On Thursday, October 11, the Negotiation Club held their third annual competition hosted by Litwiniuk & Company. This event allowed students to participate in a hypothetical scenario where teams attempted to negotiate a personal injury settlement. After being provided with a prompt, teams set off to plan their strategy as counsel for either plaintiff or insurance company.
My partner and I planned to do a good-cop, bad-cop routine on the side of the insurance company. However, despite my furrowed brow and biting sarcasm and Gerry Beaudry’s soothing voice and Pixar face, our 1L opponents Corbin Zoeteman and Jennifer Goodheart remained steadfast in the representation of their client. In the end no settlement was made, but sometimes it’s just as satisfying to push back from the desk and say, “see you in court."
Once the hour-long negotiation finished, four experienced negotiators with Litwiniuk gave general feedback and answered questions from participants. We learned this prompt lacked a ‘ZOPA’ or a zone of possible agreement, so the majority of teams who did not settle could feel less disappointed by not coming to a conclusion. The one team that did come to a settlement did so on the indefatigable advocacy of 2Ls Wes Lui and Todd Dilling. Fittingly, Todd also won the door prize of a backpack and a Keurig.
The question and answer period ended on a high note with Litwiniuk lawyer Geoff Brisbin telling his famous anecdote of a plaintiff insisting on including a turkey in their settlement. Don't worry if you missed it, apparently Geoff tells the story at least once a week. Thanks again to the Negotiation Club and Litwiniuk for the great event, and the excellent charcuterie selection!
- Joey Beller
"So much fun! The highlight of 1L so far for me!"
"It's exciting to see how the Litwiniuk Negotiation has developed over the past few years. This year's executive presented a unique situation where the parties weren't able to come to an agreement and that made for some incredibly interesting negotiations and efforts at resolving the matter. Congrats to the Exec for finding a new way to challenge the participants."