Negotiation Role Play: People v. Malvenue

Ron Karp and Bruce Patton
Two-party plea bargaining negotiation between a prosecutor and the court-appointed defender for a man accused of abusing his wife, who refuses to sign the complaint against him

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SCENARIO:

On answering a call from a concerned neighbor who overheard fighting and screaming, the police arrived at the home of the Malvenues. In their investigation, they saw bruises on Mrs. Malvenue, who stated that her husband had beaten her. George Malvenue was then arrested and charged with assault and battery. Mr. Malvenue, a gas station attendant, has a serious criminal record. However, his wife, who raises their four-year-old son, loves George and worries about making it without him, even though she is afraid of him. She has refused to sign the complaint. Mr. Malvenue’s court-appointed attorney is about to speak to the prosecutor. They have different resolutions in mind, although avoiding a trial is something of a mutual concern.

 

MECHANICS:

This one-on-one negotiation can run 10-30 minutes. Videotaping and review is useful for building awareness of nonverbal communication.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This case presents the lawyer’s classic conflict of personal values and professional responsibility, and the analogous problem for society of deciding when to impose its views in interpersonal relations.
  • Cooperative, competitive, and principled approaches can each lead to quite different outcomes, raising questions about which is better and why.
  • The case is a good vehicle for exploring conscious and unconscious nonverbal communication. Such an exploration virtually requires videotaping.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

Role Specific:

Confidential Instructions for the:

  • District Attorney
  • Defense Attorney

 

Teacher’s Package includes:

  • All of the above

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Attorney/Client relations; BATNA; Commitment; Compliance; Credibility; Emotions; Ethics; Fairness; Gilligan, two voices; Lawyering; Legitimacy; Objective criteria; Personality; Risk aversion

 

Negotiation Role Play: People v. Malvenue Attributes

Time required:
30 minutes – 1 hour
Number of participants:
2
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
Lawyer
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
No
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You are then permitted to view the document on your computer and either print the number of copies you purchased, or forward the electronic file as many times as the number of copies you purchased. You will only receive a link to one electronic file per document. So, if you order 25 soft copies, you may either forward copies of the link to 25 people via e-mail, or print (and/or photocopy) 25 hard copies of the document.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

The purchase price and handling fee are the same for both soft and hard copies. Soft copies do not entail a shipping fee.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at chouse@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at chouse@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, then you should order a single Teacher’s Package for that role simulation. A PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package is also available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. There is no need to order participant materials as well as a Teacher’s Package, as all Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters. Please note that the materials in Teacher’s Packages are for the instructor’s review and reference only, and may not be duplicated for use with participants.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

If you wish to order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Participant Copies.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.

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