A Strategic Partner




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Negotiating With Your Opponent’s Lawyer 


Keep in mind that if your opponent has a lawyer you will likely face additional pressures to resolve the case before trial. If your opponent’s case is weak, his lawyer will probably try to negotiate an agreement directly with you in the belief that he can “take you” in negotiations and win a better resolution for his client than they would’ve earned in court or in arbitration. 


If he has a strong case, he might well try to exaggerate it still further in an effort to push what he considers his inferior opponent (you!) toward an agreement that is way over the top of what the courts would likely render. 


The point is your opponent’s lawyer will try to take advantage of the fact that you are a pro se litigant whether his case is strong or weak. Don’t let him. Prepare yourself and refuse to be pushed around by your opponent’s lawyer. So what if he underestimates your abilities. Let him, then use his misperceptions against him. Have confidence and show no weakness.  


Finding An Arbitrator Or Mediator To Resolve Your Dispute 


The first step is determining whether alternative dispute resolution applies to your dispute or not. Some contract disputes require parties to attempt mediation or arbitration before any litigation can proceed so you should arm yourself in advance with the tools and information you need to succeed in this arena as thoroughly as you have prepared for trial in court.  


For a Web-based venue for resolving individual and corporate disputes, visit VirtualCourthouse™ In addition to conflict mediation and arbitration services, VirtualCourthouse™ offers a range of additional consulting services including Neutral Case Evaluation which can help you assess the merits and shortcomings of your particular case. Our expert neutrals will offer an opinion as to the likely outcome of the dispute or issues of the dispute if the case were tried before a jury. 


The American Arbitration Association can help answer questions and point you in the right direction to resolve your dispute through arbitration or mediation. They can be reached at 335 Madison Avenue, Floor 10, New York, New York 10017-4605. Phone: 212-716-5800, Fax: 212-716-5905, 800-778-7879 Customer Service.  


The Association for Conflict Resolution is an amalgam of three formerly separate entities; the Academy of Family Mediators, the Conflict Resolution Education Network and the Society of Professionals In Dispute Resolution. The association can be reached at 1015 18th Street, NW, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20036. Phone: 202-464-9700, Fax: 202-464-9720, Web site at bills itself as the “most visited conflict resolution site in the world.” Many available articles and research papers freely available make this an informative site. They can be reached at PO Box 51090, Eugene, Oregon, 97405. Phone: 541-345-1629. 


The American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution can be reached at 740 15th St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20005-1009. Phone: 202-662-1680, Fax: 202-662-1683, Web site at:  


The Northern Virginia Mediation Service is a non-profit affiliate of George Mason University and has an informative brochure available outlining conflict resolution through mediation and their services available. The brochure is called: In A Conflict? Try Mediation and is available from the NVMS at their Web site or by writing to: 4260 Chain Bridge Rd., Ste. A-2, Fairfax, VA. 22030-4297. Phone: 703-993-3656, Web site at:  





[1] “Represent Yourself In Court: How to Prepare and Try A Winning Case, Paul Bergman, Sarah Berman-Barrett,” Nolo Press, 1998. 

[2] American Arbitration Association,  Mediation, Questions & Answers FAQ. 

[3] The Battle Is Joined: Cram-Down Arbitration Under Attack, Steven K. Ludwig, Fox, Rothschild, O’Brien & Frankel, LLP. 

[4] The Art Of Advocacy: Settlement, Henry G. Miller, 1983, Bender, 

[5] Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, Bruce Patton, William Ury, Houghton Mifflin 

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