Thursday, November 10, 2011
Washington State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education
On Oct 24, I presented on “Understanding and Managing High Conflict Personalities in Legal Disputes” in Seattle, for Washington State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education (WSBA-CLE). There were about 60 attorneys in the seminar room and over 90 online! They were set up in the most technologically sophisticated manner I have ever had, with hand-raising and questions from the online folks as well as in the room. This made for a very interactive seminar for all.
Questions focused a lot on managing high-conflict clients, but also managing high-conflict opposing parties, opposing lawyers and even law firm managers. The issue of high-conflict people continues to grow, especially for lawyers as we deal with conflicts often involving one or more high-conflict personalities. I asked for a show of hands about the people in their high-conflict cases. About two-thirds said that there is one high-conflict person (an HCP) driving most of their high-conflict cases, and about one-third said the majority of their high-conflict cases have two or more HCPs.
As with other seminars, they particularly liked the “BIFF Response” method and the “E.A.R. Statement” for calming upset HCPs or anyone. I made it clear that you don’t need to diagnose someone to help them in a legal case. If the lawyer simply suspects that someone is an HCP, then he or she should use these types of techniques in managing the case for everyone’s benefit.
What’s amazing to me is how few people know that there are methods available that can help significantly in dealing with high-conflict people. Fortunately, there are now another 150 or so professionals in the Seattle area who have several ideas to help them in the future in their cases. This is a seminar that all attorneys and law students could use. After writing about this subject for over 8 years, it’s encouraging to see the interest grow; and seeing so many professionals who really want to help their clients – even their high-conflict ones.
High Conflict Institute provides training and consultations, as well and books, DVDs and CDs regarding dealing with High Conflict People (HCPs) in legal, workplace, educational, and healthcare disputes. Bill Eddy is the President of the High Conflict Institute and the author of "It's All Your Fault!", "Splitting", "BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Hostile Emails, Personal Attacks and Social Media Meltdowns" and "Don't Alienate the Kids!". He is an author, attorney, mediator, and therapist. Bill has presented seminars to attorneys, judges, mediators, ombudspersons, human resource professionals, employee assistance professionals, managers, and administrators in 25 states, several provinces in Canada, France, and Australia. For more information about High Conflict Institute, our seminars and consultations, Bill Eddy or to purchase a book, CD or DVD, visit: http://www.HighConflictInstitute.com