Negotiation Ethics for Lawyers: Dealing with “Next Level” Negotiation Tricks and Bad Faith Tactics

Zach McGee Ted Russell
August 01, 2015
Legal Ethics


In this latest installment in their popular “Negotiation Ethics for Lawyers” series, Ted Russell and Zach McGee take it to the “next level” with an analysis of the sorts of negotiation tricks and bad faith tactics that sophisticated parties often use to try to obtain an advantage in negotiations.

Using a hypothetical negotiation between lawyers, the speakers will describe and analyze some of these “next level” negotiation tricks and bad faith tactics, including:

Lying about company policy;
Lying about other deals;
Co-opting the other side’s negotiator; and

Along the way, the speakers will teach you some powerful negotiation techniques and strategies that you can use to ethically respond when the other side is using these sorts of negotiation tricks and bad faith tactics against you.

The program will include a review of the key ethics rules that apply when lawyers act as negotiators as well as some useful negotiation techniques and strategies. This program will benefit both litigators and transactional attorneys, as it includes examples drawn from both litigation and deal-making scenarios.


Zach McGee, Senior Vice President, Business Affairs, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA

Ted Russell, Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, Digital, Home Entertainment and Television Distribution, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Los Angeles, CA

Zach leads worldwide business affairs for Sony’s home entertainment division. Before moving to Sony, he was the Senior Vice President, Head of Business & Legal Affairs at Miramax, a leading independent film and television studio. Before joining Miramax, Zach was a Vice President, Legal Affairs, with NBC Universal, Inc. Prior to moving in-house, he was an associate with Davis Polk. Zach clerked for the Honorable Michael B. Mukasey, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and he received his Masters of Business Administration from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Zach also has taught negotiation ethics for lawyers as an Adjunct Professor at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University.

Ted negotiates deals for the distribution of film and television content in digital and traditional media. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President, Litigation, for Fox Entertainment Group, handling all manner of legal problems faced by Fox's film, television, cable, sports and Internet properties. Ted has substantial experience litigating in state and federal courts. He has lectured on topics ranging from electronic discovery to crisis management. But his true academic interest arises in the context of negotiations, and specifically the legal, ethical, and practical limitations imposed on lawyers participating in negotiations. Ted serves as a Lecturer in Law at USC Gould School of Law, where he teaches a course in Negotiation Ethics, and as an Adjunct Professor at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University. Before joining Fox in 1998, he was a business and employment litigator at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

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