The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law March 2010
ADR @ Moritz

Moritz Has Strong Showing in Regional Representation in Mediation Competition

Jessica Kim (2L) and Beth Uhrich (3L) represented Moritz at the 2010 Regional Representation in Mediation competition at the Georgetown University Law Center on February 28 and March 1, 2010. After two rounds in which the competitors had the opportunity to negotiate as both advocate and party, Jessica and Beth finished just behind the first two teams, preventing them from advancing further in the competition. Nevertheless, they represented the law school well and worked long and hard to reach the regional competition.

For Jessica and Beth, and all the Moritz competitors, this competition began in late January with the Moritz ABA Representation in Mediation Competition. A total of 12 teams competed in this three-day event, with the preliminary rounds being held on Monday and Tuesday. The two teams with the highest scores at the end of the preliminary rounds Jessica and Beth; and Mary Lewis (2L) and Alexandra Wolfe (2L), advanced to the final round on Wednesday, January 27.

After the intra-school competition, Jessica and Beth trained for four weeks for the regional competition with their coaches Marya Kolman and Dottie Painter. Receiving the problems for the first two rounds in advance, the team specifically concentrated on perfecting their opening statements, allocating roles between the attorney and the client, and utilizing an extensive knowledge of the facts to invent creative options for mutual gain with the opposing parties (i.e. their opponents). Moot negotiations were particularly helpful, and the team is thankful to Professor Clymer Bardsley, Erin Hopper (3L), and Michelle Mann (2009 Moritz alum) for offering their time and valuable feedback.

Once prepared, the pair traveled, along with their coaches, to the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., for the competition.

The first two rounds were held on Sunday, February 28. In the first round, the team represented a recovering heroin addict mother in a child custody case against the grandparents. Much of the time period was spent negotiating a physical custody case between the mother and the grandparents, as well as additional issues such as legal custody and property rights. The second round of mediation involved a breach of oral contract claim between two dentists, where the majority of the mediation period was spent negotiating merger terms for a new partnership agreement.

The scoring after the first two rounds had the Ohio State team barely missing advancing to the final round, effectively placing third overall in the competition. Although disappointing, the team and their coaches were proud of their performances in rounds one and two. Moreover, the feedback received from the many experienced judges during the competition was invaluable for their legal careers. All in all, the team was grateful to have had the opportunity to represent Moritz and return having had such a rewarding experience.

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Erin Archerd
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The Caucus, the newsletter published by the Moritz Program on Dispute Resolution, is designed to share ADR news with the Moritz community and beyond, as well as provide Moritz students with information regarding externship and employment opportunities. Questions regarding this publication should be directed to Erin Archerd, Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution.