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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
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Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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In NC Tenancy Law, regarding how offers and counter offer's

Customer Question

In NC Tenancy Law, regarding how offers and counter offer's work in a claim that is going to court, is it standard practice to counter an extremely low 1st offer?
I need to know how risky it is to counter a "nuisance offer" given that my lawyer is not handling the case well (made a few big mistakes) and that it sounds like he has not provided sufficient evidence to the opposing council. I have asked what evidence he could add to support the claim, but he seem to feel he has provided all that is needed. This may be the case, but I do not want to counter and end up having to go to court due to the weak case this lawyer presented and the unfavorable laws in place in my state. (Given this lawyers track record, I am certain he'd lose the case.)
Is it a standard practice that my lawyer counters the nuisance offer and then the opposing council makes an offer to our counter - or - is it possible that by countering the nuisance offer the opposing council will then just refuse to make any further offers and we have no choice but to go court?
IF the later happened, is it probable that a lawyer could negotiate back to the original nuisance offer?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 11 months ago.

Good day, my name is Brandon. I am a licensed attorney. There are several different negotiating styles, and there are certainly some attorneys who will make a low offer just to see if the other side will bite. The other side's low offer gives absolutely no insight whatsoever into their view of the strength of their case.

​Personally, when there is an unreasonably low offer from the other side, I won't make a counter-offer. I do this to send the signal that I'm not willing to settle unless there's a serious proposal on the table. Good attorneys can't disagree with that tactic.

​If you are intent on avoiding court, that will show through in your negotiation. Plenty of cases are settled on the morning of trial. It's entirely possible that the others side will reject your offer and take it to court, only to counter just before trial starts.

​It must be kept in mind that if it was possible to know what the other side will accept in a settlement negotiation, the negotiation wouldn't take place at all. Each side has to decide what they're willing to offer, what they're willing to accept, and then go to trial if those terms aren't met.

​Please let me know if further clarification is needed, and please leave a rating once you are finished (it is the only way I am credited). Thanks.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 11 months ago.

One final comment: whether to make a counter offer is ultimately the decision of the client. It is entirely appropriate for an attorney to make his/her recommendation with regard to settlement, but the attorney should be able to articulate the reasoning behind the recommendation. I hope that this helps.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Brandon, Thanks for your reply. Just to be clear are you a NC tenancy lawyer (or have experience dealing with our laws) and are you specifically talking about negotiating tenancy cases or just in general?My current lawyer has already given me the general info. I'm looking for something more specific so I know how to deal with this issue given that my lawyer can't seem to communicate well.Like I said, given this lawyer's errors, I don't trust him and do not wish to go to court. I would like to settle and cut my losses, but the original offer from the insurance's council is very low. I need to know, according to NC law, what is standard behavior for such a case. I don't want to take a very low offer nor do I want to ask for a higher offer and end up in court with this lawyer I have and I can't afford to start over with a new lawyer.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 11 months ago.

I am a tenancy lawyer, but I'm not in North Carolina. If it makes you feel any better, there's literally no variation across jurisdictional lines when it comes to negotiations.

The negotiation of settlements process isn't governed by state law or any law, so I'm not sure that I understand the question as it relates to the standard behavior for such a case?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
My state has some very extremely pro-landlord laws making it virtually 99% in favor of the landlord in all cases. That would certainly impact the negotiation process having that knowledge. I really need advice from a NC tenancy lawyer. Thank you for your time, but this was not the answer I needed.