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Thursday March 31st, 2011

What Makes a Great Legal Negotiator?

Charles B. Craver, Freda H. Alverson Professor, George Washington University Law School

Thursday March 31, 2011, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Sponored by the Elmer F. & Ellen Laws Burwig Lecture – CISCDR 5th Anniversary Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture – presented by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Conflict & Dispute Resolution at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Lawyers negotiate repeatedly, but few have thought about the factors that are possessed by proficient negotiators. Over the past thirty years, I have tried to determine the factors that contribute to negotiating success. I have found no statistically significant differences among students in my Legal Negotiating classes based upon race, sex, or nationality. I have found no correlation between student GPAs or emotional intelligence and negotiation results.

Negotiator styles affect bargaining interactions. Individuals who use a hybrid Competitive/Problem- Solving approach designed to generate efficient agreements that maximize the joint returns achieved, but which enables such persons to claim a greater share of the joint surplus (“WIN-win” negotiators), do better than purely cooperative or competitive bargainers. Adept negotiators are thoroughly prepared, since they appreciate the fact that “knowledge is power.” They calculate their own bottom lines, and accurately estimate the bottom lines of their opponents. They establish elevated, but rational, aspirations, and prepare opening positions that favor their own sides. They develop confidence in their own positions which undermines the confidence of less prepared adversaries. They use the Preliminary Stage of their interactions to establish rapport with opponents and positive negotiating environments. They have excellent communication skills, and they are patient and persevering bargainers. They are also ethical individuals who puff and embellish, but never misrepresent material information.

Additional Information About Our Guest

Charles B. Craver is the Freda H. Alverson Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School where he regularly teaches a course on Legal Negotiating. Over the past thirty years, Professor Craver has made presentations on Effective Legal Negotiation and on Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures to over 85,000 individuals throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Austria, England, Turkey, and the People’s Republic of China. He was formerly associated with Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco, where he specialized in employment and litigation practice. Professor Craver is a member of the American Law Institute, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the American Bar Association, the Association for Conflict Resolution, the American Arbitration Association, the National Academy of Arbitrators, and the International Society for Labor and Social Security Law. He was previously affiliated with the Lawyers Mediation Service. He has won teaching awards at three different law schools.

Professor Craver is author of Effective Legal Negotiation and Settlement(LEXIS: 6th ed. 2009), Skills and Values: Legal Negotiating (LEXIS 2009), and The Intelligent Negotiator (Prima/Crown 2002), and coauthor of Legal Negotiating (Thomson/West 2007) and Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Advocate’s Perspective (LEXIS: 3d ed. 2006). He is also author of Can Unions Survive? The Rejuvenation of the American Labor Movement (N.Y.U. Press: 1993) and coauthor of: Labor Relations Law (LEXIS: 11th ed. 2005); Employment Discrimination Law (LEXIS: 6th ed. 2006; Collective Bargaining and Labor Arbitration (Michie: 3rd ed. 1988); Labor Relations Law in the Public Sector (Michie: 4th ed. 1991), Employment Law Treatise (West: 2 vol; 4th ed.. 2009), Employment Law Hornbook (West: 4th ed. 2010), and Human Resources and the Law (B.N.A.: 1994). He has published numerous law review articles pertaining to various aspects of dispute resolution and employment law.

Professor Craver received his J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1971, his M. Indus. & Lab. Rels. from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 1968, and his B.S. from Cornell University in 1967.