Second-year students Catherine Kaiman and Matthew Friendly are the winners of this year's Charles C. Papy, Jr. Moot Court Board Negotiation Competition. The pair beat 21 other teams for the chance to compete in the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition taking place on November 12-13, in Raleigh, N.C.
"It was very exciting to participate in something that made us feel like we were having a real world experience," Kaiman said.
Throughout the negotiation competition, students learn the art of strategy as they take on complex problems and dispute various terms as if they were actual attorneys. They are given various facts to use as bargaining leverage. In the end, the teams have to come to an agreement that is in the best interest of their client.
After a week of competition, the judges presented the remaining teams with a twist in the final round. The students had to change hats in the case they were arguing, which entailed issues arising in the purchase and sale of a home. No longer could they be the attorneys representing clients - they had to become the clients.
As the clients in the lawsuit, Kaiman and Friendly took on the roles of business students who were interested in purchasing a house in Cambridge, Mass. The avid-bird lovers, who had been house hunting for two years, found a perfect home, which came with an aviary. Unfortunately, the home was near a noisy, traffic-clogged highway.
The opposing team, Carlos Nuñez and Shawn Hairston, both 2Ls, posed as the sellers, a pair of attorneys who lived on the west coast. The sellers' house had been on the market for nearly a month. They needed the money to invest into a business. They didn't know that the buyers also loved birds. For most buyers, the aviary would be costly to remove.
The teams competed in front of students, faculty and a panel of attorneys who sat as judges.
"The competition was a great opportunity to get feedback from attorneys who critiqued our strategies and advised us about different techniques they use in their everyday practice," Friendly said after his win. "We're excited to represent the school while in North Carolina."