Bad News and Minnesota Nice versus Divorce

As an attorney practicing in Minnesota (and as a native Minnesotan), I am always bumping up against the ‘Minnesota Nice’ concept and a real difficulty delivering bad news to clients.  If clients and attorneys cannot settle their divorce or custody disputes, these decisions are left up to judges.  This means that at least one and probably both parties will not like the decision of the Judge.  Their attorney is left with the task of sharing this bad news with the client. There is an excellent guide to delivering bad news at //www.happinessinthisworld.com/2012/12/02/delivering-bad-news-redux/#.UMHtgHciGa1.  The article was written by Alex Lickerman, a Buddhist physician.   As attorneys and mediators, we can learn from his method of delivering bad news so that we can go on to our next client.  For example, if we receive an adverse judgment from the court, we have several options.  I list them in order of preference. 1.) Send the result/decision to the client in the mail or via email with a detailed letter indicating what the next options are and move on to the next file. 2.) Call the client and leave a voicemail explaining the bad result and send the result/decision on to the client in the mail or via email. 3.) Call the client, arrange a meeting, explain the bad result over the phone and send the result/decision on to them in the mail or via email with a detailed letter indicating what the next options are.  Ask the client to be prepared to discuss these options at the meeting. Much of the time, the bad result is not because of bad advice; we may...
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