Friday, December 16, 2005

"A bad compromise is better than a good lawsuit."

-Elbert Hubbard

Not being a litigious sort, I'd have to agree.


Meade said...

Wouldn't it depend on which side of the lawsuit you sit? Have you read "Getting to Yes"? Highly recommended esp. if one is the sort of person who tends to compromise too easily out of just wanting to end the stress and make the deal, any deal, just to get it over with.

Be said...

Actually, I don't believe it does. Spent a couple of years dealing with workers comp claims for my org - trying my damndest to convince employees that having my org pay their salary, insurance, medical costs during recovery was actually a better deal than the lump sum payment dangled in front of them by some ambulance-chaser who advertised on TV. Often, though, people are too dazzled by the thoughts of big money to realize that after the lawyers are paid, they don't often have much left. Plus bad blood with the often former employer.

Funny you mentioned "Getting to Yes:" I call my day-to-day work life "Adventures in Getting to Yes," as I often have to spend more time negotiating with different departments (data formats, workflow changes) than doing my job. It doesn't help much that my supervisor and her boss often will just compromise or capitulate so as not to not have to deal with more assertive types around here.

Meade said...

I see what you mean, especially about lawyers' tendency to take big slices of the pie.

But bad compromises have a way of leading to further bad compromises or worse - conflicts that are never really settled. Granted it doesn't make for a very memorable aphorism, but I say, try principled negotiation first but just in case the other side has no principles, always carry with you the cell phone number of the best kick ass lawyer in town.

Be said...

I believe that Hubbard was using a bit of poetic license in his motto - there are places where litigation is necessary (oh the stories I could tell in my time working for a certain legal aid society here), but much could very well be resolved if people would just communicate, damnit.

In case resolution doesn't work, I'm related to a couple kick ass lawyers. I'd rather knit them stuff and babysit thier kids, though, than have to have them advocate for me.

Nick said...

My favorite along those lines is "It's easier to ask forgiveness, than to ask permission". No idea who said it.