$0.00 – $6.00
Frank Sander and William Ury
Two-party, multi-issue negotiation between lawyers for a divorcing couple over the terms of the divorce, including alimony, child support, and income tax issues
Bill and Ellen Ellsworth are in the midst of a heated divorce. Mrs. Ellsworth instituted a divorce on the grounds of physical and mental cruelty. Her attorney will meet with Mr. Ellsworth's attorney to try to settle out-of-court. The issues with which both sides are primarily concerned are those of alimony, child support, medical insurance, ownership of family residence, custody of the children and visitation rights, division of securities and savings, and legal costs. Both parties want a divorce.
This case can be set up as a one-on-one or a two-on-two team negotiation. It is sufficiently complex to make teams worthwhile. Usually used toward the end of a negotiation training course, this case requires extensive preparation and involves a moderate amount of income tax law. It is recommended that at least one participant be familiar with personal income tax law. A minimum of 3 hours negotiation time is needed. Three days to run the full exercise is common. Any or all issues can be set for drafting. Agreements on other issues can be outlined.
- The complexities of this simulation provide a good testing ground for the overall negotiating sophistication of participants.
- Good preparation for the case requires extensive analysis when calculating BATNA's, deciding what client information must be kept confidential, and anticipating the other party's demands.
- There is considerable opportunity to exploit joint gains by dovetailing compatible interests and using tax law creatively.
- A variety of ethical issues are raised concerning the disclosure of information to the other side and the balancing of a client's long-term and short-term interests (e.g., revenge).
For all parties:
- Psychological Evaluation
Supplemental Information for Ellen Ellsworth and Bill Ellsworth:
- Background Information Memo
- Client Feedback Forms
Supplemental Information for Attorney Roles:
- Background Information Memo
- Tax Memo
- Legal Memo
- Section 208
- Child Support Guidelines
- Attorney Report Form
- Ellen Ellsworth
- Bill Ellsworth
- Wifes' Counsel (Ellen Forthcoming Negotiation Memo)
- Husband's Counsel (Bill Forthcoming Negotiation Memo)
- All of the Above
Agenda control; Attorney/Client relations; BATNA; Commitments; Competition v. Cooperation; Compliance; Confidentiality; Decision analysis; Drafting; Emotions; Ethics; Fairness; Information exchange; Interests analysis; Interests, dovetailing; Joint gains; Litigation analysis; Meaning of "success"; Misrepresentation; Objective criteria; Options, generating; Personality; Systems of negotiation
Ellsworth v. Ellsworth Attributes
|Time Required:||3-5 hours|
|Number of participants:||4|
|Neutral third party present:||None|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|