Improving Lawyer Judgment - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 67, No. 1
The author, an arbitrator and mediator in Princeton, N.J., works in the greater New York metropolitan area, chairs the New Jersey State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, and is coeditor in chief of the NYSBA’s Dispute Resolution Lawyer. She is a member of the executive committee of the Marie Garibaldi Inn of Court and teaches dispute resolution processes at Seton Hall Law School. Before establishing her practice as a neutral, she was chief litigation counsel for AT&T and prior to that a partner at Jenner & Block. For more information, see her Web site at www.AppropriateDisputeSolutions.com.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
The very nature of the lawyer-client relationship serves to increase the unconscious biases that impede the client/lawyer team's ability to see all the information before them and to evaluate its impact. “Client-think“ is a real phenomenon and is reflected in the statistics that establish a very high rate of lawyer error in valuing cases for mediation and settlement. But the means to improve judgment is available; but first lawyers and clients have to accept the need to do so and establish methods and habits that reduce the impact of client-think.
LAWYERING requires making judgments about the possible choices clients face. Indeed, Rule 2.1 of the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct (which have been adopted in 51 jurisdictions) mandates the exercise of judgment:
In representing a client, a lawyer shall exercise independent professional judgment and render candid advice. In rendering advice, a lawyer may refer not only to law but also to other considerations such as moral, economic, social and political factors that may be relevant to the client’s situation.