Dream of:05 February 1988 "Negotiations"
I was in a large room of what appeared to be a fairly new house in which I was living. I had messed up the room by strewing about papers on which I had written things. A man who looked like Earl (a bankruptcy client) came to the door and then walked on into the room. He was a lawyer representing some insurance companies which I had sued because they had failed to pay a client of mine for his stolen car, which the insurance companies had insured. The lawyer and I had previously been negotiating on the case.
Still standing, we began talking about the case. I wanted to negotiate a settlement agreement, but he acted as if he were unwilling to negotiate. Finally I approached him and forcefully told him that if we didn't settle the case, I was going to sue under the deceptive trade practices act. He then said that it looked as if my client might have stolen his own car. I said there was absolutely no evidence of that. I said, "Give me the evidence and I'll get off this case."
He then said some things had been erased on a couple documents. I was already aware of that fact, but that still didn't show my client had stolen his own car. I forcefully defended my client. The lawyer realized he actually didn't have any evidence to support his accusations and his trying to avoid responsibility upset me.
The phone rang and I answered it. I needed a minute to realize the man on the other end was Jon. But for some reason I called him Pat. I told him I was busy with someone at the moment and we hung up.
I walked back over to the lawyer and spoke again with him. I was still serious about suing him. Three insurance policies were involved and we talked about them. I was thinking of asking for $40,000 from the insurance policy which covered the personal property and $60,000 for the policy which covered the stolen car, but I didn't tell him that. Finally I decided to myself that if I could settle the whole matter for $60,000, I would do it. I approached him again about the possibility of a settlement and was surprised to hear him say, "Yea, OK, I'll bargain with you."
Now he wanted to talk business and said he would give $25,000 for the personal property and $35,000 for the car. I was surprised to hear him making this offer. Obviously he must have intended to make it all along, even though he had earlier been acting as if he wouldn't be making a settlement offer. I figured in my head that his figures totaled $55,000 and I realized the figure was very close to what I wanted. I felt good about the offer, but I didn't show any emotion or tell him his offer was close to the amount I wanted. I stood up and told him I would call my client to see if he was interested in settling for that amount.
I looked around the room trying to find my client's number. Papers with writing were strewn all about and I couldn't seem to find the one for which I was looking. The other lawyer looked around the room and finally realized this was my office. I said something about his office probably being very neat. He looked amused to see that I was working in such a chaotic situation. He smiled but didn't say anything. I felt like saying something like, "Well, we just made $55,000 off from you, even though I do live in this chaos."
Up to now, I had felt as if I had been doing a good job in the negotiations, but now I felt somewhat slovenly. But I didn't say anything and instead just kept trying to find the number. I was very anxious to call my client and settle the deal.
I began to feel much friendlier toward the other lawyer. I now felt comfortable around him and felt as if we were getting along just fine together.
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