Peterson and Wootton Praised for Excellent Performance at the National ABA Negotiation Competition

Daniel Peterson and Kaye Lynn Wootton delivered an outstanding performance at the National ABA Negotiation Competition, held February 11-12 in Atlanta.

They had placed first in our region (Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming), earning the right to compete at the national level. At the National Competition, they faced teams from Boston College and Northwestern in the preliminary rounds, and earned the opportunity to advance to the semi-final round.  There, they negotiated with a team from Fordham.  At the end of the semi-final round they were in a 3-way tie for 2nd place overall.

However, because of rules of the competition, only one team from that four-team heat was permitted to advance to the final round, along with a lower-scoring team from another four-team heat. In our heat, the Fordham team won a tie-breaking assessment of various skills.  Although the College of Law team scored higher in “outcome,” Fordham scored higher in “flexibility” with two judges noting “your client doesn’t give you” much flexibility and “client instruction was not to be” flexible, thus demonstrating some of the irrationality in these competitions. For these reasons Peterson and Wootton did not advance to the final round.

In the end, the College of Law team stood in fifth place out of the 24 teams that advanced to nationals. This is the highest ranking a Utah team has achieved at the National Negotiation Competition. Furthermore, all the teams that faced the College of Law team told Peterson and Wootton that they were the best team they met in the competition.

Linda Smith, Professor of Law and Clinical Program Director at the College of Law, said she very pleased with the team’s performance and added, “Students are invited to represent the school in this competition based upon their negotiation performances in the Lawyering Skills class and other relevant clinics or classes. Preparing for and participating in the 1-credit competition teaches students to work as a team and helps them learn about their own styles as a negotiator.”

The team wishes to thank the following for the assistance they provided: Professors Chahine, Brown, Rinehart and Mow, and from Professor Chahine’s New Ventures Class, in particular Ed Jang and Matt Kaufman.