Is Winning Everything?/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on May 18, 2014


We are all taught to play to win. Does that hold true for negotiations? Not necessarily.

1. A negotiation that is based on an imbalance of power (e.g. one party had legal advice and one did not) may be overturned by the Court. Fairness is a consideration left to the courts.

2. A negotiation that leads to results that are contrary to public policy (e.g. the children of divorce will not get child support) may be ignored by the Court.

3. A negotiation based on misrepresentations, guile, etc. may be challenged later on when the deception becomes apparent.

4. You may win the battle but lose the war. (E.g. A contentious negotiation leads to a hefty alimony agreement, but the payment obligation later on is ignored by the party who feels outmaneuvered.)

The senior President Bush was seen as a shrewd player on the international scene. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, he ordered that there be no gloating nor claims of victory from the American side.

Winning is important; knowing how to win is even more important.

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