In this week’s episode of Consult the Negotiator Podcast, Marc Siegel talks to Ken Levinson. Ken is a founding partner of Chicago based law firm ‘Levinson and Stefani’. The firm specialises in personal injury law, an area in which Ken is a leading professional with over twenty years of experience. He is the co-author of ‘Litigating Major Automobile Injury and Death Cases’: a two-volume book designed to help lawyers develop best practice methods in this area. Indeed, Marc and Ken met when they were both placed in the ‘Super Lawyers Top 100 List’ (chosen out of 60,000 – 90,000 lawyers) in the state of Illinois.

Ken is a passionate advocate for accident survivors and child safety. He has negotiated millions of dollars in settlements, often representing disenfranchised clients against corporate giants. His compassion really stands out in this warm hearted and informative edition of Consult the Negotiator Podcast.

Contact info can be found at:

Some of the main takeaways from this episode are:

  1. Don’t make pointless ‘hard-line’ positions in an attempt to seem tough, especially if you don’t know your opponent’s whole story.
  2. Try and understand your opponent’s side of the story – and listen to them!
  3. Stay calm and don’t get emotional when negotiating
  4. Consider the timeline when considering how to get to resolution.

Episode Highlights Include:

[2:30]: Marc asks how Ken has honed his negotiating skills given that lawyers are not taught negotiation in school.

[4:05]: Marc and Ken discuss the importance of really listening to your opponents in order really understand where they are coming from in a negotiation.

[5:50]: Ken discusses the pitfalls of needlessly ‘drawing a line in the sand’ before you understand a situation in its entirety; and how hard-line positions could even have long term negative effects with judges and companies.

[11:00]: A discussion of how to manage client expectations in serious life altering cases.

[13:30]: Dealing with the inherent biases of jury members who may be sceptical of personal injury type cases.

[15:50]: What does a 7-figure case look like?

[18:45]: Negotiating with large insurance companies.

20.20: How to deal with impasse.

[23:55]: Dealing with disagreeable lawyers? Ken says to be firm, professional and nice!

[28:00]: Policy limits: how do they affect negotiating claims?

[31:20]: Sticking points with large insurance companies who have vast wealth and may even hire doctors to undermine your client’s credibility.

[35:30]: In his final negotiating tips, Ken says not to get emotional and to stay calm! And to make sure you’re negotiating with the ultimate decision-maker.

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