W&L Negotiations Team Takes Second at Regional Competition

Lexington, VA Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The W&L team of Mike Gardner '10 and Steve Mammarella '10 placed second at the American Bar Association's Regional Negotiations Competition, held Nov. 1 in Washington, D.C.  Gardner and Mammarella finished behind a team from Liberty University School of Law.

Also representing Washington and Lee School of Law at the competition was the team of John Sorock '10 and Shannon Sherrill '10, winners of the School's Robert J. Grey Negotiations competition held earlier this year. In all 28 teams competed at the regional event. The W&L team was the only team finishing in the top four that did not bring faculty advisors with them to the competition.

Mike Gardner (left) and Steve Mammarella at the W&L negotiation competition finals in September.

The National Negotiations Competition will be held February 14-15, 2009 in Boston, MA. The ABA has not yet determined which teams from the regional competitions will move on to the final competition.

The ABA Negotiations Competition 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 competition involved an elder law issue. On one side of the dispute were attorneys representing an elderly woman near the end of her life whose competency to make decisions regarding her assets had come into question.  The W&L teams represented the elderly woman's daughter, who felt that some of the recent decisions regarding her mother's estate might have been unduly influenced by interested third parties. 

Negotiations is one of several ABA-sponsored competitions that help students develop the kind of practice skills the will employ as professional attorneys. Other competitions include Appellate Advocacy, Mock Trial, Mediation, and Client Counseling. For more information about Moot Court at Washington and Lee Law School, please visit http://law.wlu.edu/mootcourt.

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