Negotiation is at the heart of estate litigation in New York City. With any negotiation, offers and counter-offers may be exchanged, which may lead you to wonder what your New York City estate attorney may have to tell you or not tell you during the negotiation process.
New York has rules in place for how lawyers are supposed to behave called the Rules of Professional Conduct. Included in these rules is an entire section on attorneys communicating with their clients, including how to deal with settlement offers.
Any attorney, including New York estate attorneys, is ethically bound to communicate to their clients any material information about their case. This can include if the court makes a ruling, but also includes when an opposing party makes an offer in the case.
It is up to the attorney to decide whether or not the offer is material information. For example, if the opposing party makes what an attorney feels is a ridiculous offer, such as $5000 to settle a $10,000,000 estate that has questions on the testator’s capacity, the attorney can make a choice to not pass the offer on to the client, in order not to waste anyone’s time. When information becomes “material” is up to the New Yorik City estate attorney to decide. It is common practice for New York City estate attorneys to present offers to clients and then advise them whether or not to accept the offer, based on the strength of the client’s case.
In estate cases, this could mean multiple offers from all sides of the litigation, not meant as much to settle the case, as much as it is to insult or offend the other party, or to gain leverage by showing the other party that their case is worthless. With a skilled New York estate attorney on your side, you can have an attorney who will help you keep some perspective on your case, even when you have to hear that offer that is far from what you think is fair.
If you are looking for a New York City estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin, PLLC at (212) 233-1233.