Multi-Party Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Seminar (Intensive)

Spring 2004

Professor C. Menkel-Meadow and Fellows Elizabeth Davidson and Sara Thacker
Room 437–Class Meetings; Breakout rooms, 337 and 587
Prof. CMM office, 404, ph. 662-9379; fax 662-9412

Multi-Party Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Seminar (Intensive)

Required/Mandatory Class Meetings

Required Readings and Book Purchases

Fisher, Ury & Patton, Getting To Yes (must be completed before first class meeting)
Stuart Hampshire, Justice is Conflict (must be completed before first week-end meeting-Jan. 16)
Susan Carpenter & W.J.D. Kennedy, Managing Public Disputes (as assigned below)
Menkel-Meadow, Distributed Readings–Packet # 1 (pick up at Course Distribution before first week-end)
Menkel-Meadow, Distributed Readings–Packet # 2 (distributed after first week-end for readings for second week-end) 

(readings as assigned below)

Course Requirements
This is a mandatory attendance intensive course, requiring you to be in attendance for every hour of class. You will not receive credit for the course (3 credits) if you do not attend all sessions. The class is an intensive workshop in advanced negotiation, dispute resolution, consensus building and facilitation and will require you to play many roles as participants, group leaders, representatives, negotiators, facilitators, mediators and dispute resolvers in a variety of different subject matter areas. The learning of all students depends on everyone being present to perform their roles and to engage in analysis of problems and de-briefings of exercises.

You will be required to write two papers in the course, one a "mid-term" paper to be written between sessions and the final paper will be due at the end of the semester. The mid-term paper will ask you to apply some analysis of the theoretical underpinnings of multi-party dispute resolution, deliberative democracy, consensus building and complex negotiations to one of the issues and problems we have worked on in class. The final paper will require you to do an in-depth analysis of a current multi-party, multi-issue dispute or problem, utilizing course concepts. More information on the papers will be provided in class. The mid-term paper is intended to be between 8-10 pages in length and the final paper should be about 15 pages in length. In addition, each student must be prepared to present orally on a current issue of international conflict for a discussion of international conflict during the last session.

Grading for the course will be based on the following:

Course Description
This course is an advanced course in negotiation and dispute resolution, focusing on the complex modern social and legal problems when there are multiple parties and multiple issues at stake. No prior course in negotiation is required, though it is very desirable. All students must have read Fisher, Ury & Patton’s Getting To Yes by the first class meeting on January 9, 2004 and must also have read the first packet of readings by January 16, 2004 to at least introduce you to the key negotiation concepts. We will read , discuss and use a variety of role-plays and simulations to explore the issues involved in negotiation, coalition building, representation, facilitation, meeting management, mediation, communication, rules of decision, consensus building and other issues which are presented when multiple parties seek to resolve their conflicts and disputes outside of a conventional bi-polar litigation model.

We will explore both the underlying theory, including democratic discourse theory, negotiation theory, game theory, conflict theory and the practice of different structures and forms of multi-party dispute resolution. We will discuss some already completed case studies and we will use experiential learning, through simulations and role-plays to explore the applicability of the theory and effectiveness of the skills and processes described in the readings and experienced in the course.

This course will also focus on issues of group dynamics and processes of decision. You will learn how to be an effective part of a group (as a participant, advocate, representative and leader) and you will practice leading and managing group processes, an essential part of being a lawyer or effective dispute resolver or manager. Thus, you will learn from being inside group processes and complex conflict situations, as well as standing outside of them to analyze and lead them. In some exercises you will formally be assigned to an observer or mediational role; in others you will be assigned roles of direct participation or representation of constituencies. We will explore the role of lawyers in these different roles.

There are foundational concepts and constituent skills that you will learn – negotiation theories and practices, the dynamics and psychology of group processes, stages of group and coalition development, the evolution of problem framing and solving, conflict and conflict resolution theory, bargaining and game theory, strategic and principled forms of argument and behavior, organizational behavior and models of leadership and decision making. We will look at these issues through the lense of intercultural and international variations as well. Think of this as a course in collaborative, if sometime contentious, problem solving. You will learn some important life skills, no matter what kind of legal practice you may be entering.

We will be asking some foundational questions like:

  1. To what extent are there "universal" principles of negotiation behavior and to what extent do such principles or propositions vary with the number of negotiators (bi-lateral vs. multi-lateral negotiations) and the context or subject matter of the negotiation (legal, community, international, diplomatic, commercial) as well as the relationships of the parties (one-off, repeat player, temporary ally)? In short, is a "theory" of negotiation separate from a "theory" of n+ parties in negotiation and dispute resolution? What variables or conditions affect the conduct of negotiations and dispute resolution?
  2. To what extent are there useful propositions about "process" management in all contexts? In varied contexts? Political philosopher Stuart Hampshire has recently opined, in the book assigned for this course, Justice is Conflict, "[b]ecause there will always be conflicts between conceptions of the good, moral conflicts, both in the soul and in the city, there is everywhere a well-recognized need for procedures of conflict resolution, which can replace brute force and tyranny....The skillful management of conflicts, [is] among the highest of human skills." But, does the particular form of conflict resolution or dispute management have to be tailored to the substance of the dispute or the particular parties engaged in the dispute or conflict?
  3. How do we know when a particular process or outcome is fair or just? What is the appropriate amount of direct party participation for legitimacy of outcome? When does a consensus builder lose neutrality or legitimacy? What standards should be applied to the work of third party neutrals and other intervenors in human conflicts? When should deliberations be transparent and public and can secret or confidential proceedings ever be justified? What is the role of law and rules in assessing the justice or accountability of conflict processes and outcomes? How do "rights" and "democracy" interact?
  4. To what extent are our notions of conflict resolution and management culturally based? Are they ethnocentric or "universal"? How can completing value and belief systems operate within a conflict process? Can all values be "reduced" to "interests" or can process transcend ideology?
  5. At the skill level, you should learn to analyze conflict situations and group dynamics, engage in negotiation, facilitation, interventions, mediation, meeting management and collaborative decision making and problem solving. These skills will, in turn, depend on some constituent skills like brainstorming, interest balancing, creativity, interviewing, questioning, persuasion, decision making and general interpersonal competence. Some of you will have natural abilities in these areas, others of you will need to learn these skills in order to develop your craft and improve your judgment. Theory and experience (through role plays and simulations in this course) should work together to help you develop these competencies.

We will work in several different areas in the course simulations, community, environmental, mass/class action litigation and international to give you some experience with different kinds of multi-party disputes, drawing from both "private" and "public" law issues.

Course Schedule and Assignments

Date Time and Topic Reading and Assignment
First Class
Friday, January 9
5:45-6:30 pm- Room 200 Complete Getting to Yes
First Week-end
Friday, January 16
Start at 9:00 am- Room 437
Role of conflict in law and society
Complete Justice as Conflict
Carpenter & Kennedy pp. 3-65
10:00-11:30 Theories of Deliberative Democracy And Consensus Building Susskind & Zion
11:30 Course Learning Goals/Contracting
12:00-1:15 Lunch
1:15-2:30 Review Basic Negotiation Principles

2:30-3:30 Multi-Party Negotiation & Coalitions

House of Threads
3:30-4:30 De-brief and Discussion Coalitions
Hand-out roles and preparation for Neighborhood Care
Saturday, January 17 9:00-9:45 Discussion of Groups and Coalitions Sunstein, Thompson
Goodpaster, Greenberg
9:45-11:00 Simulation: Neighborhood Care
11:00-11:45 De-brief
11:45-1:00 Lunch
1:00- 1:30 Harborco Prep
1:30-4:00 Harborco Negotiations
4:00-4:30 Debrief
Sunday, January 18 9:30-10:30 Continue Harborco de-brief and Discuss Rules of Decision, Process Susskind
(Alt. To Robert’s Rules)
10:30-12:30 Introduction to Mediation and Consensus Building Processes PCI video
Friedman & Himmelstein
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:00 Pristine Lake prep
-Role of science and technical information; Fact-finding
2:00-4:00 Pristine Lake (separate groups) simulation
4:00-4:45 De-brief: Comparisons of Processes:
Negotiation, Mediation, Consensus Building; Administrative Reg-neg
Law & Consensus Building


Instructions for Paper # 1 and Assignments for Second Week-end

 Second Week-end:
Compete readings from Packet # 2 (Distributed at end of first week-end) and Carpenter & Kennedy, Managing Public Disputes pp. 71-154

Date Time and Topic Reading and Assignment
Friday, March 19 Paper # 1 Due
2:00-2:30 Recap of conflict resolution processes
Comparisons of public/private
Groups and Organizations: Permanent/Ad hoc
2:30-3:30 Differences in Role: Mediator or Third Party Neutral/ Advocate/Representative
3:30-4:30 Creativity in Problem Solving
4:30-5:30 Process Design–Domestic Arthur, Carlson, Moore
Straus; Ury, Brett & Goldberg
5:30-6:45 Dinner Break
6:45-8:00 Process Design (Guest)
Tort claim
Employment claim
International issues

8:00-8:45 Process Design group reports

Prep and assignment for next day
Saturday, March 20 9:30-11:00 Intercultural Conflict Brett, Gadlin, Ignatieff, Avruch, Bercovitch, Proudford
11:00-11:30 COBIA prep
11:30-3:30 COBIA simulation and debrief (with breaks)
3:30-4:30 Culture and dispute resolution

Discussion: Theory and Practice
Nations, individuals, commercial
Human rights

4:30-5:00 Uses of Dispute Resolution for Peace and Reconciliation Minow, Lederach
Sunday, March 21 9:30-10:30 Review of Roles
Facilitator, Neutral-Mediator
Mnookin & Susskind
Malley & Agha
10:30-12:30 Case Studies: International
N. Ireland
S. Africa
E. Europe
Central Asia
Student presentations
Watkins & Rosegrant
12:30-1:45 Lunch
1:45- 3:00 Tools of Analysis

-conflict mode
-option generation and creativity
-process design

3:00-4:30 Evaluation of Negotiation and Process Carpenter & Kennedy pp.157-277
4:30 Lessons Learned/Wrap-Up: Future of Dispute Resolution Menkel-Meadow

Final Paper Due: Tuesday, May 11

I am hoping to arrange some guest speakers (with experience in multi-party dispute resolution) during various points during the week-ends which may alter our schedule.

There will be other guest speakers from the Washington and international dispute resolution community as scheduled.

Copyright 2003 Carrie Menkel-Meadow. 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.