenbaum, B.Com., B.C.L., LL.B
In addition to our regular services, we offer structured negotiation and conflict resolution services. Most disputes headed to litigation or already in litigation, could be resolved much earlier and at less cost if the negotiation and conflict management were approached in a specific disciplined manner. Many business negotiations could proceed much more efficiently and effectively if the negotiations were approached in a systematic way. In both situations relationships that would otherwise be destroyed or significantly damaged could be salvaged, maintained or improved. We have found however, that once a dispute arises, most clients and their legal advisors have taken discrete positions and are quite naturally intent on forcing their position onto the other side. They then seek, or threaten to seek, the assistance of the power of the State, namely, a Court or other tribunal, to make some decision supportive of their position. However, given the uncertainty and expense of litigation, often both parties are not satisfied with the results. Furthermore, an impending or threatened appeal further exacerbates the difficulties. Typically, lawyers have been trained to advise clients not to reveal any information to the other side unless they are specifically required to do so by specific Court rules or by Court order. Extensive rules and legal principles have been developed that just barely creak open the steel doors that each side has built to prevent the leaking of information to the other side. Parties tend to err by disclosing less information rather than more. This quite naturally has a “chilling effect” on open communications between the parties at any stage of a dispute. Of course, disclosure of many types of information must be resisted in any matter, whether a litigated dispute or a transactional negotiation. However, the propensity to minimize informational disclosure has resulted...
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