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Mock Mediation Team Wins National Championship

November 22, 2010

On Thursday, November 4, the Boston University Mock Mediation team was one of 32 teams that traveled to Des Moines, Iowa to compete in the 11th Annual Intercollegiate Mediation Tournament sponsored by the International Academy of Dispute Resolution.  They faced some tough competition, but in the end, BU’s team was very successful. One of BU’s teams with Megan Haapala, Valerie Kaplan, and Aimee Reillert finished with the top score in Mediation, winning the National Championship. The same three students also placed in the top 10 teams for Advocacy, and the other team with Anna Antonova, Isabella Nagy, and Mary Beth Picarella placed 5th in Mediation. This is the 5th time in the past 9 years that Boston University has placed 1st in Mediation. Two Boston University students, Megan Haapala and Mary Beth Picarella, were recognized as “All-American Mediators.”

All this success took quite a bit of preparation. CAS Assistant Dean of Pre-law Advising Ed Stern mentors the team’s six members, Anna Antonova, Megan Haapala, Valerie Kaplan, Isabella Nagy, Aimee Reillert, and Mary Beth Picarella. They meet several times a week in the months leading up to the competition to develop the skills required for the competition. Then, about a week prior to the competition, five legal problems are released which may appear during the competition. The team then meets each evening, preparing arguments for each case.

During the competition, the team is split into two groups of three. The problem that will be used for each round is announced half an hour before the round begins, and at this time, students receive additional facts that require them to adjust their strategy. During the round, each team must present an argument as either the plaintiff or the defense, and teams are judged by law professors and professional mediators based on their understanding of the problem, the consistency of their argument, and the participants’ communication with their teammates.

Boston University’s Mediation team came home with their arms full of trophies—and they may have a shot at bringing home a few more. Because they won the National Championship in mediation, one of Boston University’s teams of three was given one of only two invitations to compete in an international competition in London this March, where they would face teams of law school students from the US, England, Germany, and Canada. Read the BU Today article: www.bu.edu/today/node/12122

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