(Tallahassee, FL) Florida International University law students, Bryan Jones and Marielys Llerena took first place in the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition held on November 7th and 8th in Tallahassee.
In the finals, Jones and Llerena won the championship by defeating Mercer University in a head-to-head negotiation and outscoring the other finalist teams from Samford Univeristy and the University of Miami.  Overall, FIU finished first, Mercer second, Miami third, and Samford fourth.  The competition included a strong field of competitors, with 24 teams from law schools from the Southeast Region, including Emory, Georgia, Mercer, North Carolina, Florida State, Miami, Stetson, Nova, and FAMU.  The competitors negotiated employment contract, benefits, and separation issues for an HIV positive employee.
Jones and Llerena will now move on to face the top 23 teams from around the nation in the Final Round of the ABA Negotiation Competition, to be held in February 2010.  The Final Round, like the Regionals, will deal with employment law issues.
This is the third consecutive year that FIU COL has taken the Championship at the Southeast Regionals.  In 2007, Tyler Tuszynski and Arielle Capuano won the Regionals and went on to place 14th in the nation at the finals in Los Angeles.  Last year, Ashley Vandercar and Nicole Grimal won the Regionals and moved on to place 3rd in the nation at the finals in Boston (3rd among 221 teams from 114 law schools). 

A second team from FIU Law, Brandon Hechtman and David Levine, delivered excellent preliminary round performances, but they did not advance to the finals.  FIU Law students Katherine Cohen and Jasper Hayes-Klein Hayes-Klein, served as alternates and supported both teams by assisting with breaking down the substantive issues in the problem and mooting as a “devil’s advocate.”
Nicole Grimal, an FIU Law 3L, served as the head coach for this year’s negotiation teams.  Nicole Tesnow, also an FIU Law 3L, assisted with coaching.  Professor David Walter, Professor Kerri Stone, and attorney Annie Hernandez also assisted with the coaching the FIU teams.

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