Fordham Law

Fordham Dispute Resolution Society Wins International Competition

February 11, 2011

Fordham Law's Dispute Resolution Society became World Champions February 9, 2011, when they bested 57 teams from 26 countries in winning the 6th Annual ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition. The event was hosted at the Paris headquarters of the International Chamber of Commerce. DRS logo

The championship team consisted of students Matt Bress ’11, Christie Houlihan '11, Patrick Jacobs '11, Veni Manickam '11, and coach Stephen Grable ’07. The team competed in pairs through eight rounds over the course of the five-day event. The eight mock cases in the contest concerned international commercial disputes, including intellectual property rights, global franchise agreements, contract rights in the purchase and sale of manufacturing equipment, and international corporate restructurings. 

After facing ESSEC Business School - IRENE (France), Université de Versailles (France), Jagiellonian University (Poland), and Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (Georgia) in the preliminary rounds, the Fordham team advanced along with 15 other teams to the elimination rounds. Over the following two days, Fordham defeated Singapore Management University (Singapore), Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (USA), and University of California, Hastings College of Law (USA) to advance to the finals against Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2) (France).  In the final round, Patrick Jacobs and Veni Manickam bested their French counterparts in an 85-minute mediation to claim Fordham’s victory in front of an international audience of nearly 400 spectators.

The title represents Fordham’s highest international competition achievement in the Law School’s history. In recognition of their achievement, the members of the championship team received a monetary prize of €1500 and offers for several prestigious internships, including with the Paris offices of Jones Day, Hogan Lovells, and the ICC ADR Secretariat.

"Each competitor's display of talent and hard work over the past several months and through the grueling 8 rounds of competition was truly phenomenal and sets an incredible standard for the Society going forward this year and in years to come," said Iverson Long, Society Chairman. "These competitors have brought success and honor to our Society and to Fordham Law, and we are proud of them."

Alumnus and adjunct professor Stephen Grable '07 coached the team for the months leading up to and throughout the competition. Alumni Dan Hope '08, Henry Ko '08, Kenny Shaw '09, Cindy Alvarado '10, Justin Elliot '10, and Mike Kanatake '10, as well as current Society Managing Editor Tres Bulger '11, and several members of the Dispute Resolution Society also helped prepare the teams, with many sessions hosted at the offices of Hahn & Hessen LLP. Professor Jacqueline Nolan-Haley provided additional guidance while supporting the team in Paris.

"The Dispute Resolution Society continues to demonstrate its excellence in problem-solving competitions," said Nolan-Haley. "Congratulations to these outstanding competitors for their international victory and to our extraordinary alumni coach, Stephen Grable, for his utmost dedication and assistance. These students worked incredibly hard and displayed the highest degree of professionalism in competing with law students from across the globe. We here at Fordham Law look forward to many more impressive achievements."

Fordham Law's Conflict Resolution and ADR Program is ranked 8th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The Dispute Resolution Society competes in national and international negotiation, mediation, and arbitration competitions, hosts a leading annual symposium and international commercial arbitration practice tournament, and teaches a course on negotiation techniques to local students at MLK Jr. High School. For more information, please visit the DRS website.