Law professors are spending a lot of time thinking these days about how to bring the practical world of lawyering into the classroom.Â Part of the challenge is that the real world of deals simply doesn’t match up with what casebooks and theory predict, so it’s difficult to set a stage that exposes students to how the world truly works.Â Here’s aÂ Â Hollywood example, Rob Lowe, on negotiating a contract:
â€œIn my business, nobody ever tells you what the numbers are,â€ says Lowe. â€œThere can be 50 different numbers, and Iâ€™ve never been part of a deal in the last ten years, for any project Iâ€™ve done, that didnâ€™t come down to the one-yard line and then somebody going â€˜Fuck youâ€™ and the other side going â€˜Hey, fuck youâ€™ and then overturning the table, and then maybe one of the parties comes back and then the deal happens. And Tom just canâ€™t believe this. And so when it gets to the one-yard line, inevitably they call me, and then at that point, the real negotiation begins.â€
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, this is pretty close to my long-standing anecdotal account of why civil cases really do, on occasion, go to trial.Â Because the swearing happens, but at least one party doesn’t come back.Â Everything else is about money.Â That part, at least, we can teach.