Settling and Negotiation

501 - Settlement Agreement Drafting

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If you have followed my advice and have a decent case, 90% of the time, the landlord will fold and settle on the day of trial on terms that are acceptable to you. For all their threats and bluster up to that point, the confidence you show with your readiness scares them. You have already pulled so many tricks that their lawyer was not ready for, they wonder what you'll surprise them with at trial. The risk and expense of a jury trial put them over the top with worry, and just getting it over with seems like a great idea just then. If they have to pay their lawyer $10,000 to do a jury trial that they could lose, it is better spent paying you to go away; even if they win, they never expect to collect it back. What is "winning" to the landlord at that time?

Even by yourself, without a lawyer, you present a formidable threat. They may also be aware that if they lose, not only do they have to start all over again, but you can sue them for malicious prosecution, retaliation, breach of contract and other things. The landlord has lost all confidence in their lawyer, by then, being made a fool by an unrepresented tenant, costing far more in money, time and emotional drain than even expected. They want to settle.The judge encourages it, and sometimes even illegally suggests that you will lose if you don't settle, trying to help the landlord.

There are many tricks, and deception, that can make a settlement into a nightmare. They hope you are scared and nervous, unprepared, and timid, but you tell them that unless they are ready to propose an attractive deal, you really want to go and win the trial and then sue the landlord and their attorney for malicious prosecution, etc.

You need to have your own lawyer participate in the process to avoid those tricks and keep you from being abused and cheated. While you would probably use the Hotline for discussions about the negotiation, this item is for final drafting and review of the settlement agreement, even if it is not done on the day of trial. You need to be sure that you commit yourself to what is do-able, avoid the tricks, and have good enforcement of your rights.

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