Keith Allen: Litigation as a Chessboard - Giving up the Pawn to Achieve Checkmate
Play • 48 min

Keith Allen is a partner at Mandell Menkes LLC. Keith and Marc met at a marketing group whereby each lawyer represents a particular practice. Keith has specialist knowledge of first amendment law and has handled many areas of complex commercial matters, including contract disputes, defamation claims, common law fraud, consumer fraud, deceptive practices, publicity and privacy rights, insurance coverage disagreements, and enforcing creditor rights in bankruptcy court. Keith is well-known for being practical and aggressive when protecting his client's interests.

Keith also works in the community to mentor young attorneys in their personal and professional lives. He works will many non-profit organizations and is a group leader at his church. He focuses on uniting community members and teaching them the heights they can achieve regardless of their racial and/or socioeconomic status.

 

Contact info can be found at: www.mandellmenkes.com

 

Some of the main takeaways from this episode are:

  • Keith learned to negotiate by playing chess: concepts such as ‘giving up a pawn to get something in return’ are key to his negotiation style.
  • Facts never matter: facts are just our own personal view of a case.
  • Understanding what each party really wants and understanding what is fair for both sides is key to negotiation.
  • Figuring out what makes a person tick is the best way to win a trial.
  • A good negotiator must let the client know when a result is the best that they can reasonably expect.
  • How to respond to an insulting offer… watch the Godfather!

 

Episode highlights include:

3:00: How did you hone your negotiation skills?

5:40: How to get past opposition who are at boiling point?

8:50: How do you expand the ‘pie’ in negotiations when money seems like the zero-sum proposition?

11:30: Does Keith have a unique way to negotiate?

Keith undertook personal development classes to develop his negotiation craft.

15:00: Difficult cases to negotiate?

When personal insult comes into it.

19:00: What does a 7-figure case look like?

How can defamation be judged in terms of money? Keith takes us through an example case – if you can trace losses of that amount, you can start to build a case.

23:40: A formula for making a first offer or counteroffer – where to start negotiations?

26:10: How to respond to an insulting offer?

Know the high and low range of a realistic offer and move between these posts.

28:20: How to get past impasse? Get ‘little wins’.

29:45: How to deal with ‘take it or leave it’?

It’s very rare this someone’s position is unmoveable in practice.

32:10: What are some non-economic terms you see in your field?

Non disparagement clause… Confidentiality…

33:45: Typical mistakes lawyers mistake?

Don’t lose your cool

39:00: Difference between business people and lawyers:

Lawyers negotiate more out of pride/reputation. Businesspeople priorities the bottom line.

41:00: Mentoring young people about negotiating.

Know your case – know what your weakness and strengths are, and admit to yourself and your client where you are weak and will lose. Knowing your weaknesses gives you options.

45:45: Marc’s final thoughts.

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