As economies globalize and organizations increasingly form cross-border relationships, there should be more focus on problems facing legal practitioners caused by cross-cultural differences. While international transactions comprise of distinct phases, the aim of this course is to explore the importance of pre-negotiation phase of international transactions. The legal training in the United States tend to devote far too little time and attention to the pre-negotiation phase than most of our counterparts from other countries. American lawyers generally want to “dispense with the preliminaries” and “to get down to cases” at the negotiation table. For seasoned lawyers and executives, however, this phase of Pre-negotiation is the most important stage to determine whether they want to negotiate at all and, if so, what they will talk about, and how, when, and where they will do it. Without a proper pre-negotiation phase, one may not get to that negotiation table, let alone explore any dispute resolution mechanisms.
Pre-negotiation phase can be characterized by information-gathering efforts to evaluate the parties’ interests and comprises of a process entailing rational choice to pursue negotiation or not. This course, “Pre-negotiation Strategies,” will attempt to introduce an analytical framework for understanding and formulating culturally responsive legal strategies for international lawyers. This highly interactive class will utilize case studies as well as various international agreements to highlight the importance of evaluating and analyzing the negotiating environment before it actually takes place. The course will address the need for practitioners to research and identify certain cultural mores and behavioral patterns in dealing with an unfamiliar culture as well as examine foreign bureaucracies, foreign laws, and multiple currencies in order to develop cross-culturally sensitive strategies in international transactions.
Active in-class participation and simulations will be required.