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It isn’t the lawyer’s role to negotiate

Among the candidates for a service that lawyers can do but shouldn’t, what I call quasi-legal work, would be negotiation. When a company needs to hammer out the terms of a contract, an acquisition agreement or a joint venture, of course there will be legal issues involved; but fundamentally the decisions and how they are reached are commercial trade-offs that ought to be made by a business person.

In many companies, however, lawyers are skilled in negotiation and are asked to do so. Too often time-consuming and stressful negotiations take away from the time of lawyers to do more valuable work.

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