QUSL Society for Dispute Resolution Update

Quinnipiac University School of Law – Society for Dispute Resolution Update!

The Society for Dispute Resolution is excited to welcome new competition team members this fall. SDR will hold its annual intramural competition on September 29, 2018, giving new students an opportunity to join our competition team and broaden our participation in future competitions. In addition to the intramural competition, SDR will be sending teams to the ABA Regional and Intellectual Property Negotiation Competitions.

Last Spring, we hosted the ABA Regional Representation in Mediation Competition on February 24th and 25th. We were excited to host teams from law schools across the country, including some of our very own: Matt Parenti, Ginny Paino, Victoria Miller and Nicole Heroy (all 1Ls at the time). Fellow SDR Competition Team members, James Demetriades and Ryan Flament, coached both teams. Congratulations to all of those who competed, QUSL could not be more proud! 

Coming up, QUSL and SDR will be hosting the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition on November 9th and 10th. We will be happy to announce the names of our competitors in this competition, when the event is over. For now, just be sure to send good vibes our way. 

Calling all potential judges! We are looking for 36 judges for the upcoming ABA Regional Negotiation Competition on Friday, November 9, 2018. Please contact SDR.Quinnipiac@gmail.com for more details. Thanks to those who have helped out as a judge, mock client, or coach and those who plan to do so at the upcoming competition. Quinnipiac's strong showing within the ADR community is a result of your assistance and support!


If you'd like to be more involved, please email us at: SDR.Quinnipiac@gmail.com 

2018 Summer Conflict Management Institute – A Success!

All New – 2018 Summer Conflict Management Institute – A Success!

It gave new ways for analyzing complex, multiparty disputes.

The Center of Dispute Resolution has expanded its training offerings!

For five days in June, the Center held the first Summer Conflict Management Institute. Sessions included a broad array of topics including Conflict Triage, Dealing with Challenging Behavior, Overcoming Impasse, Giving and Receiving Feedback, Best Practices for Representation in Family Mediation, and Powerful Non-Defensive Communication. Some people attended a single session; others attended multiple sessions.

The participants included lawyers, therapists, social workers, staff from two human service agencies and a transportation company. The sessions were highly interactive with participants engaging in discussion, sharing experiences and practicing new skills.

In the Challenging Behavior Workshop, we looked at how some behaviors cause us to react in less than positive ways in a negotiation or mediation, how to address specific situations and engage with high conflict personalities. Participants mapped out personal plans for dealing with challenging behaviors. One participant concluded that “it was easily relatable to every day issues and conflicts that arise.”

In the Powerful Non-Defensive Communication (PNDC) workshop, we examined some of the underlying models and assumptions in how we communicate and then introduced PNDC concepts, techniques and basic tools for: (1) questions; (2) making statements, including (a) feedback to others, and (b) expressing our own thoughts, feelings and beliefs; and (3) predicting consequences as a way to set limits. One participant said she was able to “focus on how I could get my power back in different ways.”

The best part was how the personal experiences of participants were woven into the course as it unfolded.

Coming up in January, the Center will offer an Advanced Mediation Training, in March the 40-Hour Mediation Certificate Program and sessions are being planned for the 2019 Summer Conflict Management Institute. Stay tuned for more!

Alumni Spotlight Fall 2018!

Featuring. . . Andrew Marchant-Shapiro!


After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree at the University of Chicago (both in sociology), teaching college for several years, and working in software engineering for 15 years, Andrew Marchant-Shapiro decided to pursue a law degree. Quinnipiac School of Law’s Dean’s Fellows scholarship program caught his attention, and during an interview with some faculty members, one professor inquired as to whether or not The Fellowship of Reconciliation--a pacifist organization that Andrew was affiliated with–was a dispute resolution organization.

That query served to connect his dedication to pacifism with the importance of the role that dispute resolution plays in achieving that goal. He found himself drawn to dispute resolution at Quinnipiac, starting with trying out for the Society for Dispute Resolution’s competition team and later in enrolling and participating in various dispute resolution courses.

In a regional Representation in Mediation competition, Andrew and his co-competitor, along with 2 other teams from QU Law, made up the top 3 teams at an ABA regional competition in Rhode Island. It was then that Andrew got a sense for what QUSL was capable of when it comes to the field of dispute resolution. His team ended up placing second overall.

He has since transitioned into practicing law and incorporating mediation into his work as much as he can. Andrew currently has a small practice, River Bridge Resolutions, LLC, where he represents clients primarily in the fields of inmate civil rights, family, and business law, trying particularly with the latter two to stress the role that mediation and relationship building have for maintaining cooperation, whether in families or in business. In such settings, he has experienced that using litigation can destroy a relationship crucial to a family or to an ongoing project.  While he is excited about assisting divorcing couples to work out parenting plans and helping businesses make good deals and maintain professional relationships, he recognizes that there is much more to do in the legal field to make potential clients aware of the benefits and availability of mediation in lieu of litigation. “We need to find a way to make mediation sexy,” he told me as he was thinking, that as far as awareness of the legal system and the legal community goes, most people only think of lawyers as litigators, and don’t realize that mediation is an option. As the treasurer of The Connecticut Mediation Association (CTMA), Andrew hopes to find ways to do just that and to promote mediation as a tool that can help parties solve problems in an efficient manner. Mediation is particularly apt when there are matters that require people to work toward the future, whether it is parents ensuring the well-being of their child or businesses working together on an ongoing project. Mediation is a great way to maintain relationships into the future instead of potentially destroying them in litigation.

At the end of the day, Andrew hopes that attorneys and clients alike will recognize the value in resolving disputes as opposed to squeezing the greatest financial value out of any given situation. Mediation is about advocating for a solution, as opposed to advocating for a client’s individual interests, and neutrality is key. When asked what advice he had for current law students, Andrew stressed the importance of obtaining soft lawyering skills during law school due to the number of cases that settle. He said, “Work on your negotiating skills as soon as you can because the vast majority of cases are not going to end up in court, and even the ones that do will likely end up settling at some point. Get involved in SDR. Volunteer as a community mediator.”


Adult Children of Divorce: CCND

Connecticut Council for Non-Adversarial Divorce is hosting a dinner meeting on Tuesday April 24, 2018 at 6:00 PM. The QU Law Center on Dispute Resolution regularly cooperates with sister organizations, and this upcoming event is not one to miss! Please click here for more details about the event and registration.

The 10th John A. Speziale ADR Symposium

"Finding Solid Ground: Environmental and Land Use Dispute Resolution in Connecticut" 

DateMarch 17, 2017 8:30 a.m. @ QUSL

Keynote speaker:  Lawrence Susskind, a City Planner, Mediator, and MIT Professor, is one of the country's most experienced public and environmental dispute mediators and a leading figure in the dispute resolution field. 

Sponsors: The symposium is co-sponsored by QUSL and the Connecticut Bar Foundation. There is NO CHARGE for the symposium, which includes continental breakfast and lunch, but seating is limited. Register now.

QUSL Student Wins National Dispute Resolution Essay Competition

An essay by Emily Chumas, 3L, "How Alternative Dispute Resolution Encourages Subsequent Remedial Measures After Medical Malpractice, Medical Negligence, or Adverse or Unanticipated Events", was the winning entry in the 2016 James Boskey Dispute Resolution Essay Competition, sponsored by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. Her essay is published in the September issue of the Section's e-newsletter Just Resolutions.
Ms. Chumas, who this year is the Executive Managing Editor of the law school's Health Law Journal, submitted an earlier draft of her prize-winning essay last spring as her final paper for a new QUSL course titled "Introduction to Dispute Resolution in Healthcare."