Negotiation Ethics For Lawyers: How To Recognize and Respond to “Dirty Tricks” and Bad Faith Tactics

Zach McGee
August 18, 2021
Legal Ethics


Continuing the popular “Negotiation Ethics for Lawyers” series, Zach McGee explores a fun and extremely useful topic for anyone who negotiates: how should we respond when the other side engages in “dirty tricks” and other bad faith tactics, without violating our own ethical obligations?

Using a hypothetical negotiation between lawyers, the program will describe and analyze the most commonly faced “dirty tricks” in negotiation, and explain how easily you can turn the tables. The discussion will deal with tricks ranging from the easily-spotted “Good Cop, Bad Cop” routine and “Take It or Leave It” positioning, to more subtle bad faith tactics such as introducing phony facts and using time tricks. The program will include an introduction to the key ethics rules that apply when lawyers act as negotiators and to common negotiation techniques and strategies.


Zach McGee, Senior Vice President, Business Affairs, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 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.

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