Winners of 2008 Robert J. Grey Jr. Negotiations Competition Announced

Lexington, VA Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The 2008 Robert J. Grey Jr. Negotiations competition at Washington and Lee University School of Law came to a close Friday evening, Sept. 19, with the team John Sorock and Shannon Sherrill taking top honors.

Placing second was the team of Mike Gardner and Steve Mammarella, with honorable mention going to Chris Fields and Tim Mentkowski. Also competing in the finals was the team of Jonathan Lockwood and Eli Gottlieb. All of the competition finalists are members of the Law Class of 2010. The top team will go on to represent Washington and Lee Law School at the regional Negotiations Competition in November.

Held in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, this year's finals marked the first time the competition was open for public viewing. The Negotiation Competition, sponsored by the American Bar Association Law Student Division, helps students develop practical legal skills and emphasizes teamwork and the ability to resolve disputes in a negotiation setting.

During the competition, teams of students acting as lawyers for opposing parties receive confidential information about how they can best represent their clients' interests. The teams work together in a limited time frame to find a compromise that is acceptable to both of their clients. The problem for this year's finals involved an elder law issue, where lawyers representing the second wife of a man with Alzheimer's negotiated with lawyers representing the man's children to determine the amount a trust account would contribute to their father's care.

John Sorock (left) and Shannon Sherrill work to negotiate a favorable outcome for their clients.

The final round of the competition was judged by Mr. J. Rudy Martin and Mr. Jason Wolfrey. Mr. Martin is a member of Charleston, W.V. firm of Jackson Kelly and enjoys an active practice as a mediator and arbitrator in litigation matters. Mr. Wolfrey is the Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney in Pulaski County, Virginia. The administrators for this year's competition were third-year students Michael Chiusano and Ryan Germany.

The Moot Court Board recently named the competition in honor of Robert J. Grey '76L, past president of the American Bar Association and a member of the Washington and Lee University Board of Trustees, because of his extensive experience in dispute resolution. A partner in the Richmond, Va., office of Hunton & Williams, Grey's practice has focused on administrative matters before state and federal agencies, mediation and dispute resolution, and legislative representation of clients. Grey is currently running for mayor of the city of Richmond, Virginia.

The Moot Court Executive Board, chaired this year by Rachel Flynn '09, administers all competitions for the Moot Court Program, which includes the Davis Moot Court Competition, Mock Trial, and Client Counseling. For more information about the Moot Court Board and upcoming competitions, please visit

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