Conflict is inevitable, in both deals and disputes. Yet when clients call in the lawyers to haggle over who gets how much of the pie, traditional hard-bargaining tactics can lead to ruin. Too often, deals blow up, cases don't settle, relationships fall apart, justice is delayed. Beyond Winning charts a way out of our current crisis of confidence in the legal system. It offers a fresh look at negotiation, aimed at helping lawyers turn disputes into deals, and deals into better deals, through practical, tough-minded problem-solving techniques.
In this step-by-step guide to conflict resolution, the authors describe the many obstacles that can derail a legal negotiation, both behind the bargaining table with one's own client and across the table with the other side. They offer clear, candid advice about ways lawyers can search for beneficial trades, enlarge the scope of interests, improve communication, minimize transaction costs, and leave both sides better off than before. But lawyers cannot do the job alone. People who hire lawyers must help change the game from conflict to collaboration. The entrepreneur structuring a joint venture, the plaintiff embroiled in a civil suit, the CEO negotiating an employment contract, the real estate developer concerned with environmental hazards, the parent considering a custody battle--clients who understand the pressures and incentives a lawyer faces can work more effectively within the legal system to promote their own best interests. Attorneys exhausted by the trench warfare of cases that drag on for years will find here a positive, proven approach to revitalizing their profession.
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Robert H. Mnookin is Williston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project.From Publishers Weekly:
Observing that today's tough, adversarial legal negotiations preempt mutually beneficial problem solving between parties, Mnookin (director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project and a professor at Harvard Law School) and his coauthors urge lawyers to adopt a proactive, optimistic and realistic mindset to transform their practices. Though they are careful to acknowledge the difficulty of changing from the standard gladiatorial stance, Mnookin, Peppet and Tulumello present compelling examples of the advantages that such a change can bring in divorce cases, sales of existing companies, real estate deals and contract negotiations. Their comparison of litigation-gone-bad (e.g., the Buchwald v. Paramount Pictures lawsuit that benefited neither party) with more positive approaches (e.g., the problem-solving mode used in the once-nasty Digital Equipment Corp. patent infringement dispute with Intel) argues for serious consideration of their techniques. For those still resistant to giving up their Road Warrior ways, the authors provide tables of strategies with "Limiting Assumptions" contrasted with "More Helpful Assumptions" that dare even the most pigheaded to ignore common sense. Although Mnookin, Peppet and Tulumello have consciously aimed the book at attorneys who want to serve clients' broader needs better as well as to protect their interests, the authors' practical, straightforward and jargon-free style makes this a valuable resource for anybody who is about to hire an attorney, file a lawsuit or sign a contract. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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