A two-stage model of interactions within Regional Fishery Management Councils was developed in which management targets were set which may deviate from levels needed to achieve management policy. The first stage modeled bargaining solutions between Council members (harvesters, conservationists, and government) for management targets, and the second stage addressed litigation of those solutions. Results indicate that bargaining power favoring one constituent group could lead to Council outcomes that deviate from management policy. This, in turn, creates incentives for the aggrieved constituent group to litigate. Tradeoffs between benefits and costs of litigation and governmental strategies to address these issues are explored.