Are You Overconfident in Evaluating a Case for Negotiation or Mediation?

February 4, 2020Articles
CBA Report

Dinsmore partner Michael Hawkins, who is also an arbitrator and mediator with the firm's ADR Center, was published in the January/February edition of the Cincinnati Bar Association's CBA Report:

"In the past, I have stressed the importance of using objective and legitimate criteria in presenting a client's case. This can apply to the facts, the law and the monetary value of a claim. When either party fails to be objective, it makes it much more difficult to create an environment and dialogue that's conducive to an early resolution or solution for the parties.

"One reason for a party's inability to present an objective and legitimate basis for their claim occurs when the lawyer is overconfident about predicting the value or likely outcome of the case. In a study by UC Irvine psychologist and law professor Elizabeth Loftus, she found that lawyers often overestimate their chances of success when they predict the outcome of a case. This is consistent with other findings that overconfidence is common in human decision-making.

"If the lawyer is creating unrealistic expectations for their client, it can make negotiations difficult."

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