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Hiring settlement counsel to complement litigation counsel

People have sung the praises of this idea for a while, but it deserves an encore. Law firms that pride themselves on swinging the wrecking ball of litigation find it difficult to tickle the fancy of the opponent with the sweet talk of settlement.

A stance that privileges prompt and businesslike resolution of matters – the stuff of settlement – depends not only on a different lawyer personality, but also a complementary inside lawyer view and client involvement. For example, senior business executives need to take an active role, sometimes, in talking to their adversarial counterpart about settlement.

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One response to “Hiring settlement counsel to complement litigation counsel”

  1. Patrick Lamb says:

    While I almost always find myself in agreement with you, this is one time I see things differently. If in-house counsel needs to hire a settlement lawyer for a lawsuit, I believe that they erred egregiously when the hired the lawyer to litigate the case. You don’t look to hire a lawyer who is great at taking depositions, but lousy at brief writing. Likewise, hiring a lawyer who doesn’t see settlement as part of the skill set needed to be a good litigator (and I include trial skills in that as well) is too one dimensional. I agree that teaming up with a business person often is helpful, but the business person’s teammate should be the main litigator, not someone who is new to the case.