Advice for Peace: Ending Civil War in Colombia

(This video has been made freely available by the Program on Negotiation for educators and diplomats to learn about using a team of negotiation experts to bring about peace.)

The civil war in Colombia lasted 52 years, taking the lives of at least 220,000 people and displacing up to seven million civilians. In 2012, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos initiated peace process negotiations with the FARC guerrillas that resulted in an historic agreement in 2016, ending the last major war in the hemisphere. Before the start of the negotiations, President Santos convened a team of international negotiation advisors to bring best practice negotiation advice from other peace processes around the world. This Peace Advisory Team made over 25 trips to Colombia over the ensuing seven years. Upon receiving the Program on Negotiation (PON) Great Negotiator Award in 2017, President Santos remarked that if there were one piece of advice he would give another head of state embarking on a peace process, it would be to convene such a Peace Advisory Team.

In October of 2018, PON hosted a small conference with President Santos and his Peace Advisory Team to draw out the lessons of this pioneering innovation in international peace process negotiations. In this 45-minute video, the members of the Peace Advisory Team reflect on the Colombian peace process negotiations, explain what happened behind closed doors, assess what worked well and what did not, and distill what lessons can be carried forward for resolving future conflicts.

This video features:

  • Juan Manuel Santos, Former President of Colombia, 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient
  • William Ury, Harvard Negotiation Specialist
  • Dudley Ankerson, Political Consultant, Expert in Latin America
  • Jonathan Powell, Chief British Negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement
  • Bernard Aronson, US Special Envoy for the Colombian Peace Process
  • Shlomo Ben-Ami, Lead Negotiator at Camp David

Produced by:

  • The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

Arms Control on Cobia

SCENARIO:

The negotiation is set on the fictitious continent of Cobia, composed of eight countries. A race has developed on this continent between the two major countries, Algo and Omne, as well as Algo's smaller ally, Utro, for the development of a new chemical weapon, PS-182M. Furthermore, both major powers are racing to develop means to deliver this chemical weapon against the other by air, to overcome a natural barrier between them in the Smokey Mountains. There is great concern on the continent both about the dangers of conflict between the opposing alliances using this weapon, as well as about the environmental consequences of its use for the three nonaligned states on the continent. Therefore, the International Arms Control Conference has been called in St. Anton, capital of nonaligned Ingo, to try to negotiate a ban on this weapon, or at least its testing, as well as other related issues. During the course of the negotiations "news bulletins" may be issued changing the international environment within which the negotiations are taking place, either by the outbreak of a major crisis among the participants or by the attainment of a major agreement resolving other outstanding disputes only indirectly related to the content of this negotiation.

 

MECHANICS:

This issue is negotiated in one conference room where all eight countries (and perhaps a Secretary-General) are seated around a single table. If possible record the negotiations. In addition, the negotiators need to be able to consult with their Foreign Minister (normally played by the instructor or teaching assistants) in a nearby consultation room. The negotiation normally lasts three hours, and it is desirable to have at least a half-hour for preparation prior to the actual opening of the negotiation and another half-hour for debriefing. Therefore, it is best run in a block of four hours, though this can be modified by one hour in either direction without serious consequences.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • Description of the issues under negotiation
  • Description of each of the countries of Cobia
  • General Instructions
  • Joint Memorandum
  • Map of Cobia
  • New Bulletins

 

Role specific:

  • Representatives of the Republic of Ingo
  • Representative of the Kingdom of Exton
  • Representative of the Kingdom of Carta
  • Representative of the Republic of Omne
  • Representative of the Principality of Sarto
  • Representative of the Kingdom of Algo
  • Representative of the Republic of Utro
  • Representative of the Federated States of Bata
  • Secretary-General

 

Teacher's package (48 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note
  • Suggested Readings

 

MAJOR LESSONS

  • This is a complex, multi-issue, multi-party negotiation that requires considerable problem-solving for the negotiators to arrive at agreement. Since some issues turn out to be non-negotiable, the negotiator's ability to disaggregate (or fractionate) the issues is critical to their success.
  • In order to avoid unnecessary frustration at trying to reach agreement on non-negotiable issues, clear commitments by the major parties about their BATNA's tends to facilitate negotiating success.
  • The existence of the Foreign Minister who issues negotiating instructions means that all negotiators must be responsible to a domestic constituency, which places limits on their latitude to negotiate freely. Negotiators must thus learn to negotiate in a constrained environment, and to negotiate equally effectively with the Foreign Minister as well as with the other parties to the negotiation.
  • The assumption by the nonaligned states of active roles as mediators between the two competing alliances tends to contribute to an ability to reach successful agreements. Furthermore, the ability of the nonaligned to maintain a position of perceived neutrality is crucial to their playing this mediating role effectively.
  • Implications for several "real world" international analogues may be discussed by the instructor as part of the debriefing; suggestions along this line are contained in the Instructor's Manual.

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Agenda control; BATNA; Caucusing; Coalitions; Commitments; Communication; Competition v. Cooperation; Currently perceived choice analysis; Enforcement and verification of agreement; Formula-detail negotiation; Fractionation; Group process; Integrative bargaining; Issue control; Joint gains; Managing uncertainty; Mediation; Political constraints (dealing with); Power imbalance; Pressure tactics; Risk perception; Systems of negotiation; Trust; Yesable propositions

Axis Affair

SCENARIO:

Version A: Axis Electronics is a huge Silicon Valley-based computer firm with its Microcomputer Development division of sixty employees located just outside Boston. Richard Van Heusen, Executive Vice President of Microcomputer Development, hired Denise Webster, a life-long New Englander with high academic credentials in microcomputers, to work as a manager in the division; she is the first female manager in that division, and the only professional woman with whom Richard has dealt in twenty years of business. An extremely challenging work assignment (solo development of a mouse/drawing pad prototype), followed by a series of social advances by Richard, leads Denise to work at home and miss work without explanation. Richard, stating that the project is in jeopardy and that Denise is not committed to Axis, demotes her from her position as project head and gives her notice of termination. Denise's attorney meets with Axis' in-house counsel to discuss the situation and attempt to resolve it before commencing any formal legal activity. Neither party knows much about the other's interest. Resolution of the situation is possible without litigation; while there are salary and profit figures to be handled, and agreement should not occur unless the specific problems of possible sexual harassment and gender discrimination between Richard and Denise are discussed and settled, and a company policy and grievance process for future situations is discussed as well.

 

Version B: Same as Version A, except that Axis Electronics is a 500-employee computer firm located in Massachusetts; Denise is not specified to be a lifelong New Englander, and has experience with personal computers as well as microcomputers. In this version, it may be possible to gloss over the current situation, but it will not be possible to reach an agreement which involves rehiring Denise but does not set up a company policy and grievance process for handling future situations involving possible sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

 

MECHANICS:

The exercise works best with one attorney per side. The parties' instructions require 20-30 minutes to read and analyze. Negotiation can take 40-50 minutes; review can last anywhere from 40-90 minutes.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS (Both Versions):

For all parties:

  • Review Questionnaire

 

Role Specific:

  • Axis Electronics Attorney
  • Denise Webster's Attorney

 

Teacher's Package (26 pages total):

  • All of the above material
  • Teaching Note
  • List of Suggested Readings

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • The partisan perceptions on each side can contribute to difficulty in understanding the other party's "take" on the situation and its causes. Attempts to educate can take place at two levels: educating the other negotiator, and educating the client. Participants can discuss how partisan perceptions affected their acceptance of differing interpretations of the case at hand, and the methods they used to try to educate their negotiating partner. The group can discuss possible ways to educate clients, in the initial interviews and in the post-negotiation discussion and presentation of an agreement for approval (this will be helpful for the client memos each side is required to write after the exercise and review).
  • Fairness and power imbalance questions are triggered by the issues of sexual harassment and gender discrimination present in the exercise. These two problems can be specifically addressed, or they can be broadened to serve as a base of discussion of difference issues in negotiating. Participants can explore the possibilities of miscommunication, societal causes, how the presence of a possible stereotype or difference affects negotiating strategy, and how to balance a desire for social change with the client's interests in this case.

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Attorney/Client relations; BATNA; Disclosure; Issues of difference; Fairness; Interests, dovetailing; Interests, internal ordering; Lawyering; Objective criteria; Partisan perceptions; Power imbalance

Blueville Health Foundation

SCENARIO:

The Blueville Health Foundation (BHF) has recently been created to fund health initiatives in the Blueville Area. The BHF is run by a 5-member Executive Committee. The Executive Committee of the Board has been charged to set priorities for funding health projects. Unfortunately, the members of the Executive Committee have struggled with how to identify community health issues that need funding, how to engage the community in this process, or even how best to interact among themselves to meet their Foundation responsibilities.

To help the process along, the newly hired Executive Director of BHF commissioned a ‘community health needs assessment’ to help determine priorities. Based on this assessment and discussions with Executive Committee members, the Executive Director has put together a proposal to help move along the process so that quick decisions can be made. This meeting of the Executive Committee has been arranged to discuss the proposal and to make final decisions on the first round of funding (that will cover the first two to three years of the Foundation's existence).

Additionally, the committee members will need to decide on an approach to community participation for future Foundation grant allocation priority setting and decision-making.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • General Instructions
  • Result Sheet
  • Appendix A-E background information on Blueville

 

Role specific:

  • Confidential instructions for:
  • Dr. B. Mortimer, Chairman of the Board, Blueville Health Foundation
  • N. Limmer, Executive Director, Blueville Health Foundation
  • Dr. W. Lead, Pulmonologist at Blueville Hospital
  • T. Burd, President, Burd and Hascom Associates
  • B. Bott, Director, Speak Up
  • R. Hopen, Senior Project Manager, Food for All

 

Teacher's package (46 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Three possible scenarios

 

KEYWORDS/ THEMES:

Foundations; philanthropy; community participation; managing conflict inside the organization; not-for-profit management; negotiation budge priorities

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

 

 

Bullard Houses

SCENARIO:

Downtown Realty, Inc. owns the historic Bullard Houses, a set of 51 attached brownstones in the city of Gotham. The Houses, occupied for decades by the city's wealthy elite, have fallen into disrepair and are currently occupied only by a few low-income families. Downtown Realty has been prevented from demolishing the Houses by the Gothic Landmark Commission. Consequently, Downtown is eager to sell the property, and has several offers on the table. One offer proposes to convert the Houses into apartments, another into townhouses, and a third into a sophisticated marketplace. Downtown has not yet seen the offer of a fourth developer, Absentia, Ltd. Absentia is unfamiliar with Downtown's other offers, but is confident that its offer will be appealing, although it is unwilling to reveal its exact plans. Each of the four offers presents a quite different financial package, each of which must be evaluated by Downtown in terms of present value. Both sides must take into consideration financial needs, tax implications, personal interests, and future dealings with the city Zoning Board. The negotiation involves attorneys representing Downtown Realty and Absentia, Ltd.

You can see students practicing the Bullard Houses negotiation game in this free video:

Bullard Houses was also used in a recent study at the University of California, Berkeley on the role gender plays in negotiation. The study focused specifically on whether the stereotype of women being more easily misled than men, was actually true. You can read more about the study and it's findings here.

MECHANICS:

This case is essentially a one-on-one negotiation, but can be run effectively using teams of two. Individual preparation takes several hours, and involves extensive, but simple, present value calculations. Playing time can run from 40 minutes to one hour. Debriefing time should not be less than 30 minutes; substantially more is possible, up to 90 minutes.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • General Instructions

 

Role specific:

Confidential instructions for:

  • Seller
  • Buyer

 

Teacher's Package:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Attorney/Client relations; BATNA; Confidentiality; Information exchange; Lawyering; Message analysis; Misrepresentation; Objective criteria; Political constraints, dealing with; Preparation; Quantitative analysis; Undisclosed principles

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

One of the main issues in this case is whether to settle at all. The complexity of information exchange may impede settlement in a single negotiation session. This situation brings up the general point that the best outcome of a negotiation sometimes is not to reach an agreement.

Several interesting questions of confidentiality are raised here, since the sellers have promised one of the developers not to reveal information about their offer, and the buyer's agent is under strict orders not to discuss his principal's plans. Under what circumstances, if any, can the attorney reveal information, and what other ways are there to avoid suspicion?

This case requires careful analysis of the available information both before and during the negotiation. Beforehand, negotiators should work through a variety of simplified, but reasonably realistic financial structures (bonds, mortgages, loans, etc.) to make a judgment about the relative worth of the various offers and possible alternatives. During the negotiations, while much information cannot be revealed, what can has important, probably unforeseen, but not obvious implications for the other side.

 

ENHANCED VERSION AVAILABLE:

A digitally enhanced version of this simulation is available through the iDecisionGames platform and includes the following features:

  • An Instructor’s Guide summarizing the negotiation concepts covered in the simulation, a quick review of simulation logistics, and a ready-to-use set of debriefing slides;
  • Highlights from background readings that will help both students and instructors gain a better understanding of negotiation concepts and methods covered in the simulation;
  • Pre- and post-simulation questionnaires instructors can use gauge each student’s grasp of the core concepts before and after participating in the simulation;
  • PowerPoint slides that introduce key concepts before the simulation and highlight lessons for debriefing;
  • Real time, interactive, data analytics provided via the iDecisionGames platform.

To order the Bullard Enhanced Package click here.

Bunyon Brothers

SCENARIO:

Four weeks ago, the Bunyon Brothers Construction Company began work on a 77-unit condominium complex at the end of a quiet, wooded, dead-end street named Chestnut Drive. All permits were properly, if quietly, obtained, and the quality of construction is high. Some resistance from the neighborhood was, of course, expected, but tempers now seem to be unusually high and a credible threat has developed of neighbors blocking the site access. The Company's General Counsel has scheduled a meeting with a neighborhood "negotiating committee." In preparation, he has scheduled an internal planning meeting with the Vice Presidents for Construction Management and for Marketing and Development. The exercise revolves around their three-party meeting.

NOTE: This exercise is an intra-team negotiation and is one of the two sides that makes up the exercise Chestnut Village (the other side is the exercise Chestnut Drive).

 

MECHANICS:

The Company officers should meet for 45-105 minutes. A break after 45 minutes for a presentation on intra-group process can be useful. After the completion of these preparation sessions, the groups should meet with one or more neighbor representatives (one or more of the officers at a time, however they chose in their planning session). Neighbors can be played by the instructor(s) or by other participants who have prepared as neighbors in the context of Chestnut Drive. Instructors can model various styles of negotiation. These negotiation sessions usually run about 20 minutes each. Different groups of executives and neighbors can continue by the substitution method (taking over where things left off) or by starting over.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • General Instructions

 

Role specific:

Confidential Instructions for the:

  • General Counsel
  • V.P. for Marketing and Development
  • V.P. for Construction Management

 

Teacher's Package:

  • All of the above

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Agenda control; Authority; BATNA; Commitment; Communica- tion; Compliance; Constituents; Currently perceived choice analysis; Education, as a means; Force; Group process; Media; Meeting design; Precedents; Preparation; Public opinion; Reality testing; Threats; Yesable propositions

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

This case focuses on two major themes. The first is preparation. What is your BATNA? What is theirs? What are their major interests likely to be? What are ours? What does their choice look like now? How, realistically, could we change it? What can they actually do? What can we do? How do we make it as easy as possible for them to do what we want, and hard for them to do otherwise? How do we best communicate all this? What yesable propositions do we have for them? Should we consult before deciding?

The second theme is meeting design and group process. How do three people work together to prepare for a negotiation? Set an agenda? Set strict time limits? Use a flipchart and a recorder? A facilitator? Separate inventing from deciding? And how do they work together in the ultimate meeting? Should they? How do they avoid divide and conquer tactics or distractions that keep them from focusing on any one point? How do they get commitment?

Another important theme is the problem of dealing with a representative of a constituency who does not have firm authority. The neighbor negotiators cannot really commit their neighbors. How should the Bunyon Brothers deal with that? Can either party really agree to what the other wants?

The case also raises the question of relationship and reputation. Both sides have important long-term interests.

Camilia Pictures

OVERVIEW:

Camilia Pictures is a film production company dedicated to producing movies with artistic merit, strong market potential, and cutting-edge sensibilities. Seven years ago, Camilia Pictures President Raven Reynolds, then an independent producer with a small company and a big Hollywood name, and Rick Statler, CEO of family entertainment powerhouse Labrador Entertainment, agreed to a merger. Camilia would continue to produce high-quality films, but it would do so as a part of the larger Labrador empire. Though Reynolds would still run Camilia, all movies it produced would now belong to Labrador.

For its first few years under the Labrador umbrella, Camilia Pictures thrived. But for the past few years, it has struggled as Reynolds and Statler continue to battle over money. Reynolds insists that she needs more to succeed. Statler, meanwhile, is increasingly concerned about the bottom line. The dispute between these two came to a head when Reynolds used her own money to purchase Privileges and Immunities, a controversial new documentary, against Statler’s direct orders. Reynolds contends that because she used her own money to buy it and Statler is refusing to distribute it, she has the right to make her own arrangements to bring Privileges to theaters. Statler insists that the film belongs to Labrador and that he is completely within his rights to refuse distribution. Labrador’s in-house counsel has referred both parties to separate lawyers to avoid a conflict of interest.

This simulation revolves around the meeting between the lawyers for Labrador Entertainment and Camilia Pictures, but is also suitable for use by non-lawyers. At stake is not only the ownership of the new documentary, but also the future of Raven Reynolds and Camilia Pictures at Labrador Entertainment.

 

MECHANICS:

Time Required:

  • 2 hours individual preparation (preferably outside of class)
  • 45-60 minutes preparation by side (optional)
  • 45-60 minutes negotiation
  • 1-2 hours debriefing

Group Size: 2 or 4 persons (lawyers may negotiate individually or in pairs)

 

Materials Required:

  • General Instructions for both parties
  • Confidential Instructions for Raven Reynolds’ attorney
  • Confidential Instructions for Rick Statler’s attorney
  • Illustrative 7-Element Preparation worksheet (to be distributed after the negotiation)

 

Teacher's Package includes:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching note

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

This simulation is useful for focusing on a range of negotiation issues, including:

  • Use of the Seven Element framework in preparation and negotiation (particularly interests, options, and objective criteria)
  • Tension between empathy and assertiveness
  • Tension between creating and distributing value (and associated issues such as disclosure)
  • Dispute resolution in the context of a long-term relationship
  • Issue control and strategy in a multi-issue negotiation
  • Agreement-drafting skills and implementation orientation
  • Relationship between negotiation process and substance
  • Role of attorneys / agents in negotiation

Camp Lemonnier

Scenario:

Camp Lemonnier is a United States Naval Expeditionary Base located in the African country of Djibouti. Djibouti, bordering Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, has been home to Camp Lemonnier since the September 11, 2001 attacks prompted the United States to seek a temporary staging ground for U.S. Marines in the region. Since then, Camp Lemonnier has expanded to nearly 500 acres and a base of unparalleled importance, in part because it is one of the busiest Predator drone bases outside of the Afghan warzone. Camp Lemonnier is home to the Combined Joint Task Force―Horn of Africa of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)—and is the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa.

Tensions between the two usually friendly nations took a turn after the crash of a U.S. Predator drone in the capital city of Djibouti. The United States Defense Attaché and the Djiboutian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs are meeting to renegotiate the terms of the lease contract for Camp Lemonnier. The negotiation will include the following issues: contract length, total lease payments per year, potential for renegotiation, economic development aid, and support for the local population, including staffing at the base.

Major lessons of this simulation include:

  • Defining BATNA: knowing your own BATNA will help you not accept a deal that is suboptimal to your likely walk-away alternative.
  • Understanding the Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA): By estimating the ZOPA prior to a negotiation you can avoid taking a deal that is worse for you than your next best (realistic) alternative.
  • The impact of culture in negotiation.
  • Process management and agenda setting.
  • Uncovering interests: integrative bargaining, or “mutual gain” negotiation, focuses on the idea that through careful preparation a negotiation outcome can be favorable for both sides.
  • Principal-agent dynamics.
  • Uncovering sources of power in negotiation.

This exercise is based on the real 2014 negotiations between the United States of America and the Republic of Djibouti. The Camp Lemonnier Case Study, which details the real-life negotiation, is available for purchase separately, and can be used either with this simulation or on its own.

Materials: 

  • General Instructions for all parties
  • Confidential Instructions for Djiboutian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Confidential Instructions for United States Defense Attaché
  • Results Form
  • Teaching Notes

Camp Lemonnier Case Study

Scenario:

In the spring of 2014, representatives from the United States of America and the Republic of Djibouti were in the midst of renegotiations over Camp Lemonnier, the only permanent U.S. base on the continent of Africa. Djibouti, bordering Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, has been home to Camp Lemonnier since the September 11, 2001 attacks prompted the United States to seek a temporary staging ground for U.S. Marines in the region. Since then, Camp Lemonnier has expanded to nearly 500 acres and a base of unparalleled importance, in part because it is one of the busiest Predator drone bases outside of the Afghan warzone.

The U.S. is not alone in recognizing the strategic importance of Djibouti. France and Japan have well-established military presences and launch operations from the Djibouti-Ambouli International airport, as well. As of spring 2014, Russia was also reportedly vying for a similar land lease in the country.

Tensions between the United States and Djibouti have flared in recent years, due in large part to a string of collisions and close calls because of Djiboutian air-traffic controllers’ job performance at the airport. Americans have complained about the training of air-traffic controllers at the commercial airport. Additionally, labor disputes have arisen at the base where the United States is one of the largest non-government employers within the country.

Major lessons of this case study include:

  • Defining BATNA: what is each party’s BATNA?
  • Understanding the Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA): what is the ZOPA in this case?
  • The impact of culture in negotiation.
  • Uncovering interests.
  • Principal-agent dynamics.
  • Uncovering sources of power in negotiation.

This case can be paired with the Camp Lemonnier Simulation, available for purchase separately from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC). The simulation is a two-party, multi-issue, fictionalized version of these negotiations.

Materials:

  • Case Study Part A
  • Case Study Part B
  • Teaching Notes

Cape Development Case

SCENARIO:

Approximately three years ago, Cape Development Corporation sold one of its thirteen adjoining lots to Charlie Davis. Although Davis had plans for the lot, it is still undeveloped. The City Council has now passed a cluster zoning ordinance which permits townhouse development if some land is permanently dedicated as open space. The 12 remaining lots, which are still owned by CDC, together with Davis' lot, make a prime location for a cluster development. Such a financial asset is appealing to both parties, and has led them to this meeting to pursue a development. Both Davis and CDC have empowered agents to represent them, giving them authority up to maximum offers.

 

MECHANICS:

This one-on-one negotiation can run from 30-60 minutes. Teams of two can also be used, with somewhat longer times for preparation and negotiation.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

Role Specific:

Confidential Instructions for:

  • Cape Development Corp. Representative
  • Charlie Davis' Representative

 

Teacher's Package:

  • All of the Above

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Attorney/Client relations; Authority; Competition v. Cooperation; Cost-benefit analysis; Financial analysis; Information exchange; Joint gains; Lawyering; Objective criteria; Offers, first; Options, generating; Pareto optimization; Quantitative analysis; Relationship; Reservation price; Risk aversion

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

There is tremendous opportunity for exploring creative options in this negotiation. Poorly handled, however, an adversarial deadlock can result. What techniques minimize the likelihood of that outcome?

The distributive bargaining component of the negotiation permits participants to perform cost-benefit analysis, as well as reflect on the importance of focusing on joint gains.

It is useful to explore how the participants use their reservation prices to determine opening positions and concession strategies. Is this justified? Effective?

Participants can see what role analysis of projected costs plays in achieving a Pareto-optimal outcome, and what effect it has on the decision-making process.

Chestnut Drive

SCENARIO:

Four weeks ago, Bunyon Brothers Construction Company began work on a 77-unit condominium complex at the end of a quiet, wooded, dead-end street named Chestnut Drive. The residents of Chestnut Drive were surprised and angered by this development, but, after some inquiry, concluded that there was little that could be done. Now, however, the construction process has once again brought their tempers to a boil. The neighbors' complaints include: the excessive noise from blasting, dangerously speeding trucks, the lack of a fence around the project area, foul language and habits among the construction workers, and damage to windows and at least one foundation allegedly caused by the blasting. They have elected a six-member negotiating committee consisting of a retired executive, a lawyer, a cab driver, a dentist, a small businessman, and a carpenter. The lawyer has set up a meeting of the community group with the Bunyon Brothers General Counsel. This exercise revolves around the neighbors commit- tee's preparation meeting.

NOTE: This exercise is an intra-team negotiation and is one of the two sides that makes up the exercise Chestnut Village (the other side is the exercise The Bunyon Brothers).

 

MECHANICS:

After individual preparation, groups of (roughly) six neighbors meet for about 90-105 minutes preparing to negotiate with Mr. Murphy of the Bunyon Brothers Company. A message is delivered to the lawyer 10 minutes into the session informing him that a newspaper reporter would like a statement. The group must choose whether or not to spend time on this, and if so, how much. A break after 45 minutes for a presentation on meeting design and group process is often effective. By that point, participants are familiar with the problem and interested in any insights that might be helpful in their remaining preparation time. At the end of the preparation period, groups traditionally have 20-minute negotiating sessions with Mr. Murphy or a management team from the Bunyon Brothers Company, often played by the instructor(s) demonstrating various negotiation styles. The negotiating sessions can be run serially, with one group picking up where the last left off, or consecutively, in either case with the rest of the class observing and thinking how they would proceed differently. An alternative to the instructor demonstration is to have groups of prepared neighbors negotiate with representatives of the Bunyon Brothers Company who have prepared Case No. 10004.0, The Bunyon Brothers.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This case focuses on two major themes. The first is preparation. What is your BATNA? What is theirs? What are their major interests likely to be? What are ours? What does their choice look like now? How, realistically, could we change it? What can they actually do? What can we do? How do we make it as easy as possible for them to do what we want, and hard for them to do otherwise? How do we best communicate all this? What yesable propositions do we have for them? Should we consult before deciding?
  • The second theme is meeting design and group process. How do six people work together to prepare for a negotiation? Set an agenda? Set strict time limits? Use a flipchart and a recorder? A facilitator? Separate inventing from deciding? And how do they work together in the ultimate meeting? How do they avoid divide and conquer tactics or distractions that keep them from focusing on any one point? How do they get commitment?
  • Another important theme is the problem of representing a constituency without firm authority. Can the negotiators really commit their neighbors? How should the Bunyon Brothers deal with that? Can either party really agree to what the other one wants?
  • The case also raises the question of relationship and reputation. Both sides have important long-term interests.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • General Instructions

 

Role Specific:

Confidential Instructions for the:

  • Cab Driver
  • Carpenter
  • Retired Executive
  • Shopkeeper
  • Dentist
  • Lawyer
  • Telephone Message to Lawyer

 

Teacher's Package:

  • All of the above
  • Draft Teaching Note

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Agenda control; Authority; BATNA; Commitment; Communication; public vs. private; Compliance; Constituents; Crisis decision- making; Currently perceived choice analysis; Delay tactics; Education, as a means; Emotions; Force; Group-think; Group process; Media; Meeting design; Preparation; Public opinion; Threats; Yesable propositions

Commonwealth v. McGorty

SCENARIO:

Two police officers on routine patrol were stopped at 2:35 a.m. by a woman screaming that she had been raped by a man in a nearby car. When approached, the man fled, but was soon apprehended. The woman's story bears a remarkable similarity to that of another woman for whose alleged brutal rape the man, Martin McGorty, was recently acquitted. However, the knife that the woman claims McGorty used cannot be found, and the woman has announced that she will not testify against McGorty in court for fear of ridicule if he is not convicted.

This negotiation involves four parties: a District Attorney, an Assistant District Attorney, the criminal defendant Martin McGorty, and McGorty's Public Defender. The DA was the original prosecutor in McGorty's previous trial but was disqualified for prejudice after a public remark about castration. The DA is running for higher office, and his campaign has regularly emphasized stiffer sentencing for sex crimes. The Assistant DA, a young attorney aspiring to the DA's office, is handling the current McGorty case. The Public Defender representing McGorty here also represented him in his previous trial. Part One of the negotiation involves client interviews: the Assistant DA interviews the DA, and the Public Defender interviews defendant McGorty, in order to determine their clients' interests and to decide how to represent them. Part Two is a plea-bargain negotiation between the Assistant DA and the Public Defender about the fate of the defendant. An optional third part may be used, in which the Assistant DA and the Public Defender brief their clients on the outcome. It should be noted that this case involves highly sensitive issues and that one-quarter of the participants are asked to assume the role of an alleged rapist. The sensitivity of the issues often makes for a provocative and memorable learning experience. At the same time, some participants may find the scenario upsetting. The Teaching Note contains suggestions for how to handle the emotional sensitivity of this case.

 

SUBJECTS:

Criminal law; government parties; legal ethics; legal representation; plea bargaining; psychological issues; rape; unpopular causes

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • Principal-agent tension: How does an attorney reconcile the tension between his/her own interests, the client's interests, and societal interests? How do an attorney's personal feelings influence the outcome of negotiation?
  • Importance of relationship building: How does the quality of attorney-client communication and the strength of the attorney-client relationship influence the outcome? How does the ongoing relationship between the Assistant DA and the Public Defender negotiate affect their ongoing relationship?
  • Ethical and policy issues: How should the legal system weigh probability of future harm against procedural rights?

 

Teacher's Package includes:

  • Participant materials
  • Teaching Note

 

Minimum Participants: 4

Preparation Time: 80 min.

Negotiation Time: 90 min. (45 min. for Part One and 45 min. for Part Two)

Debriefing Time: 40 to 60 min.

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

  • State v. Huntley
  • People v. Malvenue
  • Probation Games

Costless Warehouse

SCENARIO:

Alex Appros was a well-qualified and efficient employee of Costless, a consumer outlet chain, who quickly advanced within the company hierarchy. After three years at Costless, Appros was fired under allegations of embezzlement. Appros claims that this firing was based solely on his supervisor’s racial prejudice, and he is now suing the company for discrimination. Both sides wish to avoid trial and the possible accompanying publicity, so they have each hired a negotiator to settle the dispute. Each side possesses undisclosed information which may bear on the outcome of the settlement, and it is up to the clients to determine how much of this information to divulge to their respective negotiators.

 

MECHANICS:

The case is designed for four to five people: one person who will play Appros, one who will play the Vice President of Costless, and one negotiator on each side. There is also an optional role for Costless’ accountant, who is familiar with the undisclosed information of each side. Preparation should take about 60 minutes for each participant, client interviews should last 30-40 minutes and the actual negotiation should take between 60-90 minutes.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • How does internal conflict over these issues manifest itself in verbal and nonverbal behavior? What differential effects do different negotiation techniques have on the level of conflict — can partisan perceptions be strengthened by some approaches, greater understanding promoted by others? Which is desirable on an individual or societal level?
  • This case provides an excellent opportunity to plan, practice, and test skills in “separating the people from the problem,” and dealing with each on their own merits.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

Role Specific:

Confidential Instructions for:

  • Alex Appros
  • Chris Clarion
  • Negotiator for Alex Appros
  • Negotiator for Chris Clarion and Vice President of Costless
  • (Optional) William Walters, Accountant for Costless
  • Questionnaire for Alex Appros
  • Questionnaire for Chris Clarion

 

Teacher’s Package (25 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Teacher’s Note

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Negotiator-Client relationship; Disclosure; Illegal conduct; BATNA; Interests; Options, generating; Preparation

DONS Negotiation

SCENARIO:

Set in 2021 in the fictional state of Ames, this simulation involves an attempt to negotiation a settlement between two former sexual partners, Chris Wilson and Pat Stevens. At the time of her relationship with Pat, Chris knew that she was infected with the deadly DONS virus, which can only be transmitted through sexual intercourse. Chris did not disclose her DONS-positive status to Pat and proceeded to have unprotected sexual intercourse with him. After her relationship with Pat ended, and following counseling, Chris regretted what she had done and informed Pat that she had had the DONS virus during their relationship. After testing positive for DONS in a home self-test kit, Pat informed Chris that he planned to file suit. Chris responded that this should not be necessary as their lawyers should be able to work out a settlement.

With this general background, the lawyers meet with their clients in Round One of this exercise. During these preparatory meetings, each client discloses a new fact to his/her lawyer: Chris discloses the fact that she has inherited a great deal of money, and Pat discloses the fact that he is actually DONS-negative based on more precise lab testing. Neither Chris nor Pat wants this new information to be disclosed to the other party. In Round Two, the lawyers meet to discuss settlement.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This negotiation is designed to address ethical difficulties about disclosure and the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • This negotiation is also an excellent vehicle for discussing broader issues regarding principal/agent tensions.

 

Teacher's Package includes:

  • Participant materials
  • Teaching note

Eazy’s Garage – Four-Party

Note: This simulation may be used in conjunction with the PON video Lawyers and Clients: The Initial Interview, available from the TNRC in videotape, DVD or downloadable format. The Lawyers and Clients video is based on the same fact pattern as this four-party version of Eazy's Garage.

Note: This simulation is also available in a two-party (lawyers only) version here.

SCENARIO:

Susan Garfield has a billing dispute with John Eazer, owner of a local garage, over some work done on Garfield's car. Finding the bill significantly higher than the original informal estimate, Garfield angrily confronted Eazer. Eazer prepared a second bill at an even higher figure. Frustrated, Garfield returned to the garage after closing time with a spare key and drove her car home, without paying anything. Eazer turned to his child-in-law, an attorney, wishing to file a criminal complaint. When phoned, Garfield referred the attorney to her father, a senior partner in a local law firm. Garfield's father is letting one of his young associates handle the case. The negotiation involves both lawyers, and may or may not involve clients Susan Garfield and John Eazer as well.

 

MECHANICS:

This simulation involves 1-2 hours of preparation (preferably outside class), 30-45 minutes of lawyer-client interviews, and 30-45 minutes of negotiation. The negotiations may involve lawyers only or lawyers and clients, at the instructor's (or students') discretion.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • Importance of lawyer-client interviewing skills, particularly in a negotiation context
  • Roles of lawyers and clients in negotiation, and possible tensions in the lawyer-client relationship
  • Tension between empathy and assertiveness, especially in the context of a long-term relationship.
  • The relevance and uses of objective criteria.
  • Negotiating in the shadow of the law (and under the threat of a possible lawsuit).
  • Balance among short-term and long-term interests, including financial, relationship, reputation, and emotional interests.
  • Questions about what constitutes "success" in this negotiation? Is it making the other side back down? Avoiding litigation? Getting a "fair"deal? What are the criteria for a "good" outcome in negotiation?

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

Role specific:

Confidential Instructions for:

  • John Eazer
  • John Eazer's Attorney
  • Susan Garfield
  • Susan Garfield's Attorney
  • Sample Preparation Memo

 

Teacher's Package:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note


PROCESS THEMES:

Anchoring; Apologies; Attorney/Client relations; Authority; BATNA; Bluffing; Communication; Education, as a means; Emotions; Ethics; Joint gains; Information exchange; Lawyering; Legitimacy; Litigation analysis; Meaning of "success"; Objective criteria; Offers, first; Partisan perceptions; Principal/agent tensions; Public opinion; Relationship; Separating the people from the problem; Systems of negotiation; Threats; Yesable propositions

Eazy’s Garage – Two-Party

Note: This simulation is also available in a four-party version (with roles for two lawyers and two clients) here.

SCENARIO:

Susan Garfield has a billing dispute with John Eazer, owner of a local garage, over some work done on Garfield's car. Finding the bill significantly higher than the original informal estimate, Garfield angrily confronted Eazer. Eazer prepared a second bill at an even higher figure. Frustrated, Garfield returned to the garage after closing time with a spare key and drove her car home, without paying anything. Eazer turned to his child-in-law, an attorney, wishing to file a criminal complaint. When phoned, Garfield referred the attorney to her father, a senior partner in a local law firm. Garfield's father is letting one of his young associates handle the case.

 

MECHANICS:

This case takes 30-45 minutes to negotiate, either one-on-one or two-on-two. Debriefing can take from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

 

TEACHER'S MATERIALS:

Role Specific:

Confidential Instructions for:

  • John Eazer's Attorney
  • Susan Garfield's Attorney
  • Optional Mediator (Spanish version only)
  • Sample Preparation Memo

 

Teacher's Package (30 pages total):

  • All of the Above
  • Teaching Note (English version only; non-English versions do not include a Teaching Note)

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • Tension between empathy and assertiveness, especially in the context of a long-term relationship.
  • The relevance and uses of objective criteria.
  • Negotiating in the shadow of the law (and under the threat of a possible lawsuit).
  • Balance among short-term and long-term interests, including financial, relationship, reputation, and emotional interests.
  • Role of agents (such as lawyers) in negotiating a resolution to an emotional dispute between clients with a long-term relationship.
  • Questions about what constitutes "success" in this negotiation? Is it making the other side back down? Avoiding litigation? Getting a "fair"deal? What are the criteria for a "good" outcome in negotiation?

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Anchoring; Apologies; Attorney/Client relations; Authority; BATNA; Bluffing; Communication; Education, as a means; Emotions; Ethics; Joint gains; Information exchange; Lawyering; Legitimacy; Litigation analysis; Meaning of "success"; Objective criteria; Offers, first; Partisan perceptions; Public opinion; Relationship; Separating the people from the problem; Systems of negotiation; Threats; Yesable propositions.

 

ENHANCED VERSION AVAILABLE:

A digitally enhanced version of this simulation is available through the iDecisionGames platform and includes the following features:

  • An Instructor’s Guide summarizing the negotiation concepts covered in the simulation, a quick review of simulation logistics, and a ready-to-use set of debriefing slides;
  • Highlights from background readings that will help both students and instructors gain a better understanding of negotiation concepts and methods covered in the simulation;
  • Pre- and post-simulation questionnaires instructors can use gauge each student’s grasp of the core concepts before and after participating in the simulation;
  • PowerPoint slides that introduce key concepts before the simulation and highlight lessons for debriefing;
  • Real time, interactive, data analytics provided via the iDecisionGames platform.

To order the Eazy's Garage Enhanced Package click here.