A team of three students from Cornell Law School's Securities Law Clinic took first place in the Mock Arbitration competition at the Securities Dispute Resolution "Triathlon" held in New York City on October 14-15, 2017.
At the event, cosponsored by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") and St. John's University School of Law, teams from twenty law schools competed in three alternative dispute resolution competitions of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration, all in the context of an emerging securities law issue.Judges of the event were experienced securities lawyers and other professionals who serve as current FINRA arbitrators and mediators.
Adjunct Professor Birgitta Siegel coached Securities Law Clinic students Christina Kim '18, Elizabeth Sullivan '18, and Matthew Battaglia '19, who spent seven weeks researching relevant law and practicing advocacy skills prior to embarking on the weekend-long competition. Clinical Professor of Law William A. Jacobson directs the clinic, where students learn fundamental investigatory and advocacy skills within the context of laws governing financial investments.
Battaglia called the Triathlon "a unique and satisfying experience," adding that "Being able to work with a talented team to practically apply skills was very rewarding and it was an honor to earn a medal while representing Cornell Law School."
"It gave me the opportunity to apply theory and the law to real-life and complex issues in the securities industry," said Kim.
This competition is named "Triathlon" for good reason according to Professor Siegel. "It required students to accept tough time commitments for seven plus weeks to explore the unresolved legal issues presented," she said, "and of course to practice, practice, practice the multiple skill sets needed for each phase of the competition."
"I'm so proud of the job these students did, said Professor Jacobson. "The arbitration portion of the Triathlon is the most difficult, and required the students to master not only the substance, but also the practical skills of presenting the evidence and arguments."