August 15, 2016

NJCU Team Wins Prize in Vienna for ‘Most Effective Opening Address’

New Jersey City University (NJCU) was selected as one of three American teams to compete in a prestigious international mediation and negotiation competition in Vienna, June 28-July 2, 2016.  Only 30 teams from around the globe were selected to negotiate as teams of council and client at “CDRC Vienna – The IBA-VIAC Mediation and Negotiation Competition.”

NJCU and Universidad de Jaén (Spain), paired as a negotiating team, were awarded the prize for “Most Effective Opening Address.”

The Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC) in Vienna is a renowned event sponsored annually by the International Bar Association (IBA) and the Vienna International Arbitral Centre with The European Law Students’ Association (ELSA).

Thirty university teams were selected by competitive qualification and skill based assessment, bringing students from countries around the world such as Australia, Brazil, India, Kenya, Lebanon, the U.S., the U.K., Russia, and many more. All of them were coached, supported and assessed by some of the leading experts in the field of international Mediation and Negotiation. A total of over 90 experts, trainers and coaches from over 30 countries worked with the students for their preparation and during the competition.

“NJCU is proud to send our students to this prestigious competition and we are thrilled that they competed and came home with a prize,” said Dr. Sue Henderson, NJCU president.  She added, “The experience of competing with other universities on an international level is invaluable.  Our team competed with top students and had the opportunity to gain insight from world experts.”

“The CDRC in Vienna is a proving ground for expansion of commercial negotiation and mediation from a cross border perspective and is paving the way for a new generation of business leaders utilizing dispute resolution frameworks to facilitate business transactions,” commented David Weiss, Esq., director of the NJCU School of Business Institute for Dispute Resolution.  “NJCU students competed with leading law schools and business schools around the world by negotiating actual international business disputes with the support of a mediator.  The scenario can’t be more real world than that.”

Members of the 2016 NJCU and Jaen University team are:

  • David S. Weiss, Esq. (Coach), visiting scholar and co-director, NJCU School of Business Institute for Dispute Resolution.  Mr. Weiss is a current delegate for the International Mediation Institute at The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.  He has also served in this role representing the Florence International Mediation Center (FIMC) for proposed mediation rules on enforcement of cross border agreements.
  • Robert E. Margulies, Esq. (Coach), adjunct professor at Rutgers University School of Law.  He maintains a full service law practice and Appellate practice, and has developed a mediation and arbitration practice, having received accreditation as a Mediator from the London-based Center for Effective Dispute Resolution in 2011.
  • Karen DeSoto, Esq. (Coach), co-director of the NJCU School of Business Institute for Dispute Resolution and assistant professor at the NJCU School of Business. She is also faculty advisor for the NJCU Student Government Organization’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Society.
  • Amro Atitalla (Coach), finance graduate, NJCU Class of 2016. He served as Vice President of the Senior Class, while serving as project manager and research assistant at the NJCU School of Business Institute for Dispute Resolution. He participated as a student negotiator at the inaugural Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (Vienna) and the 2016 ICC Commercial Mediation Competition (Paris). In 2015 he was awarded Best Delegate for his work at the NMUN Conference (NYC).
  • Marcos Amor Bayona, law graduate of the Universidad de Jaén (Spain), where his research focused on the application of mediation within the criminal justice system. As an exchange student at NJCU (2015), he studied domestic and international business law. He has been a legal management intern for the State of Jaen and Spain. He participated in the 2016 ICC Commercial Mediation Competition (Paris) as acting counsel for the NJCU and University of Jaén team. The Justice Minister of Spain presented him an award recognizing him as one of the best young lawyers in Spain. At the CDRC competition, he participated on the negotiation team as one of the principles’ lawyers.
  • Leman Kaifa, a senior majoring in political science at NJCU. On campus he serves as President of the Student Government Organization and Vice President of the Tau Delta Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity Inc., as well as research assistant for the NJCU School of Business Institute for Dispute Resolution. As a participant in the Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition as a mediator, he reached fifth overall and shared the award for Most Effective Opening Address with teammate Paola Leguizamo.
  • Paola Leguizamo, psychology graduate minoring in pre-law and business, NJCU Class of 2016. She served as Executive Vice President of the NJCU Student Government Organization and in 2015 participated in the Model United Nations Conference (NYC) and the United States Federal Reserve Challenge. She was a research assistant at the NJCU School of Business Institute for Dispute Resolution and participated as a student negotiator at the 2016 ICC Commercial Mediation Competition (Paris). She shared the award for Most Effective Opening Address with teammate Leman Kaifa.
  • Cody O’Malley, finance graduate minoring in economics, NJCU Class of 2016. He served as a research assistant at the NJCU School of Business Institute for Dispute Resolution and co-founder/president of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society at NJCU. He was also a portfolio manager for the Student Investment Management Group and Vice-Chair of the Student Government’s Finance Committee. He is pursuing a career in wealth management and financial planning. At the competition, he participated on the negotiation team as one of the business principles.
  • Anna María Meca Pérez, law graduate of the Universidad de Jaén (Spain), with a concentration in international business and commercial law. Currently, she is an intern in the State of Jaén in the administrative area. In the past, she has participated in an exchange program for non-native English-speaking students in Dublin, Ireland to promote language skills and intercultural relations. At the CDRC she has participated on the negotiation team as one of the principles’ lawyers.
  • Kendall Tribbett, NJCU senior accounting major. He competed as a student negotiator in the 2016 Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition. He has served for three years as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and as the Student-Athlete Representative to the NJCU Student Government Organization. He is a project manager for the NJCU School of Business Institute of Dispute Resolution and co-founder of the NJCU Alternative Dispute Resolution Society.

For more than 20 years the Willem C. Vis Moot Competition has been the international moot court for commercial arbitration.  The negotiation topic for the competition is based on the 2015 Willem C. Vis Moot Problem.  The competition, which simulates legal negotiations with the support of a mediator, focuses on the students’ ability to utilize negotiation and mediation skills and strategies to negotiate or mediate a settlement that best serves the needs of the parties.

The CDRC promotes negotiation and mediation in domestic or international business and commerce, and encourages the use of negotiation and mediation among business and law students. The CDRC also facilitates exchange between professionals in the fields of arbitration and dispute resolution, enhances networking opportunity for students with professionals and experts, and encourages the exchange of best practice and new techniques of mediation and negotiation.

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