Tag Archives: settlement

Why Settling isn’t Settling for less…

Most cases settle. Most cases should settle and “settlement” is not a dirty word.

Court, despite preparations, always has a level of unpredictability. Witnesses who you thought would be great, are nervous and are not great. Evidence that you knew was significant was prevented from being used due to an objection. What you believed to be the facts morphed into something else because of other testimony.

The judge was cranky. The air conditioner broke. Your lawyer forgot to ask you a question.

Settlement eliminates the risk and unpredictability of Court. Also, you just may get the outcome you would have gotten without the stress, anxiety and burning bridges that sometimes comes with contested litigation.

Sometimes settling your case is the way to go.

Matthew Thompson is a litigation attorney in Mississippi and still advises that sometimes settlement is best.

Don’t Overplay Your Hand.

It’s an expression from the gambling world, but holds true in family law too.

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Overplaying your hand is when you think you have the advantage, but do to whatever reason you don’t. Sometimes it’s because an important piece of information was not disclosed, or perhaps overlooked, or because the opponent has the ability to make a situation appear to be something that it is not.

For instance, it’s common in custody disputes for one side to want full custody and the other to want joint. The side that wants joint describes each side’s parenting as basically 50/50 and, of course, there is no need for child support. The side that wants full custody describes the parenting as more 80/20 and seeks support. The full custody parent can also back up their claims. They know the teachers, doctors, children’s schedules, and have done the primary care-giving. The side that wanted joint, well their job did not allow them to really do joint, but the 20% of the time they were around, they did 50% of the parenting. That would have been nice to know on the front end.

The bottom line is to be sure to tell your lawyer everything.  If you do, you can be protected as much as possible. If you don’t, they may call your bluff and you could be up the river.

Matthew Thompson is a Divorce attorney in Mississippi and warns you that  sometimes calling the person who is overplaying their hand can backfire on you. So be careful either way.

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Mediation Explanation

Mediation is a process to help bring your pending litigation (or potential litigation) to a conclusion short of Court.

Mediation is a collaborative effort involving the parties, their attorneys and a hired, third-party neutral, the mediator. In family law cases, it is usually a retired chancellor or a private attorney, who has spent some significant portion of their career handling family law cases.

Mediation is an opportunity for you to have your say, be advised as to the strengths and/or weaknesses of your case, and find the common ground so that you may settle your case.

Mediation is really a guided settlement. If done right (and successfully), at the conclusion of the mediation you leave with a signed settlement and all of the needed documents that can be presented to the Judge to make it final.

Mediation is not an Arbitration. Arbitration has a person(s) that is making the final decision, not the parties. Arbitration is quasi-court.

Mediation is non-binding. Either you reach a deal or you do not. At the end of the day you must agree to get a result.

Mediation is not admissible in Court, if not settled.  Settlement positions cannot be discussed with the Court to show what someone would have done for settlement purposes.

Mediation may be right for you. It is quicker than trial, cheaper than trial, you have say in the outcome and is effective 9 out of 10 times.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney that mediates a significant number of cases and advises his clients as to the pros and cons of a mediation.

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