Law 373: Negotiations
C. K. Gunsalus
Fall 2003

This course is an exploration of the theoretical and practical aspects of negotiation in different settings. The focus is on research-based knowledge/theory about negotiating and putting that knowledge into practice through frequent exercises. Each week you will be participating in negotiation exercises in addition to the assigned readings. You will be asked to analyze your experiences in light of the theories discussed in the readings and in class. There is ample evidence that people can learn to be better, more effective negotiators through this combination of theoretical study and practice.

Negotiations will be conducted both in and out of class; our class discussions will be devoted to assessing and building upon the theoretical and experiential elements from readings and practice. In addition to negotiating with your fellow class members, you will also be negotiating with MBA and/or ILIR students (taking different classes on negotiation at the College of Commerce and Business Administration and/or Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations). For at least one exercise, you will be required to provide a "client" from among your friends and acquaintances.

You are responsible for the information in this syllabus!

Texts:

Effective Legal Negotiation and Settlement, 4th Ed., Charles B. Craver, Lexis Nexis Publishing 2001.
Beyond Winning, Robert H. Mnookin

Additional readings will be distributed throughout the semester.

Attendance: Class attendance and participation in the negotiation exercises are required. Written permission, from me, is required in advance if it is absolutely necessary for you to miss either a class or participation in a negotiation exercise.

Grading:

Please note that, notwithstanding the percentages listed, you must complete each assignment or an assigned makeup to pass the course. There is no final exam.

Submission Format: Each of your papers should be submitted via email to my assistant, Carol Robison at crobison@law.uiuc.edu or put in my mailbox in the mailroom by the deadline. Files sent via email must be named with the following protocol:

yourlastname exercisename or
yourlastname weeknum

So, if your name is Susan Smith, the file for your first week’s reflection paper should be called smithweekone.doc (or .wpd) or smithone.doc or smithcompany.doc (if the exercise we do is the Company negotiation). Your preparation papers for each week should be titled smithprepone.doc or smithcomprep.doc or something along those lines.

Here’s the reason for this requirement: with one or two submissions a week from each of you, I need an easy way to keep track and to make sure you get credit for meeting the deadlines. Each week’s submissions are saved in separate folders, and with this system, all that’s required is to read down the list of file names in a given week’s folder to verify that all papers have been received in a timely way.

I strive to return papers by the next class.

Negotiation exercises

You will generally have one week from the date of assignment to complete negotiations that are to be done outside of class.

For each negotiation exercise, whether done in or out of class, you must turn in three items:

    1. a copy of your advance preparation worksheet,
    2. the signed settlement agreement (all parties must be copied on the email if settlements are submitted by email),
    3. by noon Wednesday after the negotiation was completed, a short reflection on the negotiation and your performance in it.

Together, these will comprise the weekly score. At some point in the semester, you will no longer be required to submit copies of your preparation worksheets. At that point, the reflection papers will assume a heavier weighting in the weekly scores.

A Few Words on Reflection Papers

An analytical reflection of your performance in a negotiation may not come naturally. The purpose of writing these papers is to incorporate theoretical knowledge into your practice of negotiation. This means that you must read and think about the assignments and class discussions, and then apply those concepts to understanding what happened in your negotiations. You will not get full points for a reflection paper if it does not apply information from the readings to your experiences.

Useful and appropriate items to address in your reflections include: comments on effectiveness of your preparations and ideas for improving how you prepare; observations on nonverbal aspects of the negotiation (both your own and that of other participants); observations about what worked and what didn’t (what you did well/poorly; why?); observations on dynamics of negotiation; and specific behavioral goals for yourself (e.g., how you plan to improve upon your negotiating skills in light of this experience and new information about negotiation).

Reflection papers typically run from 3 to 5 double spaced pages. Please remember that it is the quality of your introspection and analysis that will govern your score, not the paper’s length.

Videotaping:

You must videotape your participation in one negotiation exercise, participate in a discussion of the negotiation with the other participants and with me, and turn in a short critique of the negotiation. This should be completed by ______ and will count as one weekly assignment.

You will need to agree in advance with the others in your group (on both sides) to videotape, as we will meet as a group to discuss the videotape and the dynamics of the negotiation. It is your responsibility to arrange the taping (using information provided by me via the A/V people within the College) as well as to schedule a time for your group to meet with me. Your private, written self-critique of the negotiation is due within a week after the meeting with me.

Short paper: Due ________

Read any one of the books below after you have completed the first out-of-class negotiation. Write an analytical paper of no more than 7 pages reflecting upon the quality of the advice in the book, whether it would have influenced your first negotiation, and if it influenced a later negotiation, how. Be specific: include specific examples illustrating your points from the negotiation before you read the book as well as from negotiation(s) after you read the book. This is not an opportunity to recap your negotiations—I am seeking analysis, not description.

Your analysis should address such issues as:

The quality of your introspection and insights are what matter here, not the length of the paper.

Choices:

Negotiating Rationally Bazerman and Neale
Getting Past No Ury
The Secrets of Power Negotiating Dawson
Difficult Conversations Stone, Patton, and Heen
The Shadow Negotiation Kolb and Williams
Bargaining for Advantage Shell

If you would like to substitute another book on negotiating or related skills, you must seek and receive prior approval before making the substitution or the paper will not count.

Final Paper:

Due at the final class of the semester, this should be a 10-15 page paper summarizing the interaction of the theory and practice of negotiation as you experience it. You may choose to address your own change as a negotiator (if any), problems you encountered and how you approached them, and other similar topics. Again, the quality of your analysis and insights are key. This is an opportunity to synthesize your experiences over the course of the semester with the theoretical information about negotiating techniques and strategy you have studied. Look to the descriptions of desirable contents in the reflection and short papers to guide your work.

Rules for Negotiation Exercises

The following rules apply to all negotiation exercises. Failure to adhere to them constitutes an honor code violation.

  1. You may not discuss the problem with anyone else in the class, other than your partner or opponents, until completion of class discussion of a particular problem.
  2. You may not show the confidential information you receive for the negotiation to your opponents or to others in the class. You may not discuss or disclose scoring information to anyone other than your partner until after the class discussion of a problem.
  3. You may not discuss settlement talks or any agreement achieved with anyone other than your partner and opponents until the time limit for the exercise has expired. You may not disclose whether you have settled, as that could influence the actions of others. You may not ask other course members about the progress or status of their negotiations.
  4. The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct apply to your conduct in this course. You may not make any intentional misrepresentation of any material law or fact. Representations concerning what one is willing to accept are not considered representations of "material information." Statements that one could do better by not settling are to be considered statements regarding client settlement intentions (i.e., permissible "puffing").
  5. All negotiations must be completed by the scheduled time. You may not conduct any further discussions or negotiations after the specified time.
  6. After a negotiation is complete, the parties must jointly submit the settlement document, e signed by each participant. (Settlements submitted by email must copy all parties involved.) If agreement was not reached, both sides must put their final offer in writing. Signing the agreement indicates both that the terms of the agreement are accurately represented AND that all signatories participated meaningfully in the negotiation.

If a person has participated meaningfully but was not present for any reason when the final agreement was achieved, that individual’s proxy authorizing his/her partner to negotiate for him/her must be attached. (A proxy may not have limiting conditions; if not present, an individual is bound by the partner’s actions.) If a person has not meaningfully participated in the negotiation, that shall be noted in the agreement and the results will affect only those who participated meaningfully.

Tentative Assignments
Please Note: These Assignments Are Subject to Change

Class

Topics

Readings/Assignment for Class

1

Introduction

Craver, Chapter 1
Mnookin, Introduction & Chapter 1

2

Factors Affecting Negotiation; Communication

Craver, Chapters 2, 3
Mnookin, Chapter 2

3

Preparing to Negotiate

Craver, Chapter 4, 5
Mnookin, Chapter 4

4

Stages of Negotiation

Craver, Chapters 6, 7
Mnookin, Chapter 6

5

Competitive vs. Cooperative styles

Craver, Chapters 8, 9
Mnookin, Chapter 8

6

Negotiation Techniques

Craver, Chapter 10

7

Post-Negotiation Assessment

Craver, Chapter 11
Handout (provided later)

8

Frequently-raised Negotiation Issues

Craver, Chapter 12

9

Stepping Back

Craver, Chapter 13

10

Gender, Ethnic & Cultural Issues

Craver, Chapter 14
Handout (provided later)

11

Mediation, Assisted Negotiation,
Group Decision-Making

Handout (provided later)

12

Negotiating with Agents

Mnookin, Chapters 3, 7, 9

13

Multiple-Party Negotiations

Mnookin 12 & Conclusion

14

Negotiation Ethics
Discussion/Wrap Up/Lessons

Craver, Chapter 17
Mnookin, chapter 11

Contact Information: My office is Room 342. Carol Robison, who works with me, is in 338. You can turn in assignments electronically or to either of us in person, or leave them in my mailbox in the mailroom. I am happy to arrange a time to meet you if you have matters you would like to discuss. The easiest way to reach me is via e-mail: gunsalus@uiuc.edu. Carol’s e-mail address is crobison@law.uiuc.edu.


Copyright 2003 C. K. Gunsalus. Teachers are free to copy these materials for educational use in their courses only, provided that appropriate acknowledgment of the author is made. For permission to use these materials for any other purpose, contact the author.