Does Every Offer Need to Be Relayed?
Most lawsuits are settled out of court, so negotiation of the terms of a settlement is an essential part of litigation. Any experienced Long Island estate attorney will tell you that negotiation skills are essential when dealing with estate litigation, such as contesting a will. As a client, you need to understand what your rights are when it comes to negotiating a case before the Surrogate’s Court and understand what duty your lawyer owes you to keep you in the loop.
It is well established that your attorney must relay offers from other parties to you, even if your attorney believes that the settlement is a poor one or if they believe that it would not be in your best interest to take it. While your attorney has a lot of leeway to make strategic decisions on your behalf for helping with your case, they cannot ultimately settle or fail to settle a case for you – that decision is yours and yours alone.
This does not mean that your attorney just has to give you a settlement offer and not give you advice on how to proceed. In fact, a large part of the attorney’s job is to make sure you understand the offer that was given to you by an opposing party and what the legal ramifications of that is.
You should be aware, however, that negotiating an offer is something that takes time and can involve dozens of offers and counteroffers. Not every offer has much action that you can take besides to reject them, especially those that are not being given in good faith or are being given just to test the waters on whether you may actually be willing to take a settlement that is far below what you are suing for. But then again, it depends on your situation and the amount of the offer – some cases have great initial offers considering the facts.
Having a Long Island estate attorney on your side through the settlement process is necessary since they will be in the best position to tell you if an offer that is coming in is a fair one or not. Your attorney may also have a better idea about how to gauge the opposing party and their lawyer and the likelihood of them coming to a reasonable settlement. Finally, your attorney will have a much better understanding of what the judge in your estate matter is looking for, something that is especially important since judges prefer cases to be settled over those cases having to go to trial.
Some of the things that your Long Island estate attorney may look at when helping you decide on an offer would be the costs in things such as legal fees to keep the litigation going, the strength of witnesses, the strength of your own testimony and the strength of your case, for example. All of these things make a huge difference when it comes to whether or not an offer is a reasonable one.
If you are looking for an estate attorney on Long Island, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (516) 777-0647.