Post Date: November 14, 2005

This past weekend, Amar Mehta and Sabastian Niles, both third-year law students, won the American Bar Association Northeast Regional Negotiation Championship.

Coached by Robert C. Bordone, the Thaddeus R. Beal lecturer on law at HLS, Mehta and Niles bested teams from 20 other law schools to win first place. Harvard’s team now advances to the National Championship to be held in February in Chicago at the ABA’s annual mid year meeting. The national champion will then represent the United States in the International Negotiation Competition.

Mehta and Niles report that their experience as students in the Spring 2005 Negotiation Workshop, along with encouragement from their instructors, Bordone and Florrie Darwin, inspired them to participate in the ABA Competition.

This year’s regional competition dealt with contract law disputes relating to the sale of goods and services. Over the course of the three rounds, the HLS team represented a national conglomerate seeking to terminate a top executive, an advertising agency fighting to keep a vital client, and an independent consultant trying to save an old-line company from obsolescence.

Lawyers, professors, and experienced negotiators judged the teams on preparedness, the outcome of the negotiation, effectiveness in serving the client’s interests, ethics, flexibility, teamwork, relationships between the negotiating teams, and self-analysis.