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Lawsuit Analysis / Help / How to Convert your Dispute to a Settlement Agreement

Convert your Dispute to a Settlement Agreement

A settlement agreement for the pro se is like shaking hands

A Settlement Agreement in the Making

Are you ready to convert your dispute to a Settlement Agreement? Begin by choosing a method to resolve your dispute without attorneys, mediators, arbitrators, or the court system? If your response is ‘How can I do that? My opponent and I are at each other’s throats. There’s no way we can find a resolution without outside help.’

Think again! There is a way to transform rage to a Settlement Agreement

A powerful crossroads we call your Last Chance now presents itself to you and your opponent. This is the point before you begin investing your bankroll and your valuable time and energy into your dispute. This is your last chance to convert your dispute into a settlement agreement, before hiring lawyers, mediators, and arbitrators who will assist you – at varying prices.

If you and your disputing party(s) are wise enough to realize the toll that the formal legal process takes, you can align against this mutual enemy, not against each other. When you and your foe realize what lies ahead, reaching a settlement takes on new meaning. Suddenly, you’re not fighting each other – you’re solving a mutual problem.

You’re at a pivotal crossroads to reason out a Settlement Agreement

Why is this such a critical time? Because when you enter the courts or formal dispute resolution, an element of war enters with you. In a more pronounced way, you acknowledge there is a dispute and you are looking to an outside party to act as a referee. A cloud of threat is created and a Settlement Agreement becomes out of reach.

This strategic juncture we call your Last Chance is most effective in the early evolution of your dispute. It becomes a crucial timeout before making your choice between formal Alternative Dispute Resolution or the court system. It’s also your Last Chance before your dispute becomes another statistic in official legal channels.

This Is Your Turning Point
Settlement Agreement for the pro se litigant can make one dance

Stop the Tug of War

By the time you reach this point, you’ve probably had several discussions with your opponent about your dispute. Your prior exchanges probably consisted of accusations, denials, and finger-pointing. Typically, you fought for a certain position while your opponent pulled in the opposite direction.

The conversation was, You did that. No, I didn’t. You’re wrong. No, you’re wrong. By each trying to advocate their own point of view, you lose sight of compromise. It becomes an emotional tug of war. But this is also a pivotal point. This Last Chance session is marked by neutrality.

An ideal peace-making opportunity comes about when each party hits bottom

This is the moment where most parties give up and turn the matter over to counsel or seek formal dispute resolution. But this is an ideal peace-making opportunity. This is the target time to regroup, enlist your opponent’s help, and explore new ways of looking at the situation. You have a joint mission now – to avoid the legal system.

The Legal Process Becomes the Enemy as a Settlement Agreement Comes Into Focus

The decision to sue for war – or compromise for peace – irrevocably alters your psyche. If you don’t compromise now, you and your dispute will be carried off on the great juggernaut of litigation, the Litigation Frenzy, which is nearly impossible to stop.

The decision to sue for war – or compromise for peace – irrevocably alters your psyche

Litigation (adversarial legal process) invariably generates lots of paper, and its companion, exorbitant attorney fees. Even when Alternative Dispute Resolution methods are implemented, the resolution tab begins to run. These alternative processes, from Mediation forward, can get expensive and time-consuming if not controlled. Although they generate only a fraction of the litigation bill, ADR procedures involve their own measure of time and expense.


If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to take a journey through your dispute with Lawsuit Analyzer©so you can have a handle on the legalities and feasibility of your dispute. You’ll walk into your settlement meeting with a whole new level of confidence.  Below is the Comprehensive Case Analysis presented in Calculating Damages and other resource pages, but here focusing on settlement primarily.

Pre-litigation Settlement Amount: Our claimant is the author and his adversary is the printing company that botched up two-thirds of the print run of his books.  His Recoverable Damages, the value price paid for the substandard books, are $12,000. But he must travel the long and winding road through the upper civil court system to recover. 

He heads into a settlement meeting with all of this in hand, so while his adversary is facing liability of $12,000, the author understands the rigamarole ahead and would thus be happy to receive the recommended $9,081 Settlement from an adversary willing to pay. This is far better than obtaining a judgment after years of battle only to have the adversary file for bankruptcy or hide their assets from collection. The printing company is a corporation, but while less likely to do so, they too can employ subversive behavior.

If he can’t settle the case, he could go to Plan B and reduce his claim to the $8,000 Small Claims Court limit in his state and be done with it in a month or two. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, it’s time to set up a Last Chance Settlement Meeting.

Setting Up Your Settlement Opportunity

How do you conduct this peace-making strategy? What is involved? How can you persuade your opponent to engage with you? How do you turn finger-pointing into a settlement agreement? There are three ways to do this:

  • Meet in person and discuss
  • Send a Demand Letter
  • Engage in Automated Online Negotiation

Which you choose depends on your personality type and that of your foe. The first is more hospitable. The second is more confrontational. Use our Demand Letter Form if this is your choice. The third is impersonal. All are intended to take advantage of this Last Chance opportunity by making what lies ahead the enemy. Our Settlement Coach takes it from here professionally guiding you through each settlement platform with links to all the tools you’ll need. Assuming you are successful, our Settlement Agreement will help you button it up.

If the settlement meeting fails to produce resolve, the claimant should do everything possible to move the dispute into Mediation-Arbitration which will require the consent of his adversary since ADR is a private forum, not like the public court system open to anyone. Why would his adversary consent to this?  Because he understands the toll years of litigation in the House of Horrors will take on him and wants a quicker, easier, less expensive way to resolve this dispute.

And, if there’s a push-back for ADR, the Claimant should follow his Plan B by reducing the claim to $8,000 and get it done quickly in Small Claims Court.

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