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L - R: Runner-up team Chandra Oliver and Melanie Labossiere; Wes Burrows, Partner and Chair, Articling Student Recruitment Committee, Fillmore Riley LLP; and first-place team, Zachary Rodgers and Paolo Aquila.

L - R: Runner-up team Chandra Oliver and Melanie Labossiere; Wes Burrows, Partner and Chair, Articling Student Recruitment Committee, Fillmore Riley LLP; and first-place team, Zachary Rodgers and Paolo Aquila.

Thirteenth Annual Robson Hall Negotiation Competition a Success

Negotiation is the primary tool for solving a client’s problems: this competition encourages students to excel

October 19, 2018 — 

Sixteen teams of Robson Hall students competed in the thirteenth annual Robson Hall Negotiation Competition on the evening of October 18th, 2018.  These third-year students were selected for having excelled in the Legal Negotiation course they took in their second year of law school.  The main purpose of the competition is to develop superb negotiating skills in Robson Hall graduates. All legal training and professional expertise is directed toward one key objective—solving a client’s problems. Negotiation is the primary tool for accomplishing precisely that.

In teams of two, the students met with another team representing the other side, each team possessing confidential details about their client’s circumstances and settlement preferences.  This year, students negotiated an agreement between two technology companies for the development of intellectual property to be used in drones, with issues including the timeframe for development, who owns the rights, and promises of non-disclosure. All this took place while the teams were under the ever-watchful eyes of the judges who scored each team’s negotiation skills.  At the end of each session, the judges provided detailed feedback to each team about what they did well, and potential areas for improvement.

The event was generously sponsored by Fillmore Riley, which has a very long history of supporting the competition.  In addition to covering all competition costs and supplying cash prizes, lawyers from the firm volunteered to judge the students.  These lawyers were Donald Baker, Wes Burrows, Beth Eva, Cheryl Frost, Rachel Loewen, Ranish Raveendrabose, Keith Senden, and Brynne Thordarson.

These judges were tremendously impressed with the caliber of the students’ negotiations, and were faced with the unenviable task of selecting a winner.  Due to their stellar performance, the negotiating team of Paolo Aquila and Zachary Rodgers were awarded first place. The runners up, who also did a tremendous job, were Melanie Labossiere and Chandra Oliver.  Both teams are now eligible to represent Robson Hall and compete in the Canadian National Negotiation Competition, which will be held in Toronto in February of 2019.  Robson Hall students have a long history of success in inter-school competitions: the winner of the 2014 Robson Hall competition even went on to win the 2015 International Negotiation Competition in Dublin, Ireland.

A sincere thanks to Fillmore Riley for its generous sponsorship of the competition.

Congratulations Paolo & Zachary and Melanie & Chandra!

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