Football season is here, moving quickly toward season’s end. This brings to light a favorite subject: compromise!

Let’s paint a picture:

There are two people living (or visiting) in a home with one television, one of whom lives and breathes passing yards and the other not knowing (or caring about) the difference between a field goal and a touchdown.  The football game begins at 6PM and will last until sometime between 9:30-10PM.  Modern Family (a favorite of the touchdown-confused party) airs from 7PM to 8PM; one episode from 7-7:30PM and one episode from 7:30-8PM. Obviously, with it being OPENING night, the football enthusiast wants to watch the entire game without blinking. The other person has no interest in watching the game whatsoever and only wants to watch their favorite show.

In an ideal scenario, there would be two televisions and everyone would be happy, but in this case there is only one. No matter how compelling the argument of the Modern Family fan that it is a hilarious show and EVEN IF the football fan agrees it is, in fact, hilarious, odds are that the football fan is still going to want to watch the game on opening night. If avoiding a tussle for the remote is of interest, something’s gotta give.

COMPROMISE is the solution here.

The two people can watch the game until Modern Family begins, watch one of the two episodes, and then go back to the football game. Everyone gives and everyone gains. In the legal profession, we often run into the same obstacle.  No matter how well a case is presented or how reasonable requests may seem to this side of the table, the other side will not always agree and the only way to truly move forward without a trial is to compromise.

This is not a measure of the attorney or of the merits of the case – no caliber of attorney or reasonableness of a request can force the opposing party to agree to terms they just plain do not like or feel they were not involved in creating. In a compromise neither party generally gets their “ideal” scenario, but both sides are able to decide for themselves what they are willing to give and take to make a deal happen.

With compromise, everyone contributes and everyone wins.

We can carry the lesson of compromise over to almost all areas of life. Oftentimes, getting most of what we want and having a say in what we are giving up is better than refusing to compromise and ending up with nothing we want. In football season and in life, compromise is key.

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