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Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Negotiation Newsletter", 2006

Abstract

What constitutes a contractual agreement? Who has the authority to make an offer? When is it acceptable to revoke an offer? Even though they are not expected to be legal experts, negotiators can run into trouble without being aware of the basic legal background to the deal. This article introduces you to some key ''rules of the road'' - the mirror-image rule, offer revocation, negotiator authority, negotiator intention, and the consideration requirement - that can greatly enhance your deal-making sophistication and allow you to avoid the pitfalls that would otherwise leave you with no deal at all.

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Abstract

What constitutes a contractual agreement? Who has the authority to make an offer? When is it acceptable to revoke an offer? Even though they are not expected to be legal experts, negotiators can run into trouble without being aware of the basic legal background to the deal. This article introduces you to some key ''rules of the road'' - the mirror-image rule, offer revocation, negotiator authority, negotiator intention, and the consideration requirement - that can greatly enhance your deal-making sophistication and allow you to avoid the pitfalls that would otherwise leave you with no deal at all.

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