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The Psychology of Business Litigation

Scales of Justice

When it comes to business litigation, there are two sides, at least, involved in a dispute. The trial can be the deciding factor, but many cases are settled out of court. Anything that gives one litigation attorney an edge over another in order to get justice for their client will be an important tool in their negotiation strategies. The psychology of negotiation is an important facet for business attorneys to understand and apply during the litigation process.

Nonverbal Communication

A business attorney who is attentive and intuitive can discern micro-expressions that reveal underlying emotions. The face isn’t the only place to look for hints though. Nonverbal communication cues include their posture, muscle tension, hand motions, and breathing patterns. These signs add and give your business lawyer insight into the other side’s true intentions.

Information Control

In some cases, you need to control the amount of information that gets outside of the attorney’s office, while in other cases, you need to control only what the other side knows as long as possible. Either way, business owners need to maintain their reputation throughout the process. Working with a business attorney who has the psychological edge is beneficial because they will know the best time to reveal and to demand the right information. This allows you to control the pace of litigation and keeps the other side right where you want them.


Even the room in which the meeting is called can provide a psychological backdrop for a negotiation session. Your setup can be welcoming to your guests or harsh and intimidating. Of course, the approach must be customized to each case and there is usually a happy medium, but a practiced negotiator can really throw an opponent off or reel them in with the right furniture placement and seating arrangement.

Of course, most experienced litigation attorneys aren’t planning all of this out as they go through the process. Instead, they use their intuition. It picks up on those nonverbal cues on an almost subconscious level, so they can react accordingly. For anyone looking for a business attorney skilled in the psychology of business litigation, it’s important to demand a transparent process. That way, you will understand their recommendations and consequently feel better about your own psyche throughout the process. Understanding that process will also help you contribute along the way. To learn more about the stages of business litigation, read our next blog, Understanding the Business Litigation Process.

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