I’ve been discussing ADR in bankruptcy, but I wanted to take a detour to mention the Securities Dispute Resolution Triathlon we’re holding at St. John’s this weekend. Our Hugh Carey Center for Dispute Resolution is working in conjunction with FINRA to host the competition. We’re pretty sure it’s the first competition to include negotiation, mediation, and arbitration in a single event (hence the “Triathlon”). The competitors, in teams of three, will work from a single basic factual scenario through the three “legs.” The fact pattern was created by a working group led by Carey Center Director Elayne Greenberg and including our faculty and FINRA’s experts, making it very realistic. Teams will negotiate Saturday morning, then mediate using modified facts that afternoon, and then arbitrate on Sunday.
FINRA has taken some criticism recently, including in comments to this blog. But it is clear to me after working with them that they are committed to maintaining a high-quality and fair process. They certainly have been indispensable in creating this educational opportunity. As anyone who has hosted a competition knows, getting (good) judges can be the biggest hurdle. FINRA is providing neutrals and judges from its extensive roster. We’ve asked the neutrals to conduct the mediations and arbitrations in exactly the way they normally do. We hope that will make this a very realistic—and unique—test of the students’ dispute resolution abilities. The students will have to be able to respond to a wide variety of approaches–just as real advocates do.
More information on the competition is available here. Assuming it goes well (the weather in the northeast is not cooperating, unfortunately), we are planning to expand by 6-8 teams next year. Anyone who is in New York this weekend and would like to check it out is welcome (it will be held at our TriBeCa campus at 101 Murray Street). Just give us a heads up so we can put you on the guest list. Communications can go to me or to Elayne.