It's Agreed: Mediation Team is Tops in Nation Again
Dec. 16, 2010
For the second straight year, UT Dallas students have returned from the National Mediation Tournament with top honors.
A UT Dallas team placed first in the advocate/client division to win the Dan Stamatelos National Trophy for Advocacy. Another team placed second in the same division.
The tournament was held Nov. 4-6 at the Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa.
Of the 19 schools fielding 32 teams at the tournament, UT Dallas was the only school to place two teams to the final rounds.
“I am impressed with our teams and proud to be associated with them,” said Michael Gunnin, coach of the UT Dallas Mediation Team. “Mediation depends heavily on improvisational skills, and there is very little I can do as a coach other than to brief them on a few legal issues and then cut them loose.”
A mediation round consists of advocate/client pairs from two schools, and mediators from two other schools. The competitors are given a simulated dispute to settle.
Advocacy teams are judged on their ability to state their positions but show flexibility in working toward a solution. Mediators are judged on their ability to react to the demands of the advocates and clients and to facilitate a possible settlement.
The students who made up the teams that represent the University this year consisted of:
- Taylor Brigance, senior international political economy major.
- Dionna Budd, junior political science major.
- Shannon Bumpas, senior accounting major.
- Ryan Campbell, senior interdisciplinary studies major.
- Dina Shahrokhi, senior political science major.
- Richard Stees, senior business administration major.
Last year the UT Dallas team of Shahrokhi, Bumpas and Megan Newman (BA ’10) won the national championship in the advocate/client division.
The tournament is sponsored each year by The International Academy of Dispute Resolution to emphasize alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques and to provide a counterbalance to Moot Court and Mock Trial, which emphasize the adversarial side of the law.
UT Dallas is the only school in Texas to field teams in all three of the major pre-law competitions: Moot Court, Mock Trial and Mediation.