From the lowliest of assistants to the highest Court, they treat others with kindness and respect. If you mistreat others or act in a condescending way then it will revisit you. I once had an informal mediation scheduled and my flight was delayed. I called ahead to let the other attorney know I would be fifteen minutes late and found out she had already left in a huff because I wasn’t there yet and my law clerk was there with the first set of offers.
She was extremely rude to my staff before she decided to leave without even looking at the offer we had proposed. I was in the office later that morning speaking to her, and I was incredulous that she had refused to speak to an assistant or even just refused to wait for me to get there. By the way, she was already late for the mediation. She let her ego get in the way of what was best for her client.
Even if she didn’t want to speak to an assistant, her client, who had driven almost an hour to be there, deserved to have her needs put before this ego centric lawyer. Several months later, when we reconvened, the relationship of between the parties was even worse. I had sent a settlement proposal immediately after the mediation that was ignored. Eight months and thousands of dollars later, the parties were leagues apart, necessitating a trial.
The lawyer’s position remained so untenable the trial was a landslide. I won almost every issue before the Court. The Judge called us aside at one point to say my argument sounded pretty good to her. Yet the lawyer had dug her heels in and refused to be reasonable. When you are negotiating, remember to check your ego at the door.