Client Science: Advice for Lawyers on Counseling Clients through Bad News and Other Legal Realities

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Oxford University Press, USA, Apr 6, 2012 - Law - 288 pages
Lawyers know that client counseling can be the most challenging part of legal practice. Clients question and often resist the complexities and uncertainties inherent in law and legal process. Honest advice from the lawyer can make a client doubt his or her allegiance and zeal. Client backlash may be directed at the lawyer who communicates bad news. Thus, the lawyer may feel torn between the obligation to clearly inform a client about weaknesses in legal positions and fear of damaging the client relationship. Too often, the lawyer struggles to counsel a particularly difficult client, but to no avail. Client Science is written to provide insight and advice to lawyers on how to more effectively communicate with their clients with regard to legal realities and difficult decisions. It will help lawyers with the always-difficult task of delivering "bad news," which will result in better-informed and thus more satisfied clients. The book explains applicable social science research and insights and translates them into plain language relevant to legal practice and client counseling. Marjorie Corman Aaron offers specific suggestions related to a lawyer's ordering, timing, phrasing, and type of explanation, as well as style adjustments for the lawyer's voice, gesture, and body position, all to impact client counseling and to improve the lawyer-client relationship.

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About the author (2012)

Marjorie Corman Aaron is Professor of Practice and Director, Center for Practice at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where she teaches courses in negotiations, client counseling, mediation, and decision analysis. She is also an active mediator, arbitrator, and trainer in negotiation and dispute resolution in Cincinnati, Ohio, and previously served on the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, the Ethics Commission of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, and the Publications Committee of the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution. Until July, 1998, Marjorie Aaron was the Executive Director of the Program on Negotiation ("PON") at Harvard Law School, where she was also a lecturer teaching negotiation. Prior to joining PON, Ms. Aaron was a Vice President at Endispute (now known as JAMS-ADR), and a panel mediator for the Middlesex Multi-Door Courthouse. She has designed and taught numerous workshops on mediation, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, and litigation decision analysis for law firms, corporations and universities. She is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, cases, and guides in the field of negotiation, mediation and other forms of dispute resolution.

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