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March 2, 2017

Fillmore Riley lawyers act as judges in the first annual Canadian Negotiation Competition hosted by Robson Hall.

Although many Canadian law schools have historically participated in the American Bar Association (ABA) Regional Negotiation Competitions, the  ABA recently made a decision that it would no longer accommodate Canadian schools.

Several Canadian law schools entered into discussions to replace the ABA competition with a Canadian competition, ultimately giving students the opportunity to advance and compete internationally. 

In recent years, Canadian law students have fared well at the International Negotiation Competition. In 2016, Osgoode JD students, Russell Hall and Veronika Stefanski, won first place at the International Negotiation Competition held at the University of Lucerne (Switzerland). In 2015, two teams from Robson Hall won first and fifth place at the 2015 International Negotiation Competition hosted by the Law Society of Ireland in Dublin from July 6-10. Canada 1 was comprised of Andrew Slough and Shimon Leibl; Heather Wadsworth and Andrew Torbiak made up Canada 2.

Canadian law schools wanted to make sure Canadian students continued to have the opportunity to compete on an international level. Robson Hall stepped up and offered to host the first Annual Canadian National Negotiation Competition (CNNC).

Fillmore Riley lawyers Dana Nelko, Cheryl Frost, Annika Friesen , and Ari Hanson jumped at the opportunity to participate as judges. “We’re so pleased to be a part of the inaugural CNNC,” said Dana Nelko, a partner of Fillmore Riley. “The art of negotiation is one of the most important lawyering skills.  Negotiation, whether that involves mediation or alternative dispute resolution, is a critical component of the tools lawyers rely on to help clients.”

The CNNC provides a means for law students to practice and improve their negotiating skills. The competition simulates legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal problems. The simulations deal with the same general topic, but the negotiation situation varies with each round and level of the competition.  The winners of the CNNC will advance to the 2017 International Negotiation Competition co-hosted by the Norwegian Association of Lawyers, the University of Oslo, and others from June 26 to July 1, 2017, in Oslo, Norway.