Negotiation Ethics For Lawyers (Introduction)

Zach McGee
June 26, 2021
Legal Ethics


As lawyers, we negotiate on behalf of clients practically every day. You know the legal ethics rules require you to be truthful but how do you apply those general pronouncements in a context where puffing, posturing and concealing one’s bottom line are more the rule than the exception? This program uses a hypothetical negotiation between lawyers representing a writer seeking to sell a script and a film studio seeking to buy it to illustrate how the ethics rules apply when lawyers act as negotiators. Participants will walk away with concrete, practical advice, including: What you can and cannot misrepresent or conceal in a negotiation and why; wow to handle tricky issues such as estimates of price or value, willingness to compromise, bottom lines and settlement authority; what statements of law or fact may be considered “material” in negotiations; and when puffing, posturing and exaggerating cross the line.


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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