November 21, 2014
Thanks to the efforts of students and faculty, McGeorge returned to the ABA Negotiation Competition and a student team sent a message that the law school plans to be a force to be reckoned with again in the annual event.
Megan Donaghey and Michael Mahan posted the fifth highest score out of 24 teams from California, Hawaii and Nevada that competed in the Region 9 tournament held Nov. 1-2, 2014, at Chapman University School of Law in Orange. UC Berkeley won the competition and advanced to the national finals in February 2015.
It marked the first time McGeorge had entered the annual competition since 2006. McGeorge was once a formidable regional power advancing to the nationals in 1999-2000 and 2000-01, but in recent years student interest in the event had fallen off.
"The members of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Club deserve credit for our return to the ABA Negotiation Competition," Professor Jeff Proske, the coach of the team, said. "We received enormous help and support from our two team alternates, Anna Lucido and Virginia Martucci, who gave many hours of their time as negotiating sparring partners in our practice rounds. Special thanks go to Professor Michael Colatrella and Mathew John, president of the student club, for their assistance in creating this opportunity for our students to participate in this important ADR competition."
Last spring, Matthew Klopfenstein, '14, an Order of the Coif graduate, and several other students had discussions with ADR club advisor Colatrella about reviving the team. Seventeen students, many of whom had not yet taken his Negotiation & Settlements course, tried out for the team in August. The final twosome was selected in September. The ABA Negotiation problem was not released until mid-October so the students had very little time to work on strategy and tactics.
Proske and Colatrella credit Associate Dean Dorothy Landsberg for finding the funds to back the team. They also acknowledged a big assist from local attorney Julie Olson Wolff, who worked with the team. The faculty coaches are hopeful that an even bigger group of students will try out for the team next fall.