Fordham Law

Dispute Resolution Society Finishes in Top 5 in National Competition

March 09, 2011

For the third consecutive year, Fordham Law's Dispute Resolution Society
placed in the top 10 at the American Bar Association’s National
Negotiation Competition in Atlanta. Of the more than 200 teams competing from over 100 American and Canadian law schools, Fordham finished 4th overall.

DRS members Hal Coopersmith '12 and Tavish DeAtley '12 were named National Finalists, and Rachael De Chacon '12 and Andra Prutu '12 were named National Semifinalists. They were coached by Jordan Manekin '11, Cassie Hamar '11, and Patrick Jacobs '11.

"Rachael, Andra, Hal, and Tavish flawlessly navigated through the preliminary rounds and then worked through the night to prepare to zealously and creatively represent their clients the next day in the Semifinals and Finals," said Iverson Long, Chairman of DRS. "These competitors have once again brought a huge honor to the Law School and our Society through their awe-inspiring accomplishments in competition."

Fordham was the only school to advance two pairs of competitors to Atlanta after De Chacon, Prutu, Coopersmith, and DeAtley—along with Stephanie Baez '12 and Colin Missett '12—made ABA history by sweeping Regionals this fall. The DRS has advanced two pairs of competitors to Nationals for two consecutive years.

The theme of this year’s negotiation problems was intellectual property. The National Competition problem centered around pharmaceuticals for the treatment of pediatric HIV/AIDS. Both Fordham pairs negotiated on behalf of a major pharmaceutical company as it obtained the formula for a new treatment from a university researcher in Round 1, worked with a non-profit to make the drug accessible to the developing world in Round 2, and agreed with an African government on price reductions and humanitarian assistance in the Semifinals. For the Final Round, Coopersmith and DeAtley were assigned the role of the African government, which needed to renegotiate terms of humanitarian assistance and the price of the drugs.

The Society's teams received support from a number of student coaches, alumni, senior members, and professors, including alumni coach Bill Belitsky '06,
alumna Nicole Mazanitis '10, senior members Allie Berkley '11 and Defne Gunay '11, ICC Editor Matt Bress '11, Managing Editor Tres Bulger '11, Arbitration Editor Linda Kalayjian '11, and Professors Jacqueline Nolan-Haley, Beth Schwartz, Peggy Leibowitz, and Deborah Shapiro.