Note: This article was excerpted from How to Play the Game: What Every Sports Attorney Needs to Know, by Darren A. Heitner, available from the American Bar
Any good, experienced negotiator will agree that negotiation is an art. It is a craft developed over time and always modified, depending on the characters and circumstance of the occasion. No one method of negotiating is proper for all occasions; the best negotiators are those who put in the time and effort to conduct ample research on the underlying issues surrounding the negotiation and the positions of those at the bargaining table. Transactional attorneys base their practices on negotiations. Sports agents dedicate a large amount of time to negotiating their clients’ team and endorsement contracts. Even litigators must learn to be good negotiators; almost all cases settle prior to trial, and a good negotiator knows his or her clients’ priorities and will do what is necessary to arrange a prejudgment deal to satisfy those clients’ interests.