Ethics in Negotiations

Wednesday May 24, 2017

Lawyers must be truthful. Yet they must be zealous in the representation of their clients. The tension between these two principles is perhaps never as great as when the lawyer is negotiating for a client. The negotiation may be a settlement of litigation or in connection with a transaction. The lawyer may make statements about the law or fact – or simply refrain from making statements because the lawyer knows certain facts or legal precedent are adverse to his or her client’s interest. Lawyers may also “puff” or boast, signaling that a negotiating stance is firmer than a client’s true positon or more substantively valid than the law can reasonably support. At some point, the gray ethical line is tripped and what the lawyer does becomes improper. This program will provide you with a real world guide to ethical issues in lawyer negotiations.
Handout Materials Will be Emailed to You Prior to the Seminar

Starts 12:00 p.m.
1.0, including 1 hour of ethics MCLE Credit Hours

• Ethics and ethical drawing lines – what’s an acceptable level of deception in negotiations?
• Affirmative statements of fact, value or intent in settlements
• Silence about adverse law in negotiations
• Silence about facts unknown to an opponent or counter-party
• Silence about errors in settlement agreements or transactional documents
• Non-litigation work in another state – “temporary” practice


Thomas E. Spahn, McGuireWoods, LLP – McLean, Virginia