1.5 CPD units in Professional Sills
Dealing with High Conflict Opposing Counsel
Presenter: Megan Hunter, CEO High Conflict Institute
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High conflict disputes are increasing in every legal setting. As the pandemic and shut-downs persist, most people are stressed and those with high conflict personalities involved may become more aggressive. They often involve high-conflict behaviors, characterized by:
• All-or-nothing thinking
• Unmanaged emotions
• Extreme behavior
• Preoccupation with blaming others
• Prolonged, unresolved conflict
• Drawing in many other people
Some legal professionals display traits of high conflict personalities. Dealing with such professionals in litigation and negotiation can be endlessly frustrating and exhausting, especially for new lawyers, judges, mediators, and mental health professionals. This training includes understanding their common conflict behavior, identifying them quickly, and being prepared for their tendency to insult other professionals and efforts to prove they are superior to them. Respectfully connecting with them is important, although it can be a challenge, while resisting the urge to criticize and insult them back. Avoiding power struggles with high-conflict opposing counsel is also addressed. Looking for evidence can often be enhanced by understanding their repeat patterns of dysfunctional behavior. Helping them negotiate settlements is another skill that will be addressed.
About the Presenter - Megan Hunter
Megan Hunter is an international speaker and author on the topic of high-conflict relationships in legal and business disputes. She is cofounder of the High Conflict Institute along with author and speaker, Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq. who developed the high-conflict personality theory. Megan developed the concept of the Institute after 13 years in family law as the Family Law Specialist with the Arizona Supreme Court, and Child Support Manager of the Dawes County Attorney’s Office in Nebraska.
Megan has trained legal, mental health, business, leadership groups, universities and other professionals across the United States, Canada and Australia in the area of high-conflict legal and business disputes. She is publisher at HCI Press and founder/CEO of Unhooked Media and Unhooked Books focusing on providing digital and print publications on the topics of high-conflict disputes and complicated relationships.
She holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor’s of Business and Economics from Chadron State College, Chadron, Nebraska. She served as President of the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts, the Arizona Family Support Council and Nebraska Child Support Enforcement Association. More recently, she served 5 years on the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners and is on the Advisory Board of the Personality Disorder Awareness Network. Her first book, Bait & Switch: Saving Your Relationship after Incredible Romance Turns into Exhausting Chaos was published in March 2015.