Texas A&M’s Nash and Davis Win National Title in ABA Mediation Competition

April 8, 2016

Lynne-Justin-Natl-champ3Ls Lynne Nash and Justin Davis, winners of the 2016 ABA National Representation in Mediation Competition

Texas A&M University School of Law mediation team of Lynne Nash and Justin Davis took home the national title at the American Bar Association 2015-2016 National Representation in Mediation Competition in New York City on April 6 and 7, defeating more than 45 teams from across the nation. 

The ​competition, sponsored by the ABA Dispute Resolution section, provides an environment in which law students can learn and demonstrate their advocacy skills and model appropriate preparation for and representation of a client in mediation. The ​competition is designed to familiarize law student participants with advocacy skills in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes, specifically mediation. The judging criteria are designed to reward those participants who use an effective combination of advocacy skills and a problem-solving approach in the mediation.

Eight regional winners came to New York to compete for the national title. The schools represented were:  Rutgers School of Law—Camden; Fordham University School of Law; Liberty University School of Law; Washington and Lee University School of Law; University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law; Texas A&M University School of Law; Washington University School of Law; and University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Each team consists of two law students, one of which portrays the client, the other the client’s attorney in each round.

All eight teams competed in two rounds Wednesday. The four highest total scoring teams from the first two rounds advanced to the semi-finals Thursday morning: Berkeley, Texas A&M, Rutgers and Washington. In the semi-finals “knock-out round,” Texas A&M and Berkeley advanced, with the Aggie team entering the final round ranked first place in points.

Texas A&M prevailed over Berkeley in the final round, securing the victory and bringing the first place trophy home to Texas A&M University School of Law.

To win nationals, the team competed in seven different rounds with seven different client fact patterns in disparate areas of the law.

Nash and Davis were coached by adjunct professor Kay Elliott. In preparation for the competition, faculty and former students from CLIP (Center for Law and Intellectual Property) and other faculty members helped the team understand how the diverse topics of trusts, contracts, copyright and employment law can affect mediation situations.

“We are so proud to represent Texas A&M University School of Law,” Nash said. “Our professors, coaches, and former students have been great resources throughout the regional and national competition preparation process.”

Nash and Davis would like to thank professors Michael Green, Terri Helge, Frank Snyder, Megan Carpenter,​ Carol Pauli and Susan Fortney, as well as the entire faculty's willingness to be available.

"Cell phone numbers and emails galore, our professors are the best!" said Nash. "This helps show the multiple ways our school comes together for its students." 

Texas A&M Law student Lynne NashNash is a third-year law student who holds an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and a Master’s degree from Abilene Christian University. She has competed in multiple ADR competitions winning regionals and finishing top six at nationals in the 2015 ABA Client Counseling Competition and being named Overall Mediation Champ at the 2014 St. John’s University School of Law Securities Dispute Resolution Triathlon. Nash was awarded the James W. Gibson Scholarship at the 11th annual Texas Mediators Credentialing Association Symposium for being a rising star in the mediation field.

She said she and Davis are thrilled to bring this title home to Fort Worth.

“The ABA Representation in Mediation competition was a tremendous opportunity to meet talented competitors and ADR practitioners from all over the country.” Davis said. “The high level of skill, dedication, and sportsmanship demonstrated by the other teams was beyond impressive.”

TAMU Law 3L Justin DavisDavis is a third-year law student who holds an undergraduate degree from Penn State University and is the Technology Editor for the school’s Law Review journal. Davis’ article “The Unarmed Army: Evolving Second Amendment Rights and Today’s Military Member,” was accepted for publication in the Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal. Throughout law school Justin has continued to serve his country as an officer in the Texas Air National Guard. This is Davis' second ADR competition for the school.

ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition

Advocacy-NAAC-chicago-April2016Blake Buether, Tyler Gregston, Melissa Cather
At the national finals of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) in Chicago, also held April 7-9, ​the Texas A&M Law moot court team of 3Ls Blake Buether and Tyler Gregston and brief writer 2L Melissa Cather finished in the top ​eight in the nation. The team was coached by adjunct professor Joe Spence. The team won the NAAC Regional Championship at the Brooklyn Regional ​in February.

Learn more about the Texas A&M School of Law Advocacy Program:

The Advocacy Program at Texas A&M School of Law is a key component of making Aggie law students practice-ready. Directed by Jennifer Ellis (Texas Wesleyan University School of Law '05), the Advocacy Program consists of three disciplines: appellate advocacy (moot court), trial advocacy (mock trial) and dispute resolution (mediation, negotiation and client counseling).

The Texas A&M Law Moot Court, Mock Trial and Alternative Dispute Resolution teams are nationally recognized. Since the law school’s inception, the program has received 3 international, ​12 national, 21 regional and one state championship, 14 best advocate and 13 best brief awards.

Most recently, peer surveys conducted by U.S. News & World Report have ranked Texas A&M #18 among the top dispute resolution programs in the United States.

- Article by Jennifer Nassar, Communications Specialist, Texas A&M University School of Law