Sample Paper on Critique of Negotiation Session Lawyer – Client Meeting

 

  1. What information did your teammate (attorney or client) provide that surprised you? How did you and your partner synthesize these differences? It was quite surprising to me as the attorney that my client wanted to keep Sat-Lith, whereas I thought that he wanted to go to court and apply the California law. I therefore advised him to consider joint venture between him and Mono-Lith Company, which he eventually accepted. My client and I went ahead and planned a special day for meeting the defendant and his lawyer in order to discuss the issue of possible joint venture and get their views on it. I found it very competent and ethical for a client to want to have an attorney who is willing to work tirelessly to reach an amicable agreement concerning the case. The act of taking the client with me during the negotiation was practical to me as I understood that my client had been panicking from the beginning of the case, and it would be quite in order to have him during the negotiation so that he would eventually relax knowing that the case was about to be solved. I also realized that my client had already thought of joint venture in the new enterprise that is to be formed, even though he had previously refused the idea or partnering with his old employee and wanted to run the company as a sole proprietorship. To be able to iron out these differences with my client, I stated clearly and strongly to him that the idea of collaborating with the other party would be very beneficial to him since he could use the opportunity to sign a new contract that does not have many restrictive clauses. I gave him an example of a scenario in which the client won the case because of listening to his lawyer.
    1. How well was the lawyer able to develop an understanding of the client’s interest and preference tradeoffs? In order to be able to develop an understanding of the client’s interest, the lawyer decided to take a legal view of the case at hand. He referred to previous cases with similar magnitudes, and relayed how the clients were only interested in having the case solved without caring about the procedures to be involved and the consequences of these procedures to his client. Quoting a few cases, the lawyers was able to explain to the client that he clearly understood the clients dire need to have the case closed but pointed out that working in a hurry might result in harmful consequences in the near future. He gave an example of a case in which the client harried to have an outside court settlement without involving his attorney but failed to sign legally binding paper. The claimant later on used this loop hole against the client and eventually possessed everything leaving the said client with nothing to hold on to
    2. How did you and your partner’s legal research impact attorney – client meeting. I expected my client to do more research in order to acquire mo knowledge of the case and be able to understand the possibilities of the outcomes of the case. However, I realized that my client did less research on the case and its possible outcomes as well as the consequences of his actions. As much as he took some few minutes perusing through previous similar cases, he was only looking for answers to satisfy his needs. Hence, the research done by both of us did not contribute much to our meeting, I had to use my legal knowledge in pieces everything together for the client to grasp the magnitude of the case at hand. Were you able to reconcile any differences in the client’s legal position? After serious discussions, the client realized that he had less knowledge about the case than he thought. I therefore talked to him and allowed him to read several case materials that he had come across during his research carefully so that he could better understand them and make his own judgment concerning his legal standpoint. He later found out that his research was shallow and only aimed at suiting his immediate needs but not looking at the case from a wider perspective. We therefore agreed on how the case should be solved. I explained everything that the client needed to understand and gave him time to ask questions for further clarifications. I proceeded to make the client understand areas where he would definitely go wrong hence may lose the case without any chance of repealing the case in future. Therefore, from my legal knowledge and his newly acquired wisdom in law, the client and I were able to iron out the differences without any hindrances. I had to explain to the client three cases that had similarity to the one he was involved since he did not have proper understanding of the case, neither did he possess adequate legal knowledge
    3. What joint strategies did you and your partner develop for the negotiations? We first met with the client to discuss the strategies of the case. Secondly we agreed that we will be meeting after every three days to inform each other on progress made for the resolution of the case, however, we reached an agreement that the client is not suppose to meet with the other parties without my (the lawyer’s knowledge). We agreed that the client should think of how he wants the case to be solved so that I can deliberate in a way that helps meet his interest and requirement. We agreed to try and resolve the case out of the court and if possible the client have the rights of either go back to work at Mono – Lith, or work out a case in which the client will totally stop working for the company and start his own firm in which he will be the boss. I noticed during the negotiation between me 9the attorney) and my client that he was adamant about going back to  work for Mono- Lith and was more focused on starting his own firm Salt- Lith, I therefore advised him about having a joint venture and he accepted by advice. This was a better standpoint for me as lawyer because I could fully understand the most important need for the client and work towards meeting them during the negotiation with the other parties involved in the case. I also knew what to do when the time for negotiation arrived and informed the client accordingly.
    Negotiation session
    1. What were the interest of the four parties and how did the principals and their agents differ. Club was interested in starting and keeping his company Sat – Lith while the attorney wanted him to go back to work with his former employer Mono – Lith. Upon noticing the accused did not want to want to go back to work with his former employee and was more interested in having his own company. I advised him as his lawyer to consider the issue of joint venture seriously, as we proposed earlier. I made him realize that he stood to gain more by collaborating with the defendant than he would while working on his own. Joint venture would give him the ability to make important decisions in the new company; he would be a CEO and not just a mere employee. On the other hand, the defendant was okay with the issue of joint venture but was adamant to have the accused as a chief executive officer with the same rights. I explicitly defended my client by stating to the defendant’s side that my client had to be a full CEO in Sat-Lith and enjoy full rights that the CEO should have or we would move to caught. They eventually agreed to grant my client’s wishes and took up the proposal of joint venture.
    2. What was each side’s reservation point going into the negotiation? Before the negotiations, Club and I agreed on a 50 percent reservation of Sat –Lith worth. This means that he agreed to let go of half of the price of Sat -Lith in order to compensate the owner of Mono- Lith so that he does not have to go back to work with them. Instead, he would start his own company in his state without posing any form of competition to them. Club also did not want to enter into partnership with Mono -Lith and his owners as they proposed earlier in their meeting. On the contrary, the defendant (Icon) wanted to enter into a partnership with the accused (Club) as an aim to hinder his development and gain further from the proceeds of  Sat – Lith company. In my opinion, this mean move aimed at making him benefit from an area where he did not deserve to receive anything from. I am also for the opinion that Icon’s main intention was to derail Club from starting the company for fear of competition and tremendous success since he was set to use sophisticated equipment in his business operations. I tend to feel that the owner of Mono- Lith proposed the partnership deal between him and Sat-Lith during negotiation with high hopes that his attorney would push it in his favor. It is clear here that the client expected his lawyer to be the think tank of what he wanted without him communicating his expectations to his attorney clearly. I tend to feel that there was lack of proper communication between the two individuals and this could be a breeding ground of failure at the time of real negotiations. On the contrary, the accused (my client) knew what he wanted and we presented our case strongly to the defendant with the aim of either achieving our goals or ensuring that the defendant did not stand a chance of stopping my client from starting his company. Eventually, the two sides reached an agreement and accepted to operate with a joint venture of 50% for each side. They agreed that Club has the right to work primarily on satellite technology, while Icon will mainly work on the phone technology. Notwithstanding the prior terms of the contract, both parties will be responsible for both phone and satellite technology and share in the profits and, or any failures of either equally. Consequently, in one and a half years, the parties will determine which technology is most profitable and will pursue only the most profitable (either phone or satellite technology) from that point forward.
    3. Who was the lead or only the negotiator, the lawyer or client? Why? In this case, the client was observed to be talking more than the lawyer should have. Irrespective of the fact that the client did not have proper legal background and a good mastery of law as an education, he seemed to understand and be in control of the case. He knew what he wanted and hence what he expected as the outcome of the case. Therefore, the client was noted to do a lot of talking which mostly intimidated his lawyer. One question begged to be answered and this was whether the lawyer had lost control of the case or he just decided to be reluctant and let the client do as he pleased. However, the lawyer listened to too much talk from the client also and realized that this would make the client look like an individual who did not have enough knowledge about the case the lawyer stepped in and carried on with the negotiation as appropriate. He fully stated the desires of his client to the other party and managed to settle d for a joint venture in which both sides would have a lead role to play.
    4. How did your perception of the bargaining zone or your options change during the negotiation with the other party. From the provided answer, there were observable changes that took place between the defendant, his lawyer, the accused, and his attorney. For example, the client changed his mind because his lawyer did not want him to move on with his plans of starting a new firm called Sat – Lith company. The client was forced into making decisions such as having to change his early opinion because he felt that the lawyer imposed many issues on him. For instance, the lawyer is seen to be advising the client to go back and work with his former employer and disregards the scenario that the two parted ways in a manner that was not professional and they were on each other’s case to see what the jurors will say. In this case, my perception was built on the foundations that the lawyer must have given up on the case even before it took off, hence there were high possibilities of the client and the lawyer loosing the case. Secondly, the client felt that the negotiation would not be completely successful because the defendant demanded to possess many things that the client was not willing to part with, for example, they wanted to be partners in the Sat- Lith Company, something that did not sit well with the accused. The accused also changed his options because he felt that he had the right to start and run a company irrespective of the contract that he signed with the former employer. In this regard, the lawyer should have used proposition of the national law that states that every individual has the right to start and run a business, and that no former employer should dictate whether an individual runs a competitive business to his or not, since the right to own business ventures was a fundamental human right in the country.
    5. How did your lawyer – client team integrate new information into its thinking? The lawyer decided to have a meeting in which they would compare notes and come to an agreement on what new information to present during the negotiation. They weighed the pros and cons of the information they had and looked at how they would either make them loose or succeed with the negotiation. They used the information they had to their advantage and hoped that the other party would agree to their thoughts and propositions. However, the mistake that arose was that the client and his lawyer relied so much on their thinking but did not take much considerations of what the defendant and his lawyer would propose. They did not give much thought to the way the opposing side would go. In my opinion, I feel that the lawyer should have looked at previous cases of similar nature that did not end up in court and found out how they succeeded in the negotiations so that the accused received his wishes and the defendant left satisfied. It is always important for attorneys to refer to old cases so that they are better informed on the paths to take in order to succeed in defending their clients.
    6. Did the lawyer’s conflict of interest affect the representation of his or her client? It was notable that the client and his lawyer had notable conflicts of interest; however, the difference in their opinions did not affect how he represented his client. The lawyer later realized that the client knew exactly what he wanted and decided to represent him accordingly bi fighting so that the client would achieve his expectations from the case. The lawyer made strong arguments in favor of his clients even though he faulted at some points, most probably because he thought that they would not win the case in the end. The faltering came because of self-doubt and not having enough faith in him that they would win the case.
    7. On balance, did the lawyers create value for their clients in this setting, or would the CEOs have served their companies better by negotiating without legal assistance or representations? It is worth stating that the lawyers did serve their clients very well and to the best of each client’s satisfaction irrespective of the fact that there were notable differences and conflicts of interests. The CEOs would not have served their organizations better without legal assistance because in as much as they were aware of what they wanted, both sides had many emotional problems that directly related to the case that they had to deal with. Similarly, the fact that the two leaders knew exactly what they wanted does not mean that they were aware of the long terms consequences of deciding to take matters into their hands. It should also be noted that the two leaders did not have adequate knowledge of the legal system and how it is operated; hence, it was in evitable that they opted for the help of lawyers. There are sometimes when lawyers are perceived as people with hidden agendas, especially when the success of a case is bound to bring in more money to the individual and his or her attorney, however, this was not the case in the conflict between the two CEOs.
    8. What other issues or dynamics did you observe that were different in a negotiating situation with a principal and an agent on each side of the bargaining table than what you have observed in interactions between principles or agents alone. Many negotiation lead by principles or agents only end up with major disputes, normally this is because of lack of proper understand coupled with the issue that one side may demand something that the other party is not able to deliver. Secondly, major disputes usually arise in cases where there are no legal representatives because of greedy expectations and lack of harmony. Therefore, in my view, the two legal principle ensured that the negotiation were carried out with proper understanding by following the right legal standards hence an agreement was reached. There were no escalating tempers and throwing of insults, like those that I have observed in many cases where there were no legal representations.
    9. I would have called a meeting between me and my client discussed the expected outcomes of the case from his point of view. I would have asked him what he expects, how he would like the negotiations to proceeds. We would then have continues to brainstorm on the possible demands that the other party would be expecting from us and prepared accordingly. I would have made sure that my client fully understood the weight of the case as opposed to doing it hazily as I did earlier.
    10. I would have made sure that all the necessary meetings and communications between the defendant’s lawyer and I, was done in the presence of my client just as we did initially. I feel that it is important to involve the client all the time so that he too is aware of every step made towards the success of the case. Just like in the first situation, I would have gone ahead and considered many more cases of similar magnitude to prepare myself well for the negotiation so that my client would emerge the winner or better still grant his wishes but not imposing my thoughts and feeling upon him. I believe that the fact that I am a practicing attorney does not mean that I know everything about all cases, hence the need for me to carry out in-depth research before negotiations.
    11. How would you have participated differently in the lawyer client meeting? I would have made sure that I had all the necessary materials for the meeting. For example, after doing my research, I would have made sure that I carried all the cases with me to give them to my client so that he too could read them and have a proper understanding of the weight of the case before we went for the negotiations together. I would have taught my client on the positive outcomes of going to see the defendants and his lawyer the way we did. I would have told him that he should let his lawyer talk most of the time instead of him doing all the talking as he did during the negotiation. Finally, I would have made sure to tell my client that it is normal for the lawyer and his client to have misunderstandings but this does not mean that the lawyer is no longer interested in the case as was the issue during our preparation and negotiation time.
    12. How would you have participated differently in the negotiations? In order to participate differently and successfully in the negotiation session, I would have made sure that I fully represent my client without any biasness. I could have made sure that he gets exactly what he wanted without imposing conditions on him. Hence, during negotiations I would have purely presented my client’s needs and desires. I made sure to push every possible button to ensure that my client got what he wanted. Even though I failed after trying the best, I could to ensure that my client managed to retain Sat-Lith, I gave him the suggestion of joint venture, which he found acceptable, and the case ended. From my experience and full participation in this case, I believe that every lawyer should do their best to represent their client’s interest fully during any negotiation just as I did.
    13. Improvement of the simulation: if the negotiation resulted into an agreement, I would have made sure that I changed the initial reservation from 50 percent up to 80 percent for Sat – Lith and 20 percent for Mono –Lith. This is because, unlike in the previous meetings where the client was in a hurry to let go of the case, and so he agreed to settle at affair price. In this meeting, the client had a better grasp of the case, was more understanding of the negotiation process, and evidently was aware of what he wanted to achieve during the negotiation. If the negotiation failed, I would ensure that I made it clear to the other parties that we were not ready to change our mind about the reservation price. I would have made it clear to them that, it they stood to lose given the ability to start and own an enterprise is a fundamental human right that is protected by the laws of the land.
    14. The ethical dilemmas that existed during the negotiation had to do with the fact that my client was in possession of copies from Mono – Lith Company. However, he claimed that he was the brains behind their development. He also stated that there is not law both in the country, and at his former work place that states that he could not own what he created. The presence and the participation of the attorneys made sure that the negotiation session took place smoothly without any war erupting between the two individuals. It was very clear that many hostile events would have transpired if the two principles decide to involve people with no legal backgrounds. The presence of the attorneys also ensured every person’s interest was met fully without over exploitation of the other party. I also ensured that my client accepted the idea of joint venture and wanted a new company without joining the two names. In my role as attorney, I persuade him with the idea of joining their names together to have a company called Mont – Lith and Sat- Lith firm.