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Hamline Places Second in International Mediation Competition

Hamline students Mike Cavallaro and Sarah Belz emerged as finalists on Friday, February 13 at the prestigious International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Mediation Representation Competition in Paris.  As competition finalists, they were both awarded coveted internships this summer. Sarah will be interning at the ICC in Paris; Mike at the international law firm Clifford Chance. They were coached by Hamline law alumna and adjunct faculty member Jessica Kuchta-Miller, who accompanied them to the competition in Paris.  Jessica Kuchta-Miller teaches the Mediation Clinic at Hamline.  Before this competition Mike Cavallaro took the Mediation Clinic in Spring 2008 and was a Student Director in Fall 2008.  Sarah Belz took the Mediation Clinic in Fall 2008 and is currently a Spring 2009 Student Director. 

"This is an incredibly tough competition judged by the best lawyers and mediators in the world. I know Mike and Sarah were honored to have been selected as one of only eight American teams invited to participate in this prestigious competition," said Professor James Coben, director of Hamline's Dispute Resolution Institute. "So emerging as one of the two best teams in the entire international competition is an impressive accomplishment. We are extremely proud of them."

With a view towards training lawyers to better meet the dispute resolution needs of today's cross-cultural market, the competition gives students an opportunity to test their problem-solving skills in a moot international mediation. More than 85 legal experts with a diverse range of expertise participate as volunteer mediators and judges. 

The competition consists of two parts; written and oral advocacy. During four days of preliminary rounds, competitors must apply ICC's Amicable Dispute Resolution (ADR) Rules to solve problems devised by a special drafting committee of international mediation experts. Student teams are divided into requesting party and responding party in mock mediation sessions, where team members act out the role of counsel and client before a mediator and two judges.     

On the fifth day of the competition, quarter finals take place in the morning and semi-finals in the afternoon. Eight universities were selected to compete in the final. On the last day of the competition, February 12, the ICC International Court of Arbitration will host an Amicable Dispute Resolution Conference gathering experts from around the world to address various aspects of mediation. In the afternoon, Hamline's team will participate in the final round of the International Commercial Mediation Competition.

The competition final was filmed and will be used as a training DVD and distributed to law schools throughout the world. It will be available online at: