Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Harvard Negotiation Law Review’s 2013 Symposium: “Ideas and Impact: Roger Fisher’s Legacy”

By Apoorva Patel ’13

On March 2, 2013, the Harvard Negotiation Law Review (HNLR) proudly presented “Ideas and Impact: Roger Fisher’s Legacy,” a symposium honoring the life, work, and legacy of Roger Fisher, Samuel Williston Professor of Law, co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project, and co-author of the best-selling book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. This full-day event explored Professor Fisher’s pioneering contributions to the field of negotiation and dispute resolution as well as his impact at Harvard Law School, throughout the country, and across the globe.

The Symposium comprised four panel discussions featuring prominent dispute resolution scholars and practitioners from around the country. The first panel, entitled “The Little-Known Roger Fisher: Path to a Life in Alternative Dispute Resolution,” explored Professor Fisher’s early works and career trajectory. Moderated by Michael Wheeler, this discussion included Amy Cohen, Andrea Schneider, Daniel Shapiro, and William Ury.

The Symposium’s second panel addressed the impact of Roger Fisher’s work on domestic affairs and the practice of dispute resolution in the United States. The panelists, Jared Curhan, David Hoffman, Grande Lum, Andrew Tulumello, and moderator Michael Moffit discussed how they use Professor Fisher’s ideas in their work and how these teachings have influenced domestic ADR practice.

The third panel of the Symposium explored the international impact of Roger Fisher’s scholarship and his contributions to international dispute resolution, including peace agreements. Moderated by Eileen Babbitt, this panel featured Diana Chigas, Alain Lempereur, Jamil Mahuad, and Bruce Patton. Panelists discussed how Professor Fisher’s ideas have influenced their work as well as international dispute resolution broadly.

The final panel, entitled “The Future of Dispute Resolution,” explored changes in the field as well as pedagogical and methodological shifts that would not be possible without Roger Fisher’s work. The panel, moderated by Robert Bordone and including Sheila Heen, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Robert Mnookin, and Robert Ricigliano, described possible future trajectories for the negotiation and dispute resolution field.

HNLR has posted to its website video recordings of each panel and additional information about the Symposium. Also on the HNLR website, readers will find a brief retrospective on Roger Fisher’s work in creating The Advocates, an award-winning public affairs debate series that was primarily produced at WGBH-TV and aired on PBS from 1969–74 and 1979–80. The Advocates marked an early effort by Professor Fisher to involve citizens in important decisions, in his words “to make public affairs your affairs.” Prepared in cooperation with WGBH by Suffolk University Law School Professor R. Lisle Baker, a colleague of Professor Fisher’s on the show during its first season, the retrospective includes links to The Advocates episodes, including those involving Professor Fisher and several other members of the Harvard Law School faculty, viewable at the WGBH Open Vault web site.

In hosting this Symposium dedicated to Roger Fisher, HNLR is deeply grateful for the support of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program and the event’s other co-sponsors: Milbank Tweed, the Program on Negotiation, CMI International, Triad Consulting Group, and CMPartners.