Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

A Positive Theory of Legal Negotiation

23 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2000  

Russell B. Korobkin

UCLA School of Law

Date Written: March 2000


The legal negotiation literature emphasizes the numerous tactical issues facing negotiators without providing a clear theoretical construct that can serve as an organizing principle. Professor Korobkin proposes a descriptive theory of legal negotiation centered on what he identifies as the two strategic imperatives of the process: defining the range of possible agreements ("zone definition") and agreeing on a single deal-point within that range ("surplus allocation"). Using a variety of examples, the article argues that all negotiation tactics can be understood as serving one of these two strategic goals.

Suggested Citation

Korobkin, Russell B., A Positive Theory of Legal Negotiation (March 2000). Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 88, 2000. Available at SSRN: or

Russell B. Korobkin (Contact Author)

UCLA School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-825-1994 (Phone)
310-206-7010 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Abstract Views