Sunday, October 16, 2011
Thanks to one of our commenters for setting me straight on the present available of negotiation software that eliminates the transactional costs associated with lawyers and, according to this study, produces better results.
We've previously blogged that someday soon lawyers will cede the negotiation function to software just as they have done with document review in large litigation. Well, one company is already marketing an automated negotiation product and, based on the website's description, it sounds like divorce lawyers, among other legal specialties that do a lot of negotiating on behalf of clients, may go the way of the travel agent.
Fair Outcomes, Inc. provides parties involved in disputes or difficult negotiations with access to newly developed proprietary systems that allow fair and equitable outcomes to be achieved with remarkable efficiency. Each of these systems is grounded in mathematical theories of fair division and of games.
. . . .
Fair Buy-Sell. This system is used by joint owners of property such as business partners, joint venturers, shareholders, and married couples who wish to bring their joint ownership to an end on terms that are mutually acceptable and legally enforceable. This relatively simple but powerful new system provides an excellent introduction to some of the basic game-theoretic principles that underlie all of the systems offered by our company.
In cases in which two parties must divide up multiple items of property or resolve multiple issues that are in dispute, this system enables the parties to do so in a fair, efficient, and legally binding manner. It has been applied to conflicts ranging from divorce to international border disputes and is founded upon some of the most important research that has been done in fair division and game theory in recent decades.
And here's how James Ring, CEO of Fair Outcomes, described it to us:
Game theorists, computer engineers, and practicing lawyers have already made those options a practical reality. The system referenced in the article is the Fair Division system known as Adjusted Winner, which is already fully operational and which is offered and administered by Fair Outcomes, Inc. A recent empirical study of that system, conducted by academics who have no relationship whatsoever with Fair Outcomes, Inc., concluded that it “substantially” and “eminently” improves upon traditional approaches to negotiation.