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Code of Negotiation Practices for Lawyers

NCJ Number
Negotiation Journal Volume: 1 Issue: 2 Dated: (April 1985) Pages: 105-115
R Fisher
Date Published
6 pages
This paper presents a sample attorney memorandum to a client sent prior to entering a negotiation on the client's behalf, followed by the inclusion of a draft code of negotiation practices for lawyers.
The memorandum requests the client's approval for the attorney to use the attached code for the conduct of negotiation on the client's behalf. This approval is sought to prevent future misunderstanding between the attorney and client. The memorandum also supports the use of the code by explaining its purposes. The code presented after the memorandum is based on a The code presented after the memorandum is based on a draft first produced by the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School. It first presents the role of the negotiating attorney as a professional, an advocate for clients' interests, a counselor, a mediator, and as a model of just behavior. In presenting the goals of an effective negotiation, the code outlines seven elements of a laudable outcome: (1) a better outcome for the client than would have occurred without negotiation, (2) an outcome acceptable to both parties, (3) the best outcome for the client under the circumstances, (4) an outcome objectively fair to all, (5) effective communication among all parties, (6) commitments easy to implement and (7) future negotiations facilitated. In its concluding section, the code presents general guidelines of effective negotiation and seven methods for facilitating a successful negotiation outcome. One note is included.