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NCCU Law Legal Eagles sweep mediation competition!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 14, 2011 in NotFail

Good evening y’all! :)

Apparently mediation-related competitions exist in the law school arena? Definitely news to me :beatup:

And the only reason I found out is because two Legal Eagles from NCCU Law took 1st and 2nd place in one of them! :D From the “Well this is something cool to get in my email inbox on a Monday morning” files (via this story at University of Houston Law Center):

North Carolina mediators sweep Abrams Competition

Nov. 14, 2011 – Leah Leone of the North Carolina Central University School of Law has taken the top honor at the Jeffry S. Abrams National Mediation Competition, held Nov. 11-12 at the University of Houston Law Center. As the winner, Leone received the Frank Evans Mediator Scholarship award, valued at $2,000.

Jeffry S. Abrams (L) and 1st place winner Leah Leone of NCCU Law (R)

“This has been an amazing experience for me,” Leone said. “From start to finish, the competition has taught me so much. The insight I gained and the lessons I have learned here in the great state of Texas from my competitors and all the judges has been invaluable.”

Presented by the Blakely Advocacy Institute and sponsored by distinguished Houston mediator and UH Law Center alumnus Jeffry S. Abrams, the competition allowed top law students nationwide to put their mediation skills to the test before a team of judges.

“The competition went very well. There were 11 student mediators and the national reach of the competition was evidenced by the fact that students from California (UC-Hastings) to New York (St. John’s) were in attendance. The competitors, and coaches, were high in their praise of the competition, stating that the opportunity to learn from experienced mediators (as judges) in the competition context was one of the best experiences of their law school career,” said Jim Lawrence, Blakely Advocacy Institute Director.

The final rounds saw Leone and Valoree Hanson, a student mediator also from the North Carolina Central University School of Law, being judged by Abrams; Tom Newhouse, University of Houston Law Center Professor emeritus; and the Hon. Frank Evans, generally recognized as the father of ADR in Texas. NCCU School of Law Professor Mark Morris was Leone’s and Hanson’s coach. Leone and Hanson came in a respective first and second place in the competition. Henson received the Jeffry S. Abrams Mediator Scholarship Award, which is valued at $500.

UH Law Center students presently do not compete in the Abrams competition.

The Abrams competition is designed to run in parallel with the Law Center’s Tom Newhouse Mediation Competition, where UH Law Center students participate as advocate/client in mediation. These intramural participants serve as the parties to the mediation rounds for the national competition. Team members Garrett Gibson and Frank Carroll won the Tom Newhouse Mediation Competition.

Very cool, and CONGRATULATIONS to Miss Leone and Miss Hanson (and coach Prof ADR)! :spin:

Have a great night folks!

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1

Candor FTW

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jul 22, 2010 in The 2L Life

I know over the last few days the entries here at law:/dev/null have had a distinctly anti-government flavor, and for that I apologize dear readers. These are supposed to be musings of a computer scientist “turned law student” and not of one turned into a political pundit :)

Apparently the Law School Gods agreed, because they made sure to provide material for today’s entry :beatup:

I’ve mentioned in a few previous entries that I’m volunteering with the Alternative Dispute Resolution clinic at the NC Central University School of Law. The course requirements include mediating about a dozen cases in Wake County District Court, creation of sample documents used by mediators in the field like Agreements to Mediate, a presentation on an ADR topic of interest (mine was plea bargaining), and 3 separate papers critiquing how some of those dozen-ish cases were actually mediated.

And amid my structureless boredom of summer, I completely forgot about the critiques :beatup:

So Professor ADR sent me an email wondering where they were. And I gave serious consideration to crafting some kind of plausible excuse to justify my failure. But the truth is I forgot, so I sheepishly confessed my sin in a response email and pleaded for mercy.

The professor’s response: “Well, you get points for candor at least.”

I guess it’s better than nothing :beatup:

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5

Well that was unexpected…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 24, 2010 in The 2L Life

Sorry for not posting yesterday y’all, I actually fell asleep accidentally while reading for today’s classes1 :beatup:

The upside is that I was awake hours ahead of when I needed to leave for the Courthouse and my first day observing cases in mediation. I got through observing 1… then ended up having to actually mediate myself :surprised:

Yep, you read that correctly :)

The dispute was between two middle-aged women who had gotten into an altercation at work, and when the regular mediator and I first started talking to the parties it seemed like the case wasn’t the type that we could resolve through mediation.  The complainant said she was determined to have the criminal charges against the defendant heard in court and wouldn’t dismiss the case (which of course happens when a negotiated settlement takes place).

For reasons unknown to me, the complaining witness in the case didn’t like the regular mediator — at all. I noticed about 2 minutes into the mediation session that she started directing all of her comments and questions to me, even when I made it clear I was just a not-quite-2L who didn’t know the answers to many of her questions. About 15 minutes in (when we’ve essentially been conducting a mediation) she formally agrees to mediation, the mediator notices she doesn’t like him a couple minutes after that, then looks at me and says “You’ve got the training. Have at it.” :beatup:

The sudden and unexpected pressure of having to perform for srs was intense. I really wanted to :sick: and apparently my face went pale for a couple minutes before I snapped out of it.

But about 2ish loooooong hours later, we had an agreement in the case that both parties liked so it was officially a success! :D

Not sure I could replicate that with many other cases but it’s good to start on a high note. We’ll see what the rest of the Clinic work holds this summer.

Heading to bed so I can sleep in tomorrow morning :) Have a great night y’all! :D

  1. Which reminds me at some point I need to write an entry for TDot’s Tips #6: sleep! []

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