International Business Negotiation
This course is structured around a quarter-long, simulated negotiation exercise which is intended to provide an in-depth study of the structuring and negotiating of an international business transaction. This class will be taught in counterpart with a class at Berkeley Law School. Students in this class will represent a U.S. pharmaceutical company, and the students in the class at Berkeley will represent an African agricultural production company. The two companies are interested in working together to exploit a new technology developed by the pharmaceutical company that uses the cassava produced by the African agricultural production company. The form of their collaboration could be a joint venture, a licensing agreement or a long term supply contract. The negotiations between the two classes will take place through written exchanges and through real-time negotiation which will be conducted both in-person and via videoconferences. The purpose of the course is to provide students with an opportunity (i) to experience the sequential development of a business transaction over an extended negotiation, (ii) to study the businesses and legal issues and strategies that impact the negotiation, (iii) to gain insight into the dynamics of negotiating and structuring international business transactions, (iv) to learn about the role that lawyers and law play in these negotiations, (v) to give students experience in drafting communications, and (vi) to provide negotiating experience in a context that replicates actual legal practice with an unfamiliar opposing party (here, the students at Berkeley). Students will also learn about the legal and business issues that may arise in joint ventures, supply agreements and licensing agreements. The thrust of this course is class participation and active involvement in the negotiations process. Students are expected to spend time outside of class, working in teams, to prepare for class discussions involving the written exchanges, as well as preparing for the live negotiations. Class discussions will focus on the strategy for, and progress of, the negotiations, as well as the substantive legal, business and policy matters that impact on the negotiations. In addition to the regular Monday class, classes will meet for the live negotiations on two Thursday evenings on-campus at 7:00 PM (10/15 and 10/22) and three Saturday mornings at 10:30 AM (10/10, 10/31 and 11/14) in the San Francisco office of DLA Piper (555 Mission Street; close to Montgomery St. BART station). Due to the Thursday and Saturday classes, this class will conclude on November 16. The course will be limited by lottery to twelve (12) law students (additional students from business or engineering may also participate). Attention Non-Law Students: You must complete and submit a Non-Law Student Course Add Request Form to the Law School Registrar's Office (Room 100). See Stanford Non-Law Student Course Registration on the SLS Registrar's Office website. Prerequisites: A course in basic negotiations (e.g., Law 615) or comparable prior experience is recommended. A primer on basic negotiations skills will be offered at a time TBD as an alternative for students who have not had a prior negotiations class or experience. Elements used in grading: Class participation, written assignments and final paper.