Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.


Practice Areas

Negotiation Counsel

Negotiation Counsel at the Scopelitis firm helps companies negotiate prompt, reasonable, and humane settlements of claims involving serious trucking accidents and other disputes. Litigation is often avoided altogether or substantially shortened. Jim Golden, one of the firm’s attorneys, acts as Negotiation Counsel for companies operating some of the largest fleets in the United States. The practice combines state-of-the-art negotiation theory with genuine empathy and extensive experience in high-stakes negotiations.

Negotiation Counsel usually becomes involved in a claim soon after the accident. Negotiation Counsel also acts in a “fireman” role, in which longstanding litigation can be brought to a quick end on reasonable terms.

Benefits of the Negotiation Counsel Model® include:

  • Settlements that occur months or years earlier than normal, resulting in early settlement discounts that benefit clients and their insurers
  • More humane treatment of people involved in serious accidents
  • Customized win-win settlement packages
  • Fewer suits filed, fewer letters of credit and lower insurance premiums
  • Lower attorney and expert fees
  • Less time and fewer resources devoted to depositions and electronic discovery

The Negotiation Counsel does not replace his clients’ defense counsel. Defense counsel continues to manage the investigation, provide legal advice, and represent the client in litigation if suit is filed. Negotiation Counsel creates a separate negotiation track. The division of labor between Negotiation Counsel and defense counsel allows the client to explore early settlement options without creating the impression that defense counsel lacks the ability and willingness to zealously prosecute the litigation if necessary.

Negotiation Counsel has lengthy face-to-face meetings with claimants and their counsel, expresses genuine sympathy for tragic losses, and identifies hidden interests and obstacles. Acting in cooperation with the client and defense counsel, Negotiation Counsel develops a customized settlement package, schedules mediation months or years earlier than normal, and secures a reasonable agreement that includes an early settlement discount. Thus, the work of Negotiation Counsel goes far beyond normal empathetic claims handling.

Visit Jim Golden’s website at