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Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

ICODR competition features contract negotiation

Ben_davis Teams from Toledo, Hamline, Belgrade, Cal-Hastings, Cornell, Maryland, Cardozo, and British Columbia carried off the top prizes in the Fourth International Competition for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR), which involved law schools from five continents.

The competition, which covers both negotiation and mediation, is the brainchild of Contracts prof Ben Davis of Toledo (left), and it’s one of the few that deals with dispute resolution outside the litigation setting, which makes it particularly interesting to commercial types.  One of the mediation problems involved a pre-litigation dispute over whether a great entertainer’s signature on a musical instrument bought on eBay was genuine. The other required the parties to negotiate the purchase of a domain name.

Davis, who also teaches international law and dispute resolution, led the group that started the competition in 2001.  It offers what he calls "a rare opportunity to project themselves on the international plane and compete with students from around the world." The online competition is entirely anonymous; neither the competitors nor the judges know which schools are involved in a particular negotiation.  "Students who may not have dealt with persons from other countries," says Davis, "can now try their luck and see what they can do. A student who is found to be effective may find a vocation thanks to this experience. At least we hope so."

If you're interested in exploring fielding a team for next year's event, you can contact Davis here.

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