Values-based / Identity-based Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Springfield OutFest

Kate Harvey and David Kovick, under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind and Jennifer Brown
This is a six-person, non-scorable negotiation simulation focused on mediating values-based legal disputes, specifically disputes involving conflicting views and values regarding homosexuality and religious faith.

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SCENARIO:

This simulation focuses on a dispute between two private organizations and a city over speech rights that will or won’t be granted as part of a permit for a festival on city property. It also explores the role of attorneys representing their clients in negotiated agreements around values-based disputes.

In Springfield OutFest, Springfield Pride is a local advocacy organization that supports the city of Springfield’s sizeable lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Springfield Pride’s largest event of the year, by far, is the OutFest, an annual street festival permitted by the city of Springfield to celebrate National Coming Out Day, to and support and affirm LGBT identity. In addition to drawing large, supportive crowds, the festival also attracts members of the public who oppose the message of the festival and LGBT lifestyles in general. One group in particular, Salvation Now!, is a nationwide network of grassroots religious and social campaigners who seek to bring their religious message directly to those they consider to be living sinful lifestyles. The local Salvation Now! organizers have been a regular and increasingly visible presence at the OutFest over the past several years, including last year. Salvation Now! members arrived at the OutFest, megaphones at the ready, and began broadcasting a message that many at the festival found offensive and hateful. Springfield Pride had organized a human buffer of numerous volunteers, who were prepared to to shield the crowd from the protesters. The volunteers carried massive signs to block the signs of the protesters and blew whistles to drown out their megaphones. As tensions mounted, the police arrested several Salvation Now! members for refusing to follow police instructions and disrupting the peace. Although these criminal charges were eventually dropped, the confrontation dampened the festival atmosphere and attracted quite a bit of unfavorable media attention to the city of Springfield and the OutFest.

The simulation begins one year later. Springfield Pride has just submitted its permit application for this year’s upcoming OutFest. Fearing either an escalation of last year’s confrontation or legal liability and court challenges, the city has requested a meeting with all parties to try to agree on some parameters and rules before this year’s festival.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

There are six roles to be assigned:

  • Springfield Pride (D. Jones, Chair of the OutFest Organizing Committee and R. Altman, Attorney for Springfield Pride)
  • Salvation Now! (B. Riley, Executive Director, Salvation Now! and G. Chiles, Attorney for Salvation Now!)
  • City of Springfield (C. Porter, Attorney and Head of the City Permitting Department)
  • Mediator

 

Teacher’s Package Includes:

  • All of the above
  • Jennifer Gerarda Brown, Peacemaking in the Culture War Between Gay Rights and Religious Liberty, 95 Iowa Law Review 747 (2010).
  • Teaching notes

 

TEACHING POINTS:

The most important objective of this exercise is to demonstrate that assisted negotiation (i.e., mediation) can be used to resolve values-based disputes, not just interest-based disputes. With the assistance of a mediator, the parties and their attorneys can craft a settlement that does not require them to compromise their fundamental beliefs or values. Key teaching points include:

  • Avoiding threats to individual identity
  • Stressing the human element
  • Overarching values
  • Understanding the interests of the parties
  • Focusing on both short-term and longer-term solutions
  • Learning when is no agreement the best agreement

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

Springfield Outfest is one of a 3-part series of simulations focused on the mediation of values-based disputes. The other two simulations in the series are Ellis v. MacroB and Williams v. Northville.

If you wish to purchase all three simulations at a discount we have a bundle option available click here. You can also download a PDF version of “Teaching about the Mediation of Values-Based and Identity-Based Disputes”.

 

Springfield OutFest Attributes

Time required:
3-5 hours
Number of participants:
6
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
Lawyer
Neutral third party present:
Mediator
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
Yes
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 tnrc@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 tnrc@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.