Lawyers often assume that they know what their clients want-to get as much money or pay as little money as possible. While clients usually are very concerned about their bottom line, they often have additional interests. In virtually any kind of case, parties may have an interest in being treated respectfully and fairly, minimizing the cost and length of the process, freeing time to focus on matters other than the dispute, reducing the emotional wear and tear caused by continued disputing, and protecting privacy and reputations. Plaintiffs may have interests such as obtaining favorable tax consequences, getting nonmonetary opportunities, and receiving explanations or apologies. Defendants may have interests such as receiving acknowledgments about the lack of merit of the charges, making payments in kind, stretching payments over time, sharing liability with other defendants, preventing ancillary harm (such as loss of credit rating or business opportunities), receiving favorable tax consequences, obtaining nondisclosure agreements, and avoiding future lawsuits. If you satisfy your clients' interests, they are more likely to pay your bills, hire you again, and refer other clients to you.
John M. Lande,
Last Lecture: Tips for Lawyers Who Want to Get Good Results for Clients and Make Money, 21 North Carolina State Bar Journal 20
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/facpubs/941