Words of Negotiation Wisdom, Part 2

Notes on Negotiations
By Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

Recently, I shared the most effective negotiation strategies ever used – “pearls of wisdom” – by three of the six panel members from the legal and business worlds in a seminar I recently led.

Here are the remaining three.

Danny Ortega, Board Chair, National Council of La Raza and Partner, Ortega & Associates Law Firm. There’s great value in passionately feeling and believing in your negotiating positions.

Don’t underestimate the impact of how you personally come across in a negotiation. Does your counterpart perceive you really believe what you’re saying – or that it’s just a made up position meant to obtain a strategic advantage?

Your passion and belief can make a huge difference.

Of course, it must be credible. Plus, it will be even more powerful when balanced with analysis and logic.

Two caveats here. One, this doesn’t mean you pound the table and use over-the-top rhetoric. Each person has their own style and method of communicating the strengths of their beliefs. Stay in your comfort zone.

But don’t be afraid to stretch a little, either.

And two, this may involve a bit of acting for those who negotiate on behalf of others in a representative capacity, like lawyers, investment bankers or consultants.

After all, we don’t always fully agree with every single one of our clients’ positions, although hopefully this is more the exception than the rule.

Nancy White, Partner, Steptoe and Johnson. There are many ways to obtain crucial information in negotiations – and master information-gatherers invariably achieve great success.

White shared a particularly compelling example of this from early in her legal career, which involves many international deals.

There, she recalled sitting at the table while her counterparts across the table conversed with each other in Spanish regarding some sensitive strategies and issues. They obviously felt Nancy – a white woman – did not understand Spanish.

She did. Unbeknownst to them, Nancy had lived in South America for a time and was completely fluent in Spanish.

You don’t have to wonder who got more information – and thus achieved success – in that situation.

White also noted how empathy can be powerfully used in many negotiations to both gather information and create rapport between parties.

Paul Eckstein, Partner, Perkins Coie. Keep your ego in your back pocket and focus on your real goal.

Eckstein prosecuted Gov. Evan Mecham in his impeachment trial in 1988 and recalled how Mecham refused to testify unless guaranteed that no lawyers, including Eckstein, could ask him any questions.

Eckstein said fine, knowing: 1) it would be hard to impeach Mecham without his testimony, 2) the questioners were less important than the actual questions asked, and 3) he (Eckstein) didn’t need the spotlight as a questioner.

The goal, of course, was conviction due to Mecham’s previous behavior.

Eckstein and his colleagues then drafted all the questions to be posed to Mecham and prepared the non-lawyer questioners to ask them.

Mecham then proceeded to do exactly what Eckstein anticipated – and his answers to the questions proved a big part of his conviction.


Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or Latz@ExpertNegotiator.com

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Negotiation/Mediation Blog0 Comments

Court of Appeals Rules Grandparents Yearly 79 Days of Visitation is Excessive

Case: In Re the Visitation of L-A.D.W; R.W. v. M.D. and W.D.
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: Trial court’s grandparent visitation order was affirmed where evidence was presented that Father intended to deny grandparent visitation absent a court order.

HELD: However, the grandparent visitation scheduled issued by the trial court, which would have allowed Grandparents 79 days of visitation per year, was excessive and too similar to the amount of time that would be allowed to a non-custodial parent, so the specific schedule was reversed and remanded to be scaled back.

It was uncontroverted that Mother’s parents (“Grandparents”) had been closely involved in Child’s life from birth, even providing many primary caretaking functions as Mother opened a new pediatric dentistry practice and Father completed a medical school residency.

In 2010, when Child was five years old, Mother was diagnosed with cancer, and she subsequently died. Shortly after Mother’s death, Grandparents filed a petition for Grandparent visitation.

After a hearing, the trial court issued an order that followed the four In re: K.I. requirements of a grandparent visitation order analysis. Following that analysis, the trial court issued a grandparent visitation order, based primarily upon evidence that Father would terminate the Grandparents’ opportunity to visit with Child. The trial court issued a specific order that provided Grandparents with 79 days of visitation per year. Father appealed.

The Court of Appeals reviewed each of the four In re: K.I. factors, as analyzed by the trial court, and determined that, as to each, Father was asking the Court of Appeals to reweigh the evidence and that the trial court had not abused its discretion. Thus, the conclusion that a grandparent visitation order was appropriate was affirmed.

However, the Court of Appeals found that the specific visitation schedule issued in this case was excessive. The Court held in previous cases that a schedule that approximates a visitation schedule for a non-custodial parent (the IPTG provides for 98 overnights of parenting time) is improper in the grandparent visitation context. Here, Grandparents were given a schedule with 79 days of visitation. The Court of Appeals remanded the schedule to be scaled back to “occasional, temporary visitation that does not substantially infringe on” Father’s rights.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: In Re the Visitation of L-A.D.W; R.W. v. M.D. and W.D.


James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Family Law Case Review0 Comments

I.P. Blog: NFL Negative Publicity Affects Value

By Jill StarbuckPellegrino & Associates

Football is inarguably the most anticipated sport in the United States. Boasting more revenue than any other national league in the United States, the NFL generates approximately $9.5 billion annually.[1] However, this year, the league faces considerable negative publicity. Headlines announce lawsuits from cheerleaders suing for low wages, double standard punishment for NFL personnel, an immense increase in concussions, and the Redskins name debate. Also, headlines shout greed over the NFL’s proposal to charge Super Bowl halftime entertainers to perform. Add to the mix lackluster game attendance and a continuous rise in ticket prices, the NFL seems to be struggling. Or is it?

The NFL dodges issues every year. While this year seems to be abundant with various negative issues, the league masters its ability to rectify issues—quickly and smartly. For instance, the league announced new penalties regarding sex violations and domestic abuse in response to public outcry regarding Ray Rice’s initial light punishment. In addressing the concussion issue, the league funded a think-tank for handling concussions in sports around the world. These are just a few examples of how the NFL responds to negative publicity.

The NFL also faced public backlash over its suggestion to charge halftime entertainers at the Super Bowl. Typically, the NFL does not charge Super Bowl halftime entertainers. Nor does it pay them. However, despite the public backlash, the NFL may have a good business point. If advertisers are willing to pay millions for mere seconds on a commercial, why wouldn’t entertainers pay for exposure for a much longer period? On the other hand, approached entertainers such as Katy Perry, Coldplay, and Rihanna do not necessarily need the exposure. They are worth more than $100 million each and their concerts typically sell out. However, other singers/bands who seek more exposure may find it worth the cost, as the halftime show draws tens of millions of viewers.

Another area of so-called greed comes with the live game experience. Fans who want the live experience pay a hefty price, with the average cost of attending a game at nearly $460.00.[2] While the NFL could stand a boost in attendance, attendance remains steady over the last few years. Therefore, although prices have increased, the effect on attendance has been minimal. In the hopes of spiking attendance, the NFL is making efforts to enhance fans’ stadium experience by offering Wi-Fi and cellular standards, fantasy-friendly amenities, gourmet food, more space, and other perks. However, realizing that the cost factor, advanced technology, and comfort keep many fans at home, the league continues to find ways to capitalize on its at-home viewers. Currently, the NFL has network contracts totaling $5 billion annually through 2022.[3]

Negative publicity is never a good thing. However, with a large number of personnel in the public view, negative hype is bound to happen. Yet, the fact remains that the NFL continues to dominate the U.S. sports industry. The league’s ability to tackle negative publicity with solutions helps keep its value stable.

[1] http://www.slideshare.net/q1productions/why-arent-nfl-fans-attending-games

[2] https://www.teammarketing.com/public/uploadedPDFs/nfl%20fci%2014.pdf

[3] http://www.scribd.com/doc/226843916/Why-Aren-t-NFL-Fans-Attending-Games

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Intellectual Property Blog, News0 Comments

Estate Planning for Gray Divorces – Jan. 30

Americans over the age of 50 are getting divorced at a record rate – doubling since 1990. Sociologists have coined the term “gray divorces” to describe this phenomenon. In a gray divorce, each spouse often leaves the marriage with a grouping of assets unlike members of any other age group getting divorced. Jim Reed & Lisa Goddy (Bingham Greenebaum Doll) walk you through several key planning steps when faced with this difficult situation, including:

• Involving a financial advisor – identifying assets for settlement, developing a realistic living budget, continued employment
• Life planning and transition – what values does the client most cherish?Part of the planning experience
• Interim Estate Planning before the divorce is final
• What roles should certain family members, such as the children, play in decision making processes?
• Managing care after the divorce
• The role of life insurance
• Pre-marital agreements for subsequent relationships

1 CLE – Friday, January 30, 2015    12:15 P.M. – 1:15 P.M.

Live In-Person Seminar
- ICLEF Conference Facility, Indianapolis

Live Individual Webcast
- From your home or office computer

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