Getting to Yes Sooner, Cheaper, and Better
is the title of an article by Missouri Law Professor John Lande, who interviewed well respected litigators about how they prepare for trial and for negotiation.
"They recommend taking charge of their cases from the outset, which includes getting a clear understanding of clients and their interests, developing good relationships with counterpart lawyers, carefully investigating the cases, making strategic decisions about timing, and enlisting mediators and courts when needed. The lawyers overwhelmingly suggested starting negotiation at the earliest appropriate time. Reaching agreement sooner generally produces the benefit of reduced litigation costs as well as reduced time that parties invest in litigation. Lawyers produce better agreements when they focus on both sides’ interests because this enables them to create value, even in supposedly zero-sum negotiations."
I like the vocabulary Professor John Lande uses: focus on both sides' interests, create value, zero-sum. It really captures well what matters in negotiation.