Client Skills Board Students Excel in Competitions


It was a busy weekend for the Marquette University Law School Clients Skills Board, the organization focused on building client-focused practice skills.

Cassie Van Gompel and Zach Geren finished 3rd, and Megan Marqusee and David Karp finished 4th, at the ABA Regional Representation in Mediation Competition at Quinnipiac School of Law on Saturday, February 27th. Cassie and Zach had initially tied for 2nd place, missing the semi-final round in the tiebreaker by less than 4 points.

Closer to home, 1st-year students Cody Hallowell, Keegan Girodo, Kelsey Schanke, and Ben Lucarelli beat out ten other 1L and 2L teams to win the Marquette University Law School Intramural Negotiation Competition, also on Saturday, February 27th. Local attorneys, many of them MULS alums, came to Eckstein Hall to judge the competition, providing great feedback to all the teams working to enhance their negotiation abilities.  Cody, Keegan, Kelsey, and Ben will represent Marquette in the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition next fall.

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Israel Reflections 2015–Day 7: Moty Cristal

One of the most interactive and influential speakers during the trip was Moty Cristal, the CEO of Next Consulting. Having begun his career as one of Israel’s leading negotiators, Moty now conducts international negotiation trainings for the private sector. He made time to speak to us at the Rabin Center and his lesson was among the favorites of the trip.  As our last speaker of the trip, I knew Moty would be a great wrap-up!

Student Sean A. McCarthy recalls his experience:

Moty Cristal has become one of the leading negotiation experts in Israel and my class was fortunate enough to meet with him in Tel Aviv.  He had the class participate in an exercise that involved three people dividing up a large sum of money amongst each other. Each role (A, B, and C) was given a different amount of bargaining power and rules for reaching an agreement. Moty formula (2)If all three individuals were able to come to an agreement, they could split up $121 million. However, if A and B reached an agreement, they would split $110 million; if A and C reached an agreement, they would split $84 million; and if B and C reached an agreement, they would split $50 million.

As a member of the A group, I realized that I was going into the exercise with virtually all of the negotiating power.  I was also fairly confident that a deal would be reached and that I would be a member of the deal. Ultimately, I was able to agree with B to split the $110 million with $26 million going to B and $92 million going to myself. During the debrief, I noticed that A was a party to all of the agreements reached, except for one. Many of the groups talked about how difficult it was to take the power away from A. In relation to international conflict, Moty explained that A groups could, in almost every situation, include the excluded party without losing anything themselves. This viewpoint—that while the pie can be expanded, ultimately some sharing is required for an agreement to be reached—was one of the most important lessons I learned on the trip.

Student Alex Evrard provides a different viewpoint on the experience:

During the exercise, I was a member of Nation C.  Going into the negotiation with two much more powerful nations, I had little room to negotiate an agreement in which I was not the nation left out.  Although my two opponents were inclusive and included me in an agreement, my fellow Nation C negotiators were not as fortunate; many of them reported back that they were left out of the final agreement. Moty’s lesson focused on how to negotiate while in a powerless situation. He told the group a story about the only time C was ever able to gain all of the money. In that situation, C was able to persuade his group members to agree to a coin flip. His lesson to the powerless negotiator was to negotiate as if there were no power. Instead of focusing on coalitions and the use of power, focus on the process of the agreement and working toward a solution that can benefit everyone. This was a wonderful exercise that left an impression on a good number of the students.

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Israel Reflections 2015: Day Three (almost done)–Dinner at the Baraks’

israelA highlight of our trip every year is the time we get to spend with Justice Aharon Barak and his wife Judge Elika Barak.  Justice Barak is the former President of the Israeli Supreme Court, hailed as the father of Israel’s constitutional revolution and even cited by Justice Elena Kagan as one of her judicial heroes.  Judge Barak was the former deputy chief of the Labor Court.  It is a truly special evening.

Student Dejan Adzic recounts:

One of the most valuable and interesting experiences of the Israel 2015 trip was a group dinner at the home of former Justice Barak and his wife. The Barak’s were terrific hosts and their hospitality was remarkable and far exceeded my expectations. In addition to the great food, I was really surprised by how pleasant and approachable Justice Barak really is. He went above and beyond in his attempts to answer everybody’s questions and to give each student an opportunity to engage him in a conversation. He spoke tirelessly for nearly two hours with forty students asking thought provoking questions about Israel’s judicial system, the Constitution, labor and immigration issues, as well as the unavoidable security concerns and the two state solution. Justice Barak even found time to speak to the guests about the fruits in his garden, letting students take mandarins as edible souvenirs from the memorable dinner.

One of the most interesting topics of discussion was Justice Barak’s discussion on the U.S. Constitution and the originalist interpretation of the document. Justice Barak criticized the originalist approach when applied to a rigid constitutional framework that makes amendments difficult to accomplish. He believes that an originalist approach coupled with a rigid constitutional framework hinders the concept of constitutionalism. Another issue that is prevalent in Israel, but overshadowed by more pressing security concerns, are immigration and employment law issues that Israel faces. Israel has approximately 50,000 illegal immigrants working within its borders. These immigrants could easily be nationalized because most of them have been living in Israel for many years and their nationalization would benefit the country and eliminate the immigration problem. However, largely due to more pressing security concerns and other political issues in the Middle East, this employment and immigration problems are usually not at the focal point of Israeli politics.  As Justice Barak noted, “It’s a tough neighborhood.”

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