Fordham Law

Dispute Resolution Society Reaches Semifinals in International Arbitration Competition

April 07, 2008

The Fordham Law Dispute Resolution Society’s international arbitration teams achieved their best results last month in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration competitions in Hong Kong and Vienna. The Hong Kong team reached the semifinals, and the Vienna team advanced to the elimination rounds for the first time.

All teams in the competitions present oral arguments in an international contract dispute to a panel of arbitrators and also prepare written briefs on both the claimant’s and respondent’s side. Teams from law schools all over Europe, America, and Asia prepare all year for the two competitions; some European teams take the entire year off from classes to prepare their arguments.

In Hong Kong, Fordham Law’s four-person team reached the semifinals of the competition, placing in the top four of the 55 teams in the event.  Second-year students Jennifer Endzweig, Adam Tubbs, Igor Margulyan and Zachary Slates composed the team, with Tubbs, Margulyan and Slates earning honorable mention best speaker awards.  In the preliminary rounds, the Fordham Law team faced Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hidayatollah (India), Xiamen University (China) and University of Munster (Germany).  In the advanced rounds, Fordham Law defeated Mainz University (Germany) and Monash University (Australia) before losing to the eventual champions, Griffith University (Australia).

In the Vienna competition, the Society’s five-person team reached the elimination rounds, placing in the top 64 of 204 international teams.  The team comprised second-year students Andrea Voelker, Joel Banuelos, Harold Rodriguez, Kelly McDonough and Evan Preponis, with Banuelos and McDonough earning honorable mention best speaker awards.  In the preliminary rounds, the Fordham Law team faced Turku University (Finland), Moscow State, University of Riga (Latvia) and University of Vienna.  In the elimination round, Fordham Law faced University of Stockholm.

Both the Hong Kong and Vienna teams earned an honorable mention award for best claimant’s brief.

The two arbitration teams were coached by third-year students Mollie Richardson and Melissa Rasmussen. Fordham Law professors who helped the teams prepare included Whit Gray, Kathleen Scanlon and Florence Peterson; Gray also traveled with the team to Hong Kong.  Providing further assistance were the following Society alumni and current students: Rielly Karsh, Sarah Hagans and John Murray, and current third-year students Lee Goldberg, Daniel Weiner, Brian Morgan and Matthew Parrott. 

Contact: Jennifer Spencer