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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

International Business Negotiations (Spring 2018)

  • Course Number: LAW-831
  • Class Number: 03585
  • Instructor: Anya Goldin

Course Description



This course is structured around a simulated negotiation exercise that will cover the entire Spring Semester.  The students in this class will be divided into two (or more depending on the number of students in the class) teams, with one team representing a US pharmaceutical company (KJH Pharmaceutical Corporation) and the other team representing an African agricultural production company (Malundian Cassava Corporation).  The two companies are interested in working together to exploit a new technology developed by KJH Pharmaceutical that uses the cassava produced by Malundian Cassava Corporation. The form of their collaboration could be a joint venture, a licensing agreement or a long-term supply contract. The negotiations will take place through written exchanges and through real-time negotiation.

The thrust of this course is class participation and active involvement in the negotiations process. Students are expected to spend time outside of class, often working in teams, to prepare for class discussions involving the written exchanges as well as preparing for the live negotiations. Class discussions will address substantive and procedural aspects of legal and business issues that commonly arise in international deals and their impact on negotiations, as well as strategy for, and progress of, the negotiations. Our focus in class discussions will be on risks that arise in cross-border transactions and various ways to mitigate such risks.


To provide an opportunity to gain insight into the dynamics of structuring and negotiating an international business transaction.
To gain an understanding of the role that lawyers and law play in international deal-making.
To give students experience in drafting communications and conducting actual negotiations.
To highlight legal and related business issues that are unique in international deal-making.


Textbook by Daniel D. Bradlow and Jay Gary Finkelstein, Negotiating Business Transactions (2013) 

Course Reader includes excerpts from the following books:

Ralph H. Folsom, Michael Wallace Gordon, John A. Spanogle, Jr., International Business Transactions (2d ed. 2001)

Ralph H. Folsom, Michael Wallace Gordon, John A. Spanogle, Michael P. Van Alstine, International Business Transactions in a Nutshell (9th ed. 2012)

Noah Rubins, N. Stephan Kinsella, International Investment, Political Risk and Dispute Resolution (2005)

Negotiating and Structuring International Commercial Transactions: Legal Analysis with Sample Agreements (Shelly P. Battram, David N. Goldsweig eds., 1991)

International Business Acquisitions: Major Legal Issues and Due Diligence (Michael Whalley, Dr. Franz-Jorg Selmer eds., 3d ed. 2007)

Richard D. Lewis, When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures (3d ed. 2006)


In order to successfully complete this course, students must meet the following requirements: 

The class meets for 2 hours once a week. 
Because much of what you will learn will be through participation in class discussions and actual negotiations, attendance is mandatory. Active participation in class discussions, live negotiations and team work will constitute 40% of the final grade. In particular, this portion of the grade will be based on the following: (a) the students' conduct of the negotiations; (b) class presentations and discussions; and (c) mock presentations to each company's Board of Directors during the last week of the course.
 Throughout the class and the negotiations, each student must keep a diary of the student’s impressions of the process, strategy and progress of the negotiations.  There should be one diary entry for each class session devoted to the negotiation and one for each live negotiation session.  Each entry should be not more than one page.  The diary should contain the student’s critical assessment of (a) the student’s team’s preparations for the negotiations, (b) the student’s team’s performance during the negotiating session, and (c) the student’s assessment of the opposing team’s performance during the negotiating session. The diary should be handed in on a weekly basis and will constitute 30% of the final grade.

(4)Each student will be expected to write a 10-page retrospective paper after the conclusion of the course.  This paper will constitute 30% of the final grade.  Guidelines and suggested topics will be discussed in class.

(5)Please try to arrive in class before we begin so that you get settled and are ready to start on time.

(6)Laptops or tablets should be used in class only for taking notes. If your use of a device interferes with the class participation, you may be asked to turn it off.  

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 2
  • Grading Options: Numerical or CR/D/F
  • Schedule: T 5:00 pm - 6:50 pm
  • Room Number: Room 118/120
  • Exam: Paper and simulations
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: Yes
  • Participation: Required and graded