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Law Society team lauded in global mediation contest
Law Society team receive the Case Ellis award from INADR President Elena Koltsaki

15 Mar 2024 / education Print

Law Society team lauded in global mediation contest

A Law Society team comprising Blackhall Place PPC trainees continued a recent fine run of form in an international competition with a strong performance at the International Academy of Dispute Resolution (INADR) Law School Mediation tournament last week.

INADR promotes mediation worldwide.

The team comprised:

  • Elaine Dunne (DLA Piper),
  • Natalie Vernon (Hayes), and
  • Daniel Kehoe (Dillon Eustace).

A total of 28 law school teams participated in the competition which was hosted by Loyola University in Chicago and included an intensive day of expert training for participants.


The format of the  competition sees teams of three students each go through three preliminary rounds serving as mediators, as well as advocates and clients.

Mediators work in pairs, with the co-mediators being from different schools.

This encourages students to recognise that mediation is about working together to reach a solution, rather than competing at every turn.

Mediators are judged on:

  • Their ability to work together with their co-mediator,
  • Listening skills,
  • Their ability to help advocates and clients see case strengths and weaknesses,
  • Their ability to stay positive and professional, and
  • Their ability to help guide parties to a resolution.

The Law Society team advanced to the final rounds in both mediation and advocate/client categories and were prize-winners in all categories.

  • The team finished in third place overall in the mediator category,
  • Daniel and Elaine were awarded the prize  for the outstanding advocate/client pairing, and 
  • Natalie was recognised individually for her skills as a mediator. 

To cap a successful week, the team also received  the Case Ellis Spirit of Mediation award, an award voted for by all teams that participated in the competition.

Team coach John Lunney commented that this was “a reflection of our team’s collaborative spirit both in and out of competition during their time in Chicago."

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