GAINESVILLE - Teams from California to Massachusetts have converged on the Brenau University campus for the 13th Annual National Intercollegiate Mock Mediation Tournament. It began Thursday and runs through Saturday.
Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, Georgia Appeals Court Judge J.D. Smith, noted mediation author Richard Calkins and internationally known mediator Tom Valenti are scheduled to participate in various segments of the three-day program. Tournament officials were expecting more than 150 student mediators, faculty sponsors and professional judges to attend the competition.
Participating teams include Boston University, Brenau, Cameron University (Lawton, Okla.), Clayton State University (Morrow, Ga.), Culver-Stockton College (Canton, Mo.), Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa), University of Dubuque (Dubuque, Iowa), Gainesville State College (Oakwood, Ga.), Georgia State University, (Atlanta), Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, Ga.), Lewis University (Romeoville, Ill.), Loras College (Dubuque, Iowa), Middle Georgia College (Cochran, Ga.), Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Principia College (Elsah, Ill.), University of San Diego (San Diego, Calif.), University of Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls, S.D.), the University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Wesleyan University (Fort Worth, Texas), Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, N.C.), Williams College (Williamstown, Mass.), and University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
This marks the first time the tournament has ventured away from Chicago or Des Moines, Iowa, where it began at Drake University in 1999.
"It is quite an honor for Brenau University to be the first host for the tournament outside the Midwest," said Ken Frank, a member of the INADR board who is also chair of the humanities department and the conflict resolution and legal studies program at Brenau. "This opened the door for participation for schools that have been unable to travel to Chicago or Des Moines for previous events. Hopefully, this tournament will generate more interest in one of the fastest-growing segments of the American judicial system."
Mediation is the increasingly popular and often court-mandated form of legal problem-solving in which a trained negotiator guides conflicting parties toward a mutually acceptable agreement