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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ADR Walk-On Wunderkinds Win Competitions Across the Country

“It’s a true meritocracy. Anyone who has an aptitude for this can jump right in and have a lot of success.” -2L Kyle Gertridge
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From left: 1L Alix Pisani, Jeffry S. Abrams, 2L Kyle Gertridge.

After very successful ADR competitions last semester, the UC Hastings Negotiation & Mediation Team continues to log big wins in national contests.

3L Stacy Boven and 3L Mike LaFond won first place in the 2014 Liberty University National Negotiation Competition in Lynchburg, VA. 3L Mike Callahan-Dudley and 3L Josiah Houck were also finalists at this competition, finishing in fifth place. This is the second year in a row that UC Hastings has won the Liberty competition, and the fourth year in a row that both of our teams have finished in the top five at Liberty.

Last fall 1Ls Danielle Chang and Justin Page placed fourth at the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition, hosted by UC Berkeley. As the first three teams tied for first, that made Chang and Page second place winners, qualifying for the National Competition. Erika Schmidt ’13 volunteered as Assistant Coach and the three flew to Chicago where Chang and Page advanced to the National Semi-finals and finished seventh in the nation, beating the teams that had finished ahead of them in Berkeley.

1Ls Complete Near Sweep

At the Great Lakes International Mediation Competition at Michigan State School of Law in East Lansing, Michigan, UC Hastings 1Ls brought home the top honors. Danielle Bogaards, Mary Chamaki and Maya Ziv won first place in Team Mediation, and took second place in Team Overall (mediation and advocacy combined). Chamaki and Ziv tied for second place as Individual Mediators. James Kachelmeyer, Hannah Worek and Daniel Brannick placed fifth in Team Overall.

The ABA Regional Representation in Mediation Competition was held at the University of Idaho College of Law in Boise this year, and after an epic road trip, 2L Brighid Fogarty and 1L Jon Tong took third place.

In Chicago, 3L LaFond finished in third place out of 156 mediators at the 2014 International Academy of Dispute Resolution International Mediation Tournament, which features 52 teams from all over the world.

Deep Core of “Really Talented People”

Kyle Gertridge 2L, who competed in the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris and serves on the team’s board, said this year’s crop of students, from 1Ls to 3L walk-ons, all contributed to the team’s deep bench.

“This year the 1Ls came in with a bang. They were extremely good, really quick studies, just naturals. And they had terrific results. We have a young core of really talented people.”

Few if any of the students had experience in negotiation or mediation before joining the team, Gertridge noted. “Anyone who has an aptitude for this can jump right in and have a lot of success. It’s a true meritocracy. If you have a knack for it, if you are quick study, reasonable, bright and eloquent, you can find success.”

1L Alix Pisani, who won a competition in her first semester at UC Hastings, agreed. “The ADR team has been a great community to have as a 1L. It's a lot of fun to practice and travel with the team. The support and advice I've gotten from the 2Ls and 3Ls has been really helpful in adjusting to law school.”

Off to Iceland

The team has one more competition this spring, and it’s a big one. The Negotiation Challenge, the first international negotiation competition in Europe, provides business and law students diverse venues in which to negotiate complex business deals. This year’s Negotiation Challenge will be held in Reykjavik, Iceland, and will be the last competition for 3Ls Stacey Boven, Nick Yu and Mike Callahan-Dudley.

“Clint Waasted ‘04, the team's head coach, continues to serve the school and student community tirelessly,” said Sheila Purcell, director of the Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. “The significant learning his coaching provides accrues not just to the students who win or place, but to the whole team as they hone their negotiation and mediation skills, as well as their ability to support and learn from one another.”

Waasted is known for inspiring deep loyalty in his team. “Our deepest thanks go out to all of our community and alumni supporters who coached the team throughout the year, judged during the In School Competition, and contributed to our ongoing success,” Waasted said. “The ADR Team is part of a larger team’s success, and we are grateful for your enthusiastic support.”

Follow the Center on Twitter at @UCHCNDR.

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