June 2, 2022
by Lorea Mendiguren ’23 Decision rules are a crucial part of multi-party negotiation. Whether it’s a shift in policies in the workplace, the passing of legislation in Congress, or the adoption of a World Trade Organization ruling, the process for determining how a decision is made has a major impact on the way that negotiations …
Dealing in Justice: System-Level Solutions for Plea Bargaining Inefficiencies in Massachusetts Municipal and District Courts
May 25, 2022
by Stephanie Kelemen ’22 Plea bargains are like medications with bad side effects—extraordinarily painful to take, but they get the job done. In some cases, the pain outweighs the benefit of the treatment. But in the vast majority of cases—97 percent to be precise—criminal defendants take their medicine. And it hurts every single time. I …
Negotiators x PATHWAYS: A Collaboration to Facilitate Negotiations Training to Students Across the World
May 11, 2022
This year, the Harvard Law School (HLS) Negotiators (a student practice organization) had the opportunity to work with the PATHWAYS Institute for Negotiation Education to offer undergraduate students on both sides of the Atlantic an experiential journey into creative negotiation, fostering connections with peers from other backgrounds, and developing critical thinking and communication skills.
May 6, 2022
In the frenzied hours since Politico published a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito striking down Roe v. Wade, commentators and writers have used strong language to emphasize the historic importance of the leak: “unprecedented,” “shocking,” “singular and egregious.” But this focus on the leak—how it happened, who did it, and what it means for the future of Supreme Court deliberations—is misplaced if it comes at the cost of distracting from the opinion itself. The important work to do right now has to do with substance, not process.
March 10, 2022
by Lorea Mendiguren ’23 With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and no indication of diplomatic progress since December, two questions are at top of mind: what happens next and what can we do? To understand what is driving the Kremlin’s actions and create space for potential resolutions, we must first identify what the Kremlin actually …
Negotiating the Boundaries of Acceptable Pandemic Behavior: Takeaways from Conversations with First-Year Law Students Living with Roommates in 2020-2021
December 9, 2021
Living with roommates always necessitates some degree of negotiating boundaries. Even in non-pandemic times, roommates must decide norms around cleaning common spaces, communal versus individual use of food and cookware, and playing music. The COVID-19 pandemic added additional complexity, as it brought to the forefront many of the behaviors that roommates would traditionally not need to discuss. In the face of an infectious virus, roommates’ behaviors around indoor dining, in-person socializing, and hosting guests become key topics to communicate about, discuss, and ultimately negotiate.
October 4, 2021
by Valerie Gutmann ’23 Part I: How I Became Involved with and Interested in Alternative Dispute Resolution at HLS The first time I heard the phrase “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR) was in the fall of 2020. I had just started at Harvard Law School (HLS) virtually, during a pandemic, and I was listening to the President …
September 30, 2021
We are excited to introduce two student writers who will be contributing recurring columns to our blog this fall. Kelly Murphy ’24 and Valerie Gutmann ’23 bring a diverse range of experiences to their current work in dispute resolution. Both trained mediators, Kelly and Valerie will offer informed and thoughtful perspectives on not only mediation, but also …
September 20, 2021
Technology-driven change is coming to our community so the more dialogue we have, the more likely we can avoid harmful outputs while still harnessing the benefits.
May 18, 2021
By Patrick Maxwell ‘21 To wrap up this blog series, let’s think back to the first entry of this series, and the concept of “conflict resolution infrastructure” that was introduced there. Conflict resolution infrastructure is the set of processes, decision rules, specialists, and sources of truth that govern how a conflict is managed—and as …
May 12, 2021
By Patrick Maxwell For this blog entry, I sat down with Nadiya Brock. Nadiya is an Associate at Essential Partners—a Cambridge-based organization that equips people to live and work better together in community by building trust and understanding across differences. The communities that Nadiya and Essential Partners work with often find themselves embroiled in inter-bubble conflicts. Nadiya and I …
May 4, 2021
By Patrick Maxwell ‘21 The next entries of this blog series will focus on examples of inter-bubble conflicts from real life—and how those conflicts came to some kind of successful resolution. In this post, we’ll examine two vignettes of inter-bubble conflict. The first example is an interpersonal conflict, returning to the world of QAnon and conspiracy theories that we first referenced …
What Makes a Negotiation Win-Win? Exploring Perspectives, Mutability, and the Limits of Value Creation – Part 2
April 22, 2021
By Zekariah McNeal ‘21 The precursor to this post began a discussion for why negotiations are understood to be win-win or win-lose. Analyzing how the pre-agreement and post-agreement perspectives of a negotiator relate to this question, the previous post suggested that determining whether a negotiation is win-win is quite a complex endeavor. Although the …
When Norms Collide, Part 3: How Inter-Bubble Conflicts Become Politicized and Polarized—And What This Means for ADR
April 7, 2021
By Patrick Maxwell ‘21 Many of the most salient examples of inter-bubble conflicts—in a US context, at least—take the form of “culture war” issues. The opening entry in this blog series referenced an interpersonal conflict stemming from the QAnon phenomenon, and hot-button issues like abortion or climate change certainly qualify as inter-bubble conflicts. The question then arises: are inter-bubble conflicts inherently “political”? And …