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‘Holy Cross students see a more conciliatory side of the law, claim 3rd place in mediation competition’

December 3rd, 2014 by 

mediation team picture
From left to right: Robert Tiro, Emily Cross, and Jonathan Formichella

A recent Mass Live article features the mediation team from the College of the Holy Cross, who placed 3rd in the 15th Annual International Mediation Tournament and earned a chance to be one of four undergraduate teams to compete against law school teams in the spring.  The winning team members, all ‘seasoned veterans’ of mock trial competitions, include seniors Emily Cross ’15, Robert Tiro ’15, and Jonathan Formichella, and were coached by Ed McDermott, visiting lecturer at the College.

McDermott introduced the team to a different kind of pre-law competition, one centered more on compromise than confrontation, which helped lead them to victory.

There is a difference in structure between mock trials  and mediation. Mock trial proceedings offer very specific scripts and limited sets of facts, whereas the mediation competition requires more flexibility, especially when dealing with sets of “secret facts” revealed to each side just 20 minutes before the mediation began.

Tiro, a political science major, said that mediation provides a better insight into the future of the legal field. “About 94 percent of cases are never going to go to trial as it is,” Tiro said. “I think one of the main draws, and part of why we became interested in it, was that you’ve got a lot more control over what happens in your case.”

Coach McDermott adds, “There’s very little in life that isn’t negotiated,” he said. “Most of life is all about discussions, interactions and compromises and I think this is the type of program that would lend some skill sets to that.”

Formichella emphasized the creativity in crafting an argument: “Mediation offers something different. It offers an open and honest conversation where you’re trying to get the best result for both parties,” he said. “Or at least something that both parties can live with.”

Cross, an English major, and Tiro said the art of public speaking can apply to many fields in their future.

Click here to read the full article.

This “Holy Cross in the News” item by Jacqueline Smith ’15.

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