The Dispute Resolution (DR) Board is an organization that consists of four categories of student competition teams.
1. Client Counseling Team: This team focuses on meeting a client, identifying the client's problem, probing the client for information, advising the client of his or her rights or options, and discussing fees and confidentiality. Students work in pairs and are given a snippet of information about the client's problem prior to the competition. Also, students are made aware of the subject matter involved with the client's problem (i.e., elder law, property law, wills and trusts).
2. Negotiation Team/Environmental Negotiation Team: This team focuses on the art of negotiation and persuasion. Students work in pairs and are given a general information sheet about why and what they want to negotiate with the other side. Also, each team is given a "secret" information sheet with private facts about its client. These "secret" facts are not to be shared with the other teams. These "secret" facts help each team understand a client's wishes and motivations. Based on these general and "secret" facts, the two teams try to negotiate a settlement, contract, lease agreement or whatever goal the clients hope to reach. The environmental negotiation team is identical except that the negotiation topic is always environmental law.
3. Representation In Mediation Team: This team also focuses on the art of negotiation and persuasion, but with a twist. One team member will play the role of the client while the other plays the role of the attorney. In addition to the two teams trying to reach a settlement, contract, lease agreement, etc., a mediator (neutral third-party) helps to facilitate conversation and common ground. Both teams and the mediator meet to discuss each team's position and demands. Each side may ask for a private caucus with the mediator to discuss strategies and positions. During the group sessions and private sessions, the team members MUST stay in their roles as either client or attorney.
4. Student Tax Law Challenge: This team must address a client's tax problem by researching and writing a 10-page memo to its senior partner explaining its proposed course of action. The team must also write a four-page letter to the client explaining its solution to the client's problem. The ABA Tax Division chooses the top four entries to participate in the semi-finals at the ABA mid-year convention. Teams must defend their positions to tax attorneys and judges.
All students who have completed Research and Writing II and have two full semesters remaining (NOT including the summer semester). The semester in which you are currently enrolled counts as one semester.
How Members Are Chosen
DR Board members, like Trial Team and Moot Court Board members, are chosen through the Annual Advocacy Board Workshop and Tryouts held in early May. For more information, please see the Advocacy Board Tryouts Information page.
DR Team Wins Tournament in Virginia
The Stetson Dispute Resolution team of Allison Belanger and Christina Huckfeldt won the William & Mary Law School Negotiation Tournament in Virginia on Nov. 5-6, 2016. Stetson student Mary Wold won the Best Advocate Award. Two other Stetson teams also competed, placing fourth and sixth in the competition.
Recent DR Achievements
Stetson students Julia Boivin, Anne Boyle, Julius Matusewicz and Brien Squires were named finalists in the regional rounds of the ABA Law Student Division Arbitration Regional Competition hosted by Liberty University School of Law in Virginia, and head to the national competition in Chicago in January, 2016.
Stetson University College of Law student Jahanna M. Azarian finished second place and as a national finalist in the Jeffry S. Abrams National Mediation Competition on Oct. 7, 2016, at the University of Houston Law Center.