The TJSL Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) team of Katie Tooma and Vikram Monder, coached by Trisha Bryniczka and Andrea Rodriguez, placed third in this weekend's First Annual Entertainment Law Negotiation Competition at Southwestern Law School on Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3.
The TJSL team of Parker Smith and Kim Swierenga, coached by Allyson Evans and Matt Odgers, placed sixth. The teams competed in preliminary rounds which involved copyright infringement damages and the prevention of future infringements by the posting of a feature length movie prior to its theater release on "Bluetube" [modeled after YouTube] and another copyright issue arising after a lawsuit was brought against "Noodle Books" [modeled after Google Books] which had the scanned books and visual works without the artists' permission into an online, searchable database which it intended to launch.
As a result of their performance in the preliminary rounds, Katie and Vik made the "final four" and negotiated a contract on behalf of the Los Angeles Lakers with representatives of a talented point guard with a checkered past. The team got the "final four" problem at 6:00 pm on Saturday night and helped prepare Katie and Vik for the finals which began at 8:30 Sunday morning.
"The commitment and resourcefulness of our teams was great", said Professor Paul Spiegelman, the ADR team faculty advisor. "It was well illustrated by the preparations for Sunday morning's final: The eight team members in Los Angeles brainstormed over dinner and into the night to get ready; Katie consulted with Mike Pastrano on NBA customs and practices; Vik found a way to get talk on the phone with Vice President of the LA Sparks of the WNBA while we ate dinner. The team was up and ready to go the next morning."
Professor Spiegelman, who accompanied the team, noted that the performance of both TJSL teams was excellent. "They were well prepared and were able to demonstrate not only a solid grasp of the legal issues involved, but also professional bearing and excellent communication skills", said Professor Spiegelman. "The negotiation skills that our teams demonstrated not only represented our school well in this elite, invitation-only competition, but also are exactly the kind of skills that are vital to practicing lawyers: transactional lawyers negotiate all of their deals and litigators settle most of their cases."
The Entertainment Negotiation Competition opened the ADR Society's 2010-2011 season, which will take them to the Denver Regionals of the ABA National Negotiation Competition, the National Baseball Arbitration Competition in New Orleans, the ABA National Representation in Mediation Competition in Malibu, CA, and the California State Bar Environmental Competition in San Francisco.
Students interested in joining the ADR Society are invited to try out for the ADR team on Sunday, November 21. Details to be announced.