When we hear about divorce cases involving high-profile couples in the entertainment, political or business world, odds are high that Raoul Felder, arguably America's best-known matrimonial lawyer, has been retained by one of the parties. He has represented the spouses of Rudy Giuliani, Johnny Carson, Martin Scorsese and Liza Minelli, as well as countless rich and famous individuals from all over the world. Felder has probably seen just about everything during his professional career, and Bare-Knuckle Negotiation offers an unbeatable combination of ready-to-use advice and revealing anecdotes about those high-profile clients.
The lessons that can be learned from the "master of give-and take" are applicable to many situations beyond the courtroom. Most of us have come to the realization that it's impossible to get everything we want, but it is possible to get quite a bit of it by incorporating some of Mr. Felder's strategies into your game plan. There is an art to keeping discussions moving along in the right direction; however, it's often effective to use a well-timed distraction to interrupt your opponent's train of thought. You'll find out how information about your opponent's personal interests, idiosyncrasies, and health can be used to your advantage – although you might not want to go as far as Felder did when he kept food from a recalcitrant and diabetic opponent until he caved in.
You'll see how allowing opponents to keep talking, rambling, or fuming without interruption can reveal key points – and when they are done, he says, "move in for the kill." You'll also learn when it's time to walk out of a negotiating session that has come to an impasse - and be sure to take your papers off the table as you leave! Acting crazy can be "both an effective strategy and a useful fallback plan when the normal path to negotiations becomes stalled or blocked."
If you take away just one idea from this book, it's this: wrap it all up the first time around. Often, once agreement is reached on the major points, both parties then promise to work out the remaining minor points at a later date. As tempting as this may be, the proverbial devil in the details can quickly unravel a done deal, causing endless aggravation in the future. So don't leave the bargaining session until all points have been resolved - and put in writing!
Those who seek Felder's counsel are well aware that his fees are among the highest in the country. They are also aware of his reputation for winning generous settlements by resolving differences quickly, fairly and equitably. Read this book for both minor and major negotiating tactics, for insights into high-stakes divorce proceedings, or for just juicy gossip. You can find out more about this vibrant character and his most recent cases in the fascinating profile, "The Misery Broker: How Raoul Felder Redefined the High- Stakes Divorce" that appeared in the May 3, 2004 issue of The New Yorker.
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