$0.00 – $6.00
John Palenberg, Elizabeth Gray, Deborah Winter, and Wayne Davis
Two-party negotiation between representatives of two law firms over the sale of a collection of law books
PLEASE NOTE: This role simulation was updated in 2005 with higher dollar figures, to make it seem more realistic and worthwhile. The older version with the original dollar figures is available upon request.
Burns & Burns, a law firm, is splitting into two new firms, the smaller of which wants to sell 300 volumes from its library that form a set on a specialized topic. So far they have not received any particularly attractive offer. The small law firm of Jones and Solomon is now interested. Purchasing these books as a used set could save Jones & Solomon money over assembling a new library. Two young lawyers are meeting to discuss whether a deal is possible.
The exercise can be run in a one-on-one or two-on-two configuration. Negotiation time can range from 20-45 minutes; 30 is usual. Preparation time can be as little as 30 minutes, but it is helpful to allow time for a little outside research on the law book industry. Review can range from 30-90 minutes, and is enhanced by participant demonstrations. These can be new negotiations between people who have just done the negotiation, but not with each other, negotiations between participants who have held off negotiating until this time, or continuing negotiations between participants who have been unable to settle. Both during the basic negotiations and any demonstrations, one or both negotiators can be given additional instructions on the style of negotiation to employ.
- This is an excellent case for exploring the uses of objective criteria. A variety of criteria can be gathered from the case and outside research, and others, with a little thought, can be inferred.
- This case is also a convenient vehicle for exploring different systems of negotiation and how they fare against each other.
- The relationship of BATNA to bottom line is easily illustrated here.
- The case suggests how seldom one encounters a true single-issue negotiation. A little reflection suggests the presence of significant opportunities to expand the pie. In particular, the possibility of establishing an ongoing relationship that might lead to client referrals merits careful consideration.
For all parties:
- List of Some Possible Objective Criteria
- Confidential Instructions for the:
- Sellers — Burns & Burns
- Buyers — Jones & Solomon
- All of the above
- Draft Teaching Note
Anchoring; Authority; BATNA; Constituents; Cost-benefit analysis; Information exchange; Lawyering; Legitimacy; Meaning of "success"; Objective criteria; Offers, first; Options, generating; Relationship; Reservation price; Systems of negotiation; Yesable propositions
Law Library, The Attributes
|Time required:||30-minutes - 1 hour|
|Number of participants:||2|
|Neutral third party present:||None|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|
|Non-English version available:||Dutch, Japanese, German, Russian, Swedish|