Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Loyola Law School Sends Inaugural Team to the International Mediation Competition in Paris

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), located in Paris, France, has for the past thirteen years organized an annual International Commercial Mediation Competition that draws students and practitioners from all corners of the globe. For the first time this year, Loyola Law School sent a team of four students—Josh Genzuk (3L), Nate Pezeshki (3E), Nidya Gutierrez (2L), and Patricia Martinez (2L)—to compete in Paris alongside 66 other schools from 32 different countries. The team was coached by Adjunct Professor Cindy Pasternak (LLS ‘76) and Professor Hiro Aragaki, and was assisted by Visiting Scholar Federico Ferraris, who teaches at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy.

From February 2-7, 2018, students competed in around 150 mock sessions to resolve international business disputes through mediation in accordance with the most current version of the ICC Mediation Rules. Unlike other ADR competitions where students take the role of the neutral mediator, in the ICC Competition students act as mediation advocates representing a client. The competing teams were supported by more than 130 professionals from around the world who were experienced in resolving cross-border disputes, some of whom acted as mock mediators and others of whom took the role of judges. The students were evaluated on their negotiating and problem-solving skills, their ability to make good use of the mediator, and their ability to bridge cultural differences.

The Competition is the ICC’s biggest educational event of the year and provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young, talented students and experienced professionals alike to forge relationships, build skills, and share best practices. “I had an unbelievable experience,” 3L student Josh Genzuk said of his participation in the inaugural team. “The training that we received on negotiation theory and human communication theory in general, was one of the greatest learning experiences that I have ever been a part of. I do not believe that this level of learning and interaction would have been attainable in any other law school class.”

Professor Hiro Aragaki and members of the International
Commercial Mediation Moot Court Team
The Law School’s participation in the ICC Competition is part of a broader effort to expand our ADR advocacy offerings. Law school ADR courses have traditionally focused on training students to be the neutral (i.e., the mediator or arbitrator). Loyola Law School has made a deliberate choice to place greater emphasis on training our students to become the next generation’s leaders in mediation and arbitration advocacy—an approach that Professor Aragaki describes as consistent with the Law School’s reputation for excellence in advocacy and its commitment to producing practice-ready lawyers. “Given that less than 1% of all cases in federal court proceed to a trial on the merits, in today’s world it is important for our new graduates to know how to effectively represent their clients in forums such as mediation and arbitration—forums that are no longer ‘alternative’ and more like the ‘new normal,’” he explains. “And with the economy becoming more and more global, it is essential to have an international perspective and understanding of how to navigate cultural differences. There is no better way to prepare yourself for either of these things than the ICC Mediation Competition.”

The Law School would especially like to thank Professor Pasternak, who not only helped hone the students’ mediation advocacy skills by drawing on her decades of experience as an ADR neutral, but who also helped raise the funds for the students to participate. Other donors that the Law School would like to thank include:
  • Alder Law, A Professional Corporation
  • Arent Fox
  • Buchalter Nemer
  • Kaplan Marino
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Metropolitan News-Enterprise
  • Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
  • Bird, Marcella, Boxer, Nessim, Brooks, Lincenberg & Rhow, P.C.
  • Fredman Lieberman Pearl
  • Nelson Hardiman LLP
  • Pinsky Markle Ham LLP
  • Nicholas R. Allis, Esq.
  • Christopher Bradford, Esq.
  • Malcolm Stephen McNeil, Esq.
  • Hon. Robert L. Ordin
  • Andrea Sheridan Ordin, Esq.
  • Kevin S. Pasternak, Esq.
  • Lloyd W. Pellman, Esq.
  • Kenneth Petrulis, Esq.
  • Patricia D. Phillips, Esq.
  • John Rubiner, Esq.
  • Marc Sallus, Esq.
If you or a colleague of yours are interested in helping next year’s team train for the upcoming 2019 Competition in Paris, or in helping to improve the Law School’s ADR offerings or programming, please contact Professor Aragaki at hiro.aragaki@lls.edu.

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