The Legal Calculus Blog by Tom Gelwicks

Empowering lawyers and clients - Techniques and strategies for winning results

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Evidence Presentation and Lawyer Credibility

A common failure of inexperienced Cincinnati car accident lawyers is exaggerating the evidence. It is generally true that “facts can’t speak for themselves.”  At the same time, they don’t stretch – facts lack elasticity. However, in the pressure of litigation combat, many lawyers oversell what the facts truly represent, irrespective of who is hearing the case in the Cincinnati courtroom. What feels right at the time, in an adrenalin rush, can inflict wholesale damage on the plaintiff’s otherwise solid car accident case. The trier of fact – arbitration, mediation, judge or jury – can be relied upon to receive the facts for what they are.

Once the exaggeration line has been crossed, credibility is gone. And if opposing counsel is sharp, they will use it against you as they would a stiletto blade. What is true for spouses is equally true with attorneys. Once credibility is impaired, regaining it is difficult if possible.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

De Novo Review on Appeal

A trial court’s decision as to granting or denying a stay of proceedings – pending arbitration – is a final appealable order. It is also subject to de novo review on appeal with respect to issues of law – which commonly will predominate.

This is because these matters generally turn on issues of contractual interpretation or statutory construction.

The Best Book on Mediation and Arbitration Practice

Over the past 20 years, alternative dispute resolution has grown into its own recognized area of law. The literature continues to proliferate. Trying to make sense of the competing strategies produces a drinking-from-the-fire-hose-effect. Now there is a remedy for the TMI produced by strategists from every school of thought.

The ABA offers the best publication, by far, on the subject. Buy today The Client’s Guide to Mediation and Arbitration-The Strategy for Winning. Looks can be deceiving, and so is this book. Although only 91 pages long, it packs more wisdom and insight into ADR than all the other volumes assembled together. ADR expert Peter Silverman, a highly-regarded-speaker and legal strategist, knows how to get to the point. Fast.

Chapter 5 alone is merits the nominal $30 charge. Silverman articulates, simply and convincingly, his ideas for beginning with your settlement goals. Until your ranges are clearly defined, a lucid and dynamic presentation will remain beyond reach.

The framework Silverman recommends will quickly provide you with your WATNA (worst alternative to a negotiated agreement), BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement). Then you can work on your ReTaZ (reasonable target zone for settlement) and LiStaR (likely statistical result).

Armed with Silverman’s insider tactics, your approach to hearings and settlements will be conducted on a considerably higher level.