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Brooklyn Law School’s ADRHS Teams Win Top Places at Mediation Tournament

03/29/2022
Displaying their finely honed mediation and advocacy skills, members of Brooklyn Law School’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Honors Society took home the top two honors in the New York Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section’s Annual Mediation Tournament. Winning first place was the team of Kathleen Giunta ’23, Kevin Trimmer ’23, and Rosaleen Maresco ’23, coached by Eric R. Raff ’23 and Megan McCarthy ’23. In second place was the team of Jonathan Van Dusen ’23, Subha Tasnim ’22, and Julia Lee ’23, coached by Hasan Tariq ’22 and Yifan Lin ’22.  Van Dusen won the Best Mediator Award.  

The two-day tournament is unique in that it enables three-member teams of law students to develop and display both advanced mediation and advocacy skills while participating as mediators, advocates, and in-house client representatives. Fourteen teams from numerous law schools participated. “Not only did this competition allow me to become more confident as an advocate negotiating with others, but it also allowed me to understand how a client feels during settlement conversations and how a mediator must think creatively about solutions and facilitate conversation in a positive way,” said Giunta. 

Among the respected group of experienced mediators and practitioners who judged the tournament, the final round judges included: the Honorable Anthony Cannataro, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, New York State Court of Appeals; the Honorable Leonard B. Austin, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department of the Supreme Court, State of New York; the Honorable Elizabeth S. Stong, Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York; and the Honorable Sarah L. Cave, Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. “We received invaluable general and individual feedback from the judges that helped our team improve with every round,” said Maresco, who has her sights on practicing real estate and family law. “The skills utilized in this competition will be directly transferrable to either area of practice.”

 “The NYSBA mediation tournament is a terrific competition, one of the best of its kind,” said Judge Stong. “The quality of all the teams and the level of competition is just outstanding. And the skills that the students develop and display—communication, collaboration, and, of course, advocacy—are some of the most important skills for lawyers to have.”

Giunta adds, “Everything we do in ADR, whether it be running tryouts, helping other teams prep for their competitions, or competing myself, has given me confidence in my ability to speak publicly, analyze complex and interesting legal issues, and develop my own personal style of negotiation and conversation with other advocates.”