Law

Marjorie Corman Aaron

Headshot of Marjorie Corman Aaron

Marjorie Corman Aaron

Professor of Practice and Director, Center for Practice, College of Law

415 College of Law Building

513-556-0114

Areas of Interest: Client Counseling, Decision Analysis, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, Trial Practice

About

Marjorie Corman Aaron is Professor of Practice and Director of the Center for Practice, at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, teaching courses in negotiation, client counseling, trial practice, mediation, alternative dispute resolution, and decision analysis.  She received the College of Law’s Schott Scholarship Award in 2019 and Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2010, and a University President’s Excellence Award in 2006. As Director of the Center for Practice, she oversees UC Law’s trial practice program and coaches student teams for trial practice, negotiation, and dispute resolution competitions. 

Professor Aaron is the author of Client Science: Advice for Lawyers on Counseling Clients through Bad News and Other Legal Realities (Oxford 2012) and Risk and Rigor: A Lawyer’s Guide to Decision Trees for Assessing Cases and Advising Clients (DRI Press 2019), as well as numerous articles, chapters, simulations, and videos. Her websites - www.clientsciencecourse.com and www.riskandrigor.com - provide course materials and resources for educators and lawyers in client counseling and decision analysis.  

Professor Aaron has also designed and taught numerous workshops on mediation, negotiation, decision tree analysis, client counseling, and professional communication for law firms, corporations, and governmental organizations. At the University of Cincinnati’s College of Business, she has taught workshops on professional presentation and negotiation. She has also taught as guest faculty at the University of Graz, University of Michigan Law School, and summer dispute resolution institutes at Harvard Law School, University of Las Vegas Nevada's School of Law, Hamline University and North Carolina Central State University. 

Professor Aaron has mediated and arbitrated disputes involving general commercial contracts, employment, age and gender discrimination, business torts, products liability, personal injury, complex construction and design claims, corporate partnership, environmental claims and allocation issues, real estate and business valuation, real estate trusts, and medical, legal and other professional malpractice. An arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association and the CPR Institute of Dispute Resolution and in her own practice, she has also been appointed by special masters to serve as panel mediator and claims allocation arbitrator for national class action gender and race discrimination settlements.

Until July 1998, Professor Aaron was the Executive Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School ("PON"), where she also was a lecturer teaching negotiation. Prior to joining PON, she was a Vice President at Endispute (now known as JAMS-ADR) and a panel mediator for the Middlesex Multi-Door Courthouse. 

She began her practice as a litigator at the Boston firm of Goodwin Procter and then an assistant District Attorney in Plymouth County, Massachusetts.  Professor Aaron is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Princeton University.

Education

BA, Princeton University

JD, Harvard Law School

Courses Taught

  • Negotiation
  • Client Counseling
  • Advanced Decision Analysis
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Mediation or Mediation Advocacy
  • Trial Practice

Scholarship

  • Risk and Rigor: A Lawyer's Guide to Decision Trees for Assessing Cases and Advising Clients (DRI Press, 2019).
  • Client Science: Advice for Lawyers on Counseling Clients through Bad News and Other Legal Realities (Oxford University Press, 2012).
  • Negotiating Outcomes: Pocket Mentor Series (Harvard Business School Press, 2007).
  • “The Haunting Specter of Fiss’ Against Settlement” in Discussions in Dispute Resolution: The Formative Articles (Hinshaw, Schneider, and Cole, eds.) (Oxford Univ. Press, forthcoming 2020).
  • “Using Evaluations in Mediation,” with D. Golann, Chapter 31 in American Arbitration Association Handbook on Mediation, Second Edition (JurisNet, LLC 2010).
  • “Evaluation and Decision Analysis,” with D. Golann, Chapter 8 in D. Golann, Mediating Legal Disputes (American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, 2009).
  • “Finding Settlements with Numbers, Maps, and Trees,” in The Handbook of Dispute Resolution, M. Moffit and R. Bordone, eds. (San Francisco: Jossey Bass) 202-218.
  • Initial Contacts in Mediation Practice and Maximizing the Mediator's Initial Contact and Getting a Head Start: More Intake Questions and Tips for Mediators in Russ Bleemer, Ed. Mediation: Approaches and Insights (Juris 2005)
  • "Ruminations, Confessions, and Redemption for an Un-Neutral Person Who Mediate," accepted for publication in Alternatives (forthcoming 2020). 
  • “Beyond Abstinence: Promoting Safe, Impartial, and Evaluative Acts” (co-authored with Dwight Golann) Dispute Resolution Magazine (October, 2019). 
  • 2015 “Shaking Decision Trees for Risks and Rewards” (co-authored with Wayne Brazil), Dispute Resolution Magazine.
  • 2014 “The Client Science Course,” complete package of course materials (simulations, exercises, problem sets, and comprehensive instructors’ guide for teaching lawyer-client interviewing and counseling).
  • 2013 Client Science: Advice for Lawyers on Initial Client Interviews” (in the nature of supplemental book chapter).
  • 2013 “‘Translating the Terrain’ over Cultural Myths and Mistaken Assumptions” (edited book excerpt), Alternatives, 21, 8 (Sept.) 115-118.
  • 2012 “Strategy at the Negotiation Table: From Stereotypes to Subtleties,” Alternatives 30, 4.
  • 2010 “Using Evaluations in Mediation,” with Dwight Golann, Chapter 31 in American Arbitration Association Handbook on Mediation, 2nd edition (JurisNet, LLC) 327-355.
  • 2009 “Evaluation and Decision Analysis,” with Dwight Golann, Chapter 8 in D. Golann, ed., Mediating Legal Disputes(American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution) 145-177.
  • For the General Practioner: Dispute Resolutions: Do's and Don'ts for Mediation, included in Best Articles Published by the ABA, GP Solo, March 2006
  • At First Glance: Maximizing the Mediator's Initial Contact, 20 Alternatives 167 (2002)
  • Decision Analysis as a Method of Evaluating the Trial Alternative, in Mediating Legal Disputes 307 (Dwight Golann, ed., 1997) (with David P. Hoffer)
  • Evaluation in Mediation, in Mediating Legal Disputes 267 (Dwight Golann, ed., 1997) (with David P. Hoffer)
  • Using Evaluations in Mediation, in 52 Dispute Resolution Journal 26 (1997) (with Dwight Golann)
  • ADR Toolbox: The Highwire Art of Evaluation, 14 Alternatives to High Cost Litig. 62 (1996)
  • Using Decision Trees as Tools for Settlement, 14 Alternatives to High Cost Litig. 71 (1996) (with David P. Hoffer)
  • Standards of Professional Conduct in Alternative Dispute Resolution, 1995 J. Disp. Resol. 95
  • The Value of Decision Analysis in Mediation Practice, 11 Negot. J. 123 (1995)
  • Value Pharming - Targeted Negotiation Takes: Micro Strategies and Skills, Independent Immunities: A Multi-Issue Transactional Negotiation, and Settle for More or Less II, three videos directed and produced with Professor Dwight Golann (2016), available through the ABA/Suffolk teaching video website. 2016 Dale Doran Employment Non-Compete Case, Interviewing and Counseling, directed and co-produced with Dwight Golann, available through the ABA/Suffolk website.
  • Mediation of a Multi-Party Dispute – Ceiling Collapse, directed and produced with Professor Dwight Golann, available through the ABA/Suffolk teaching video website (2016). 
  • Mediation of an International Business Dispute, a video directed and produced with Professor Dwight Golann, available through the ABA/Suffolk Teaching Video website. 2016 
  • 2015 Hapless Harvest Interviewing and Counseling, a four part video series including segments on interviewing and counseling both “By the Book” and “Not by the Book”, directed and produced these video recordings with Dwight Golann, available through the ABA/Suffolk teaching video website.
  • 2014    Divorce Mediation, Bea Larsen Divorce Mediator, initiated, directed, and produced this video recording funded by the Cincinnati Bar Foundation, “published” on DVD and through ABA/Suffolk video website
  • 2012 Mediation Advocacy in Fine Fix, co-produced and directed with Dwight Golann, funded by the JAMS Foundation.
  • Mediators at Work: Termination Tempest (DVD, Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation, 2004) (with Dwight Golann).
  • Mediators at Work: Breach of Warranty (DVD, Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation, 2004) (with Dwight Golann).
  • One of two featured mediators in DVD “The Skills of a Legal Mediator” by D. Golann, published by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, and JAMS Foundation, for use with D. Golann, Mediating Legal Disputes (American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, 2009).
  • Mediators Climb (Decision) Trees, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Conference (April 2019). 
  • Teaching Negotiation Micro-skills, with Professor Dwight Golann, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Conference, Legal Educators’ Colloquium (April 2018). 
  • Fly on the Wall: Videos of Diverse Mediator Styles, with Professor Dwight Golann, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Conference (April 2017). 
  • Tips for On-Target and Terrific Training, with Professor Dwight Golann, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Conference (April 2016). Actors’ Imaginary Truths for Lawyers, UC Law Downtown Faculty Teach-In (2016).
  • Without a Joint Session: What’s your Plan B?, with Professor Dwight Golann and Jay Folberg, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Conference (April 2015).
  • Negotiating Anchors, Perception, Power, and Improvisation for Better Deals UC Law Downtown Faculty Teach-In (2015).
  • Science for Artful Client Counseling Under Conditions of Complexity, High Stakes, Uncertainty & Unwelcome Realities, two part program on client communication techniques and basic decision analysis for the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution,St. Louis, MO, (2015).
  • Mediators’ Set-Up for Lawyers’ Work, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, Miami, FL, with Professor D. Golann (2014).
  • Making Students’ Omniscient: Unexpected Aha Moments, Legal Educators’ Colloquium, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, Miami, FL, with Professor D. Golann (2014)
  • United States District Court, Pennsylvania Middle District, Advanced Mediation Workshop (August 2014).
  • Decision Analysis for Lawyers I &II, Introduction and Beyond the Basics, developed and presented these two, one-day workshops (2006-08, 2012-13).
  • On Delivering Bad News, jointly sponsored by the Cincinnati Bar Association, and the Center for Practice, CLE workshop (2013).
  • How to Share a Mediator’s Powers: The Advocate’s Perspective, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, Chicago, Il., with Dwight Golann (April 2013).
  • Mediator Evaluation: Giving Bad News, Kentucky Bar Association Annual Conference, Louisville, KY (June 2012).
  • Skill Training for Mediators: How to Deliver Bad News, KY Bar Association Presentation (June 2012)
  • On Negotiation Good Settlements of Our Clients' Legal Disputes, OSBA Conference Presentation (May 2012)
  • How to Counter "Spin" without Counter-spinning: Ways to Deal with Aggressive Advocates and Ill-Counseled Clients, with Dwight Golann, ABA (April 2012)
  • Client Science: What We've Learned From Teaching and Individual Coaching on How Best to Counsel Clients Through Legal Realities, with Richard Reuben, ABA (April 2012)
  • Difficult Delivery: Bearing Bad News, Procter & Gamble Legal Department (Nov. 2010, Sept. 2011)
  • Failure in Mediation, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, Denver, CO, with Dwight Golann (April 2011)
  • Clientology: the Science of Communicating with Clients, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, San Francisco, CA with Dwight Golann and Patricia Foster (April 2010)
  • When the Music Stops: How to Overcome ‘Insulting’ First Offers, Bad Faith Refusals to Negotiate and Other Impasses in Bargaining, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, NYC, with Dwight Golann and David Geronemus (April 2009)
  • On Teaching Mediation and Mediation with Multi-Phased Simulation Bagger-Delishco, in the “Shoptalk” session of the Legal Educators’ Colloquium at the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, NYC (April 2009)
  • Breaking the Rules: The Truth About Consequences, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, Seattle, WA, with Dwight Golan (April 2008)
  • On Negotiating, CEO Roundtable, Cincinnati, OH (June 2007)
  • Academy to Action for Practical Negotiation Advice, Westchester Chamber Alliance (March 2007)
  • Spotlight on Women Negotiating, for Women’s Networking Initiative of the law firm of Thompson, Hine & Flory, Cincinnati, Ohio (Nov. 2006)
  • Decision Analysis: It’s Not Just for Settlement Anymore!, lecture presentation at the Spring Meeting of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, Atlanta, GA (June 2006)
  • Mediator Manipulation: The Art and The Ethics, plenary Frank E. Sander lecture, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, Atlanta, GA, with Dwight Golann (April 2006)
  • Negotiating Medical Faculty Issues, interactive presentation for the University of Cincinnati Medical School, junior faculty professional development luncheon series (Feb. 2006)
  • Teaching Materials and Approaches for Adjuncts, panelist, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, Los Angeles, CA (April 2005)
  • Teaching Client Counseling, panelist, Legal Educators’s Colloquium, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution, Los Angeles, CA (April 2005)
  • Mediation for Advocates, Young Lawyers Program, Cincinnati Bar Association (Jan. 2005)
  • Triaging Family and Family Business Disputes, panelist, Symposium on Preventing and Resolving Family Business Disputes, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution, Boston, MA (Oct. 2004)
  • Effective Negotiation Strategy and Practice, workshop session, University of Cincinnati Women’s Leadership Conference (March 2005, 2002)
  • Mediating Without Mistakes, Procter & Gamble Legal Department, Cincinnati, OH (March 2004)
  • Advanced Mediation in Employment Disputes, presentation at the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution, Annual National Conference, with mediator Margaret Shaw (March 2003)
  • Ethics behind Closed Doors, chaired a panel presentation at the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, Spring Meeting, Seattle, WA, primary author of materials (June 2002)
  • ADR Process Choices, Taft, Stettinius and Hollister, CLE workshop program (Dec. 2001)
  • Psychology in Negotiation, Family Law Section of the Cincinnati Bar Association (May 2001)
  • Managing the Merits, skills teaching session, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution, Annual National Conference, San Francisco, CA (April 2001)
  • Arbitration Process Demonstration (and experimentation) (co faculty with Prof. Thomas Stipanowich), CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, Spring Meeting, Charleston, SC (June 2000)
  • Decision Analysis in Mediation, skills teaching session, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution, Annual National Conference, Washington, DC (April 2000)
  • Psychological Hardwiring: Tips for the Sophisticated Negotiator, Harvard Law School Association of Cincinnati (June 1999)
  • Mediation—The Chosen Process: Some Process Choices, program for the ADR Committee of the Ohio State Bar Association, Annual Conference (May 1999)
  • Ethical Issues in Mediation, Panel Presentation, Harvard Law School Alumni Day Program (Nov. 1998)
  • Mediation Ethics, Mediation Advocacy, and Evaluation, Ohio State University College of Law, for Ohio Dispute Resolution Institute Program (June 1998)
  • What's in a Frame? Frames, Stories, Visions, Anchors and other Elements of Meaning, Center for Public Resources (CPR) Institute for Dispute Resolution (June 1998)
  • Grievance Mediation, 16th Annual Conference Labor Management Conference, sponsored by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Northern Kentucky University, and the Kentucky Labor Cabinet (May 1998)
  • Mediation Workshop, 4 day program offered by JAMS-Endispute, with Professor Dwight Golann (Sept. 1998, Feb. 1998, June 1996)
  • Advanced Mediation Workshop, week long workshop offered by the Program of Instruction for Lawyers, Harvard Univ. Law School, co-instructor with Professor Robert Mnookin (HLS) and Gary Friedman, Esq. (June 1997)
  • Evaluation in Mediation, lecture and demonstration with Dwight Golann, Center for Public Resources (CPR) Institute for Dispute Resolution (Jan. 1996)
  • Decision Analysis for Mediators, lecture and teaching session at the Spring Meeting of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution (June 1996)
  • Negotiation Research for Mediation Practice, plenary lecture, Virginia Mediation Network (Oct. 1996)
  • Manipulation, Evaluation, and Other Practical Strategies for Mediators Here on Earth, New England Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (Oct. 1995)
  • Gender Issues in Negotiation, lecture and workshop, New Hampshire Women's Bar Association (Oct. 1994)

Awards

  • Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award, 2019
  • Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching, April 2010
  • University President’s Excellence Award for Teaching, University of Cincinnati, May 2006
  • American College of Civil Trial Mediators, Education/Training Achievement Award, 1998
  • Center for Public Resources (CPR) Institute for Dispute Resolution 1995 Second Prize for Excellence, Articles, "The Value of Decision Analysis in Mediation Practice," Negotiation Journal 11.2: 123-134 (1995)