General Course Descriptions for Terms: negotiations
This course examines both negotiation and mediation as they are used to put deals together, resolve disputes and settle legal claims. Students will resolve mock disputes and settle mock legal claims in class. Students learn about competitive bargaining and collaborative problem- solving and acquire insight into the management of the tension between these approaches. Through simulated exercises, students develop skills and confidence as negotiators, including awareness of the psychological aspects of dispute resolution and barriers to consensus. The course involves substantial interpersonal engagement. The first half of the course will focus on development of each student’s individual negotiation skills. The second half of the course will delve into the mediation process and techniques from the perspective of both mediators and lawyers who represent clients in mediation. Several practicing lawyers will share their personal experiences in both negotiation and mediation settings. This is a 2 credit, mandatory pass/fail, limited enrollment course. Evaluation of students will be based on class participation, completion of assignments, regular class attendance, and participation in negotiation and mediation simulations (in class and mid-term which is video-taped outside of class).
The rules of evidence define how facts are proven in civil and criminal litigation. While this body of law is set in the context of formal trial practice, understanding evidentiary principles provides the foundation for advice and negotiations in law practices of all types. The course will focus on the Federal Rules of Evidence while noting significant differences with important Wisconsin Rules of Evidence. Students will gain a broad, working knowledge of evidentiary rules and their foundational policies along with an in-depth understanding of how to apply specific rules in specific circumstances. With an emphasis on the practical application of the rules of evidence, analysis of appellate case law will play a limited role in the course. Instead, class discussions will emphasize hands-on solving of specific problems, formulating questions, making and ruling on objections, and planning how to get facts before a jury or judge. From time to time students will learn through presenting an assigned rule to the class and answering related evidentiary problems, as well as role-playing in realistic trial simulations. COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES: When students successfully complete this course, they should: 1. Be capable of applying the Rules of Evidence to determine the admissibility of evidence in a litigation context. 2. Be capable of contemplating and incorporating the effects of the Rules of Evidence when structuring transactions and interactions even where there is no litigation. 3. Be capable of identifying how the Wisconsin Rules of Evidence materially differ from the Federal Rules of Evidence. 4. Be prepared to succeed in a Trial Advocacy or Advanced Trial Advocacy course given established fluency in the Rules of Evidence, allowing students to focus on learning and effectively practicing trial skills.
Mediation is a technique in which a third-party neutral supports negotiations between disputing parties in a manner intended to maximize opportunities for voluntary resolution. Arbitration is also a process that involves a third-party neutral, who is given jurisdiction to issue final and binding decisions through a privately-established adjudicatory process. Although still referred to as “alternative” approaches, arbitration and mediation have become mainstream, widespread methods for achieving the resolution of disputes and the development of desired outcomes. Developed in the mid-twentieth century for application in the collective bargaining environment, the techniques have expanded into nearly every conceivable category of dispute. The use of the processes is now prevalent in the business, medicine, construction, securities, sports, and human resources industries, among others; they are common vehicles for resolving environmental disputes and developing public policy; and they are well-incorporated into civil and criminal justice systems worldwide. Participation in such processes are sometimes voluntary and sometimes compulsory. They are the product of both private agreements and legislative mandates. This course examines the theory and practice of mediation and arbitration as dispute resolution processes. The course will feature foundational readings regarding underlying theories that drive the processes. Further, it will feature multiple simulations that will give students an opportunity to practice mediation and arbitration in the classroom. Arbitration simulations will occur in the form of scrimmages against law and graduate-level students at Cornell University. The course will also feature guest appearances by speakers who have professional experience in the area of mediation and arbitration. Learning Objectives: 1. Know the nuts and bolts of the mediation and arbitration processes in practice. 2. Understand the legal and philosophical foundations of the processes of mediation and arbitration. 3. Using simulated cases, apply arbitration and mediation theories and techniques and use those experiences as opportunity for reflection and evaluation.