Author Topic: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?  (Read 6897 times)

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kevinmanheim

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Re: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2015 01:57:24 AM »
I like my tactic better:

You: Where is that written? The Offer is $15, and in 2 minutes it will be $10
True.

outtadebt

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Re: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2015 01:29:27 PM »
Just my 2 cents because all of you have some great negotiating tactics.

Never negotiate with yourself.  If you  have a number in mind and can back it up, up it at least 20-30% if you are making the demand.  Never drop your demand more than a little bit in each round.  I would not go back and forth more than 3 times.  If you can not get close and they insist on low-balling since they know you are pro se at this point, that is what court is for.  If your case is good, that will change their tactics quickly.

I kind of think of this as a working with a car salesman.  I give you one chance to go see your "manager".  You may get a second if we are close.  If you try a third time, I am no longer sitting there when you return. 

Always put the other side in the position of modifying their offer to something you like.  The minute they see weakness on your side or you waiver, they will jump on you and all is lost.  No need to be a jerk when doing this, but remember it's just business not personal. Do not let emotion get in the way.

brutor0371

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Re: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2015 03:18:56 AM »
Yes.

If you have a $20,000 TCPA case against them, they may offer $500 to settle.

Your next move will be instrumental in settling the case. If you drop to $10,000, you just showed them that they can settle it for $5,000 or less.

If you ask for $20,000, and they offer $500, you counter with $19,500. Move in unison with them.

If they offer a "final offer", politely refuse unless you are happy with it. Final offers are never final.

Ignore their distractions, such as citing case law during settlement discussions. Focus on the dollars, and use your own distractions to confuse them.

Here's a twist to this scenario: say you are going back and forth with an attorney regarding settlement amount, then suddenly he throws out something like "XYZ Inc has authorized me to offer $XXXXX, but that is where my authority ends". Another variant is "Any further increase will require approval from higher-up in XYZ Inc".

In this scenario, are they typically telling the truth (i.e. their client really has made a "final" offer of $XXXXX)? Or is this just another attorney trick or deception in the negotiation game? I don't have much experience in this settlement arena, so perhaps some of you more experienced DB members could shed some light on this. Have any of you encountered this particular road-block during negotiations?

I had this very same scenario happen to me last year. I was still new at all this so I assumed he was telling the truth - but who knows, perhaps I could have gotten more if I had pushed it a little harder.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015 03:25:32 AM by brutor0371 »

cgoodwin

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Re: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?
« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2015 03:41:02 AM »
It is a negotiation technique.  Whether the attorney is limited or not does not matter, you are negotiating with their client.  If they are authorized to a certain amount, then there is still "money on the table" by not accepting.

The other way this is done is at car dealerships where the salesman can sell it for a certain amount, but if you want a better price, he has to "take it to the manager"
If you think this is legal advise.......
ask yourself why I wasn't smart enough to avoid this myself?!?

brutor0371

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Re: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?
« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2015 04:15:15 AM »
It is a negotiation technique.  Whether the attorney is limited or not does not matter, you are negotiating with their client.  If they are authorized to a certain amount, then there is still "money on the table" by not accepting.

The other way this is done is at car dealerships where the salesman can sell it for a certain amount, but if you want a better price, he has to "take it to the manager"

You're right, the parallels are uncanny! There are some striking similarities between the two scenarios....

cgoodwin

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Re: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2015 12:12:36 PM »
It's called "higher authority."  Sometimes it's combined with "good cop - bad cop." 

"I really want to help you out but they (my boss, my manager, my client) won't let me, maybe if you give me a little something, I can convince them to help you a little.  You know, show a little good faith."

The way you counter that is, don't talk to the lawyer on the phone.  They cannot give you what you want anyway.  Put your offer in writing, email or fax, and instruct the attorney to forward it to someone with the authority to make the decision.
If you think this is legal advise.......
ask yourself why I wasn't smart enough to avoid this myself?!?

Bruno the JDB Killer

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Re: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2015 05:56:11 PM »
It's a game, the lawyer and the client both know what the client's bottom number is.
I am not an attorney. Any information I post is strictly my opinion and should be treated as such.

hamsalad

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Re: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2015 06:41:20 PM »
I agree email is the preferred way to go in that you can craft and tailor your response, edit it as necessary, before sending it.  It enables you to research case law and levels the playing field somewhat.  Never forget an attorney has attended classes on negotiation tactics and will try and intimidate you over the phone; written negotiation takes that advantage away.

I also make it a rule to NEVER throw out the first offer.  I'll dance around this until the other side makes the first move and if they lowball, I respond with "I find the offer insufficient and respectfully decline".  I don't give them a number either.  If they are serious about settling, they'll come back with something more reasonable.  If not, we continue the litigation.       

Finally, I believe you have to be reasonable in order to settle, but never be a pushover. 
"One simply sues when federal laws are violated."

cgoodwin

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Re: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2015 08:17:46 PM »
A nice one sentence answer to a low ball is "You'll have to do better than that!"
If you think this is legal advise.......
ask yourself why I wasn't smart enough to avoid this myself?!?

Flyingifr

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Re: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2015 02:47:45 PM »
It's a game, the lawyer and the client both know what the client's bottom number is.

That may be true with buying a car, where they know if the don't sell it to you at a price they like they can sell it to someone else - but with debt it's not like they can collect more from someone else on YOUR debt.Yes, there is a "bottom line" even in debt negotiations, but in debt negotiations that "bottom line" is the higher of what they can force you to pay and $0. They know the $0, what they can force you to pay is a question mark.
BTW-the Flyingifr Method does work. (quoted from Hannah on Infinite Credit, September 19, 2006)

I think of a telephone as a Debt Collector's crowbar. With such a device it is possible to pry one's mouth open wide enough to allow the insertion of a foot or two.

Debtors Exams are the perfect place for us Senior Citizens to show off our recently acquired Alzheimers.

Founder of the Credit Terrorist Training Camp (Debtorboards)

pmanuel11

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Re: What are some tips for negotiating with an attorney over the phone?
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2015 05:01:48 AM »
It was a bad ideal to scheduled a telephone conference. I was conscious of the post on this board, and a friend questioning who tries to negotiate with an attorney on the phone.  Overall, I think a disaster was avoided. The attorney shredded my FDCPA claim. I was supposed to Identify myself in order to receive a dunning notice after 5 days. I told her that I would not argue the law since she is an attorney but stands behind my claim.

She struggled with brushing aside my TCPA violations. Questioning whether I really have a cell phone, and demanded to know which number the JDB was calling from. Yes, the jdb called a cell phone, and I do have phone records. I eluded to having additional evidenced. I told her that I am familiar with TCPA, and have other cases pending. She called me a pro at suing collection agencies while hinting that I am abusing the system.

The attorney stated that my settlement amount is too steep. Then, she ridiculed my request for a check cashing fee. I had to explained not everyone is fortunate enough to have a bank account. She plans to consult her client and will contact me by email. I doubt that she will without a summon.

I do have a law firm reviewing this case but they are taking a while to make a determination. I have been impatient. I don't know if I have strong case, and will prevail. One thing for sure, I no longer have a JDB calling me on my cell phone, and I consider that to be a victory for now.


I hope anyone reading this post in the future learn how to proceed if an attorney offer a phone conference. I wont dissuade you but do not expect them to be interested in writing you a check...

 

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