Robert H. Mnookin is the Samuel Williston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, and the Director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project. A leading scholar in the field of conflict resolution, Professor Mnookin has applied his interdisciplinary approach to negotiation and conflict resolution to a remarkable range of problems; both public and private.
A renowned teacher and lecturer, Professor Mnookin has taught numerous workshops for corporations, governmental agencies and law firms throughout the world and trained many executives and professionals in negotiation and mediation skills. On behalf of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, he designed and has taught annual workshops for intellectual property professionals. Professor Mnookin has served as a consultant to governments, international agencies, major corporations and law firms. As a neutral arbitrator or mediator, he has resolved numerous complex commercial disputes.
As a neutral, Professor Mnookin shaped an innovative resolution of the landmark dispute over operating system software between IBM and Fujitsu. An experienced mediator, Professor Mnookin has successfully mediated many complex commercial disputes which involved advanced technologies and intellectual property. In addition, he has mediated an environmental dispute between the Motorola Corporation and Siemans Corporation; a multi-party dispute involving 10 international banks, an indenture trustee, and a large accounting firm; contractual disputes concerning the supply of power and co-ownership of generation facilities between large public utilities; and many major asbestos-related insurance coverage disputes; and a number of conflicts involving intellectual property, including the recent conflict between Boston Scientific and Medinol. He also served on the appellate panel that reviewed a “salary cap” dispute between the National Basketball Association and its Player’s union.
Professor Mnookin has written or edited ten books and numerous scholarly articles. In his most recent book, Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight, Mnookin explores the challenge of making such critical decisions. Using eight conflicts drawn from history and his own professional experience, he offers a framework that applies equally to international conflicts and everyday life. His other books include Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes (with Scott Peppet and Andrew Tulumello) (Harvard University Press, 2000) and Negotiating on Behalf of Others (Sage 1999), an exploration of the role of agents in negotiation which he co-edited with Professor Lawrence Susskind. The CPR Institute of Dispute Resolution awarded Beyond Winning its Book Prize for 2000. Barriers to Conflict Resolution, a joint project with members and associates of the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation, was awarded the 1995 Book Prize by the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution. Previously in 1993, Professor Mnookin, along with his co-author, Eleanor Maccoby, won the 1993 William J. Goode Book Award for the "most outstanding booklength contribution of the year to family scholarship". This award-winning book, Dividing the Child: Social and Legal Dilemmas of Custody, is an empirical study which examines the social, legal and economic realities of how divorcing parents make arrangements for their children.
Before joining the Harvard faculty, Professor Mnookin was the Adelbert H. Sweet Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and the Director of the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation, an interdisciplinary group concerned with overcoming barriers to the negotiated resolution of conflict.
Professor Mnookin received his A.B. in Economics from Harvard College in 1964 and his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1968. After serving as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice John M. Harlan, he joined the San Francisco law firm of Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Robertson & Falk. He began teaching law at Boalt Hall, U.C. Berkeley, in 1972 and was on the Stanford faculty from 1981 until 1993. Professor Mnookin has been a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford University; a Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
Professor Mnookin has been a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford University; a Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School; holder of the International Francqui Chair in Belgium and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.