As lawyer Phil Chanfrau observes:
Knowing how much to ask the Jury for is a delicate, tough and lonely decision for any plaintiff’s trial lawyer, no matter how skilled, and experienced he is. If he asks for too little, the jury award will not be adequate. Too much and the jury will be insulted. The venue should and must be considered too. In a place like Flagler county, jurors may feel a lawyer is asking for too much, whereas under the same facts in south Florida, another jury may easily feel at home with a large damage award.
Remembering that the advantage in negotiation is always to the party who makes the first reasonably aggressive first offer the decision about how much to ask the jury for should be similar to how large the initial demand in a mediation proceeding should be. Too much and the mediator not only spends the next hour or so defusing hot tempers on the other side, you lose most if not all of the advantage of anchoring. For a discussion of anchoring, click here, here and here.
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