Win-Win Lawyering


Many think of the best lawyers as the Johnny Cochrane-Alan Dershowitz types. These are the guys who gained their reputations for in-your-face, no-hold-barred advocacy on behalf of their clients. Having a lawyer like this is important when you’re facing a murder charge. But in most other circumstances, you may want to consider a different advocate.

Whether you’re negotiating a lease or a Series A financing, your relationship with the person on the other end of the negotiating table won’t end when you sign on the dotted line. In such circumstances, scorched earth probably isn’t the best way to go. If you insist on arguing over every line of every contract, you’re going to piss off the person on the other side. Even if your lawyer is reasonably priced and not racking up the big bills, their lawyer might not be so magnanimous.

Before you enter into any negotiation, write down the three or four most important elements of the negotiation for you. Figure out your dream scenario and the point at which you are better off walking away from the negotiation. Then, separate your emotions from the negotiation, and see if you can make a new partner for your business.

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