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Advanced Lecture (Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition) (E)

[Lecture Course Basic Information]

Lecturer: MCGINTY Sean Michael
Other Lecturers: N/A
Course Type: Lecture
Semester: Spring
Year:* 1,2
Course Periods:* Friday 13:00-14:30 
Credits:* 2
Whether mandatory or not:* Not.
Classroom:* Course will be held online this term, please refrain from attending campus.

 

Outline of Lecture Course

This course is designed as a preparatory course for those students who wish to participate in the Intercollegiate Negotiation and Arbitration Competition. The Competition is held annually at Sophia University in Tokyo usually in the first weekend of December and brings together teams from universities across Japan and neighboring countries. Nagoya University has been a participant for most of the Competition’s history and in recent years our English language teams have been mostly composed of G30 students in law.

The Competition consists of two rounds which each take up a day of the two-day event. The first, “Arbitration”, round requires teams, playing the role of lawyers representing a business, to present legal arguments before a three judge arbitration panel relating to a contractual dispute their client is having with the opposing team. The details of the dispute are set out in a problem distributed by the competition organizers. This round allows students to gain some experience in basic litigation (or “lawyering”) skills in a courtroom-like environment.

In the second, ”Negotiation”, round the members of the team switch roles from lawyers to business people. Instead of arguing a case against the other team, in this round the two teams facing each other must negotiate the terms of a business agreement between their respective companies. Each team is given certain “secret information” which outlines the goals they are seeking to achieve in the negotiation. The round allows students to develop skills in negotiation and strategizing.

The Course is structured to provide students with the basic skills they need to successfully participate in each round of the Competition.

Completing this course is a prerequisite for participation in Nagoya University's English language Competition teams.  Due to competition rules which limit us to sending no more than 10 students per year to the competition depending on the number of students who enroll it may not be possible to guarantee spots on the teams to everyone who successfully completes the course, though every effort will be made to ensure that those wanting to participate are able to (if necessary by participating in a subsequent year).  Priority will generally be given to law students and to those who have not previously participated.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The 15 week schedule of the course outlined below was based on an in-class course.  The switch to online has made some parts of that (particularly the later classes on negotiation) very difficult/impossible, so the course will unfold a bit differently than planned.  Therefore, the below outline is more of a rough guide to the content, rather than an actual schedule that we will strictly follow. I'll upload lectures and materials each week, and we'll see how things progress from there.  

Course Objectives

As outlined above, the course is designed to prepare students with the skills they need to participate in both rounds of the competition.

With respect to the Arbitration round there are three basic areas that are covered. First is an introduction to the basics of International Commercial Contract law. What is a commercial contract, what are some common types of disputes that stem from them and what are the rules by which courts (or in the case of the competition arbitration tribunals) resolve them? In particular we will focus on the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, which is the applicable law used in the competition. The early part of the course will essentially be a crash course in learning the basics of the UNIDROIT Principles.

The second major area we will focus on is legal drafting. The Competition requires teams to compose a written memorandum which sets out the arguments they will make. Since legal writing is quite a bit different from normal writing, this part of the course will provide instruction on how to structure and compose a written legal argument.

The third area we will focus on is how to make oral arguments before a panel of judges. This is perhaps the most nerve-wracking part of the competition but don’t worry, with the benefit of some preparation and some confidence building exercises you may find that making oral arguments is actually one of the easier parts! As with written legal arguments, the presentation of oral legal arguments requires some structure, composition and the ability to respond effectively to questions from judges. We will focus on building up these areas through exercises.

For the Negotiation Round, we will focus on building up student knowledge of some of the basic principles of negotiation and how these can be translated into negotiation strategies that can be used in the Competition.

Textbooks There are no textbooks for this class.
Course Materials/Supplementaries

I will be recording some lectures and putting them up on Canvas and NUCT.  Please follow these lectures, I will release them each Friday and you can download them and listen at your leisure when you want during the first part of the course.  Later parts of the course will require you to do some collaborative team work online, which we'll arrange as the course progresses.  I'll try to arrange some group meetings by ZOOM as well, later in the course when we have to do the group work. 

We will use the 2016 version of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts.  A free copy of this can be downloaded here: https://www.unidroit.org/contracts#UPICC 

Additionally we will use some previous problems from the competition, which will be available on Canvas and NUCT. 

Assessment

Assessment will be based on a mix of team assignments as follows.

Arbitration Memorandum: 50%

Arbitration Oral Argument: 50%

Negotiation Presentation: 0%

 

(Originally it was intended to have these three be equal, but due to the switch to online learning I've decided to eliminate the negotiation presentation, which required in class group work.)

Prerequisites None.  The course is designed on the assumption that students have little to no background in law.
Instructions for Out-of-Class Study The course work will require collaboration both in and out of class among students in team projects.
Responding to Student Questions

The professor can be reached by email (below) 

smcginty@law.nagoya-u.ac.jp

Other Notes The competition is a great and fun learning experience and participation by law students in particular is highly encouraged.  Unfortunately we can't meet in person for it this term but I think we can still have  a great time preparing!

 

Lecture Theme Lecture Course Description Learning outside the class Related page
1 Introduction What the competition is and what we'll do in this class. * *
2 UNIDROIT Principles 1 Introduction and overview: What is a commercial contract? * *
3 UNIDROIT Principles 2

Formation of contract (Chapter 2)

Authority of Agents (Chapter 2 section 2)

* *
4 UNIDROIT Principles 3 Grounds for Avoidance * *
5 UNIDROIT Principles 4 Performance and Non-Performance * *
6 Written Memorandum

In this class we'll go over the basics of how to compose a good legal memorandum.  Good legal writing requires a structured argument that is concise and easy to follow.  We'll go over how to accomplish this.  

The first assignment will be distributed in this class.

* *
7 Written Memorandum In this class we'll review the assignment in the last class and determine ways of improving the written arguments.  * *
8 Written Memorandum In this class we'll review the assignment in the last class and determine ways of improving the written arguments.  * *
9 Oral Arguments In this class we'll introduce the basics of how to make an oral legal argument.  As with written arguments, oral ones require you to make a structured and concise argument that is easy for the listener to follow.  There are also certain forms of etiquette that the speaker must follow and we'll also go over those.   * *
10 Oral Arguments In this class we'll practice making oral arguments, based on the earlier written memorandum. * *
11 Oral Arguments In this class we'll practice making oral arguments, based on the earlier written memorandum. * *
12 Oral Arguments In this class we'll practice making oral arguments, based on the earlier written memorandum. * *
13 Negotiation 1 In this class we'll introduce the basic principles of negotiation and negotiation strategy.  We'll also introduce a negotiation problem that will require you to prepare a strategy as an assignment.  * *
14 Negotiation 2 In this class we'll practice (in teams) the negotiation prepared as part of the assignment from the previous class.  * *
15 Negotiation 3 In this class we'll practice (in teams) the negotiation prepared as part of the assignment from the previous class. * *

※Students who wish to enroll as a member should access the URL below.
Log in using the Nagoya University ID and password, and click on "Enroll in Course".

https://canvas.law.nagoya-u.ac.jp/enroll/KK83BC

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