Overcoming Psychological Barriers to Settlement: Challenges for the TJ Lawyer
THE AFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL: PRACTICING LAW AS A HEALING PROFESSION, Marjorie A. Silver, ed., pp. 341-63, 2007
Posted: 18 Apr 2007
Therapeutic jurisprudence has spawned a reconceptualization of the role of the lawyer. It envisions lawyers who practice their profession with an ethic of care, enhanced interpersonal skills, a sensitivity to their clients' emotional wellbeing as well as their legal rights and interests, and a preventive law orientation that seeks to avoid legal problems. This chapter explores the role of the lawyer representing a client in a potential or actual civil dispute.
If litigation can be avoided, the client most often will be much better off. Yet, the client will often bring to the law office a variety of emotional responses to the controversy that can make settlement quite difficult.These include anger at the adversary and denial about what has happened or the extent to which the client is at fault. How can the lawyer reduce the client's emotional stress and facilitate her ability to resolve the conflict and experience psychological healing? How can the lawyer deal with the client's anger and denial so as to make settlement possible? This chapter discusses how the lawyer can deal with these psychological barriers to settlement.
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