Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 91 minutes
Recorded Date: December 01, 2016
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1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
  • How to write an opening letter that invites participation How to establish ground rules
  • How to hold collaborative meetings and bring in experts without discovery battles
  • How to give clients a meaningful role that respects their expertise and builds relationships
  • How to maintain the Structured Negotiation mindset that allows for cooperation
  • The structured negotiation media strategy
  • How to overcome negotiating obstacles to reach agreement and monitor settlements
Runtime: 1 hour and 31 minutes
Recorded: December 1, 2016


Lawsuits play an important role in moving society forward. But the legal profession— and the public it serves—deserve less costly, less stressful, and more cooperative alternatives. Clients need a forum where stories matter and they can feel heard. Would-be defendants need a process that allows them to do the right thing without having to first prove there is no problem to begin with. In this program, the panel will discuss different aspects of structured negotiations.

This program was recorded on December 1st, 2016.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Kristina Launey

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Kristina Launey is in the Labor & Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Managing Partner of the Sacramento office. She is an efficient and effective litigator and counselor, specializing in employment and civil rights laws, who provides clients with options and helps them achieve results in light of their businesses realities.

A member of Seyfarth’s ADA Title III Specialty Team, Ms. Launey regularly advises and defends clients in litigation arising under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and related California disability access laws - the Unruh Act and Disabled Persons Act. She has defended disability access lawsuits ranging from the very complex and contentious to those resulting in relatively simple settlements, and engaged in structured negotiations. Her Title II and III clients include a large non-profit symphony, hotels, restaurants, retailers, financial service providers, universities, manufacturers, investment, insurance, and technology companies. Ms. Launey has counseled clients on issues ranging from physical accessibility, to compliance with service animal, reservations, effective communication, ticketing requirements of California law and the ADA 2010 Standards, to cutting-edge digital accessibility issues. She is co-editor of Seyfarth’s blog, and frequently speaks on accessibility issues.

In her employment counseling practice, Ms. Launey facilitates employers’ compliance with all federal and state employment laws, such as those governing non-discrimination and anti-harassment, pay equity, reasonable accommodations, leaves of absence, payment of wages, workplace violence, privacy, and exemptions. She also represents clients before a variety of administrative agencies, including the EEOC, DFEH, DOL, and DLSE.

Ms. Launey has extensive experience litigating single, multi-plaintiff, and class actions in federal and state courts as well as private arbitration, involving, as exemplar, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, torts, contract, and wage and hour claims. Ms. Launey is also an experienced negotiator, helping clients resolve disputes through various formal and alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation and structured negotiations. Ms. Launey practiced employment law prior to joining Seyfarth as a Deputy in the California Legislative Counsel’s Office, where she drafted legislation affecting employers, advised the Legislature on compliance with employment laws, and supervised outside counsel in litigation. Through her current work as Seyfarth’s California Legislative Team Leader, she helps employers understand, navigate, and implement the requirements of new legislation that impacts the way they do business in California. Through this and her activity as a founding member of Seyfarth’s Pay Equity Group, she has also helped keep clients on top of pay equity developments and best practices.

Lainey Feingold

Law Office of Lainey Feingold

Lainey represents disabled people seeking full participation in all society has to offer. Her principal work is with the blind and visually impaired community on technology and information access issues, including web and mobile accessibility.

Along with co-counsel, she has developed Structured Negotiation, an alternative to filing a lawsuit that emphasizes collaboration and focuses on solution. Using this method, Lainey and her co-counsel have negotiated more than 60 settlement agreements without filing a single lawsuit. She has negotiated these agreements with some of the largest organizations in the United States, including American Express, the City and County of San Francisco, Bank of America, Weight Watchers, CVS, Wal-Mart, Major League Baseball, and Wells Fargo Bank.

In addition to handling her own cases in Structured Negotiation, Lainey assists attorneys across the United States who want to learn the alternative dispute resolution process.

Lainey has long worked with the blind community nationally in successful efforts to obtain Talking ATMs, accessible websites and mobile applications, tactile point of sale devices, accessible (audible) pedestrian signals, talking prescription labels, audio description equipment, and alternative formats including braille, audio, electronic and large print.

In addition to her work with the blind community, she has resolved numerous other cases on behalf of persons with disabilities, including national class actions against Shell and Chevron resulting in ADA implementation at over 5,000 service stations across the country.

Lainey was a founding steering committee member of the Disability Rights Bar Association (DRBA), a national organization of disability rights lawyers.

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