Winners named in Wayne Law's Transactional Law Competition

Twenty-four students competed Friday, Nov. 11, in Wayne State University Law School’s third annual Transactional Law Competition.

Winners were:

• Negotiations (seller’s counsel) – Arthur Dore of Royal Oak and Nezar Habhab of Dearborn Heights, both second-year students.

• Drafting (seller’s counsel) – Nhan Ho of Detroit and Jeffrey Schultz of Farmington Hills, both second-year students.

• Negotiations (buyer’s counsel) – Megan Baxter-Labut of Grosse Pointe Farms and Jonathan Demers of Detroit, both third-year students.

• Drafting (buyer’s counsel) – Alana Karbal of Birmingham and Bridget Vance of Farmington Hills, both second-year students.

The live-round competition is part of a one-credit course created and supervised by Associate Professor Eric Zacks of Huntington Woods. Third-year student Gabriel Appel of Ferndale was the chair of the competition. Appel was assisted by student board members Amy Huang of Farmington Hills, Jasmine Moore of Detroit and Michael Cassar of Farmington Hills, all third-year students.

“This competition is part of an extremely practical course that allows students to learn by doing,” Appel said. “It provides participants with a great head start when heading into their first year of practice.”

The winners from Wayne Law’s negotiation rounds will represent the law school at the regional LawMeets competitions in the spring. The winners for drafting will help the negotiation teams prepare for the regional competitions, including assisting with the drafting that will be required for the regional competitions and conducting practice negotiation rounds.

“I am really proud of how our students performed throughout the semester’s competition,” Zacks said. “They really impressed the judges with their understanding of complicated legal and business issues, as well as their ability to negotiate effectively on their clients’ behalf.”

After weeks of drafting and revising, the day of the Wayne Law live competition brought the teams together for two rounds of negotiations. The panel of judges – composed of 14 attorneys – offered feedback after each round.

Jeffrey Paulsen of Paulsen Law Firm PLLC served as one of the judges.

“I recommend this competition to any law student interested in a business law career,” Paulsen said. “It provides students interested in a transactional legal career with an opportunity to practice their face-to-face deal-making and negotiating skills in front of established business law practitioners.”

Zacks said Wayne Law’s Transactional Law Competition courses are designed to permit students to experience transactional law in a real-world setting and to begin to develop the skills necessary to represent clients well.

Attorneys serving as judges were:

• Christopher Attar, Wayne Law class of 2014, of Bodman PLC

• Brian Balow of Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy & Sadler PLC

• Christopher Banerian, Wayne Law class of 2014, of LogicalisUS

• David Billings of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

• Laura Davis of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

• Marguerite Donahue, Wayne Law class of 1987, of Seyburn Kahn

• Justin Hanna, Wayne Law Class of 2016, of Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss PC

• John Kanan of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

• Steven Migliore, Wayne Law class of 2008, of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

• Brian O’Keefe of Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein

• Jeffrey Paulsen of Paulsen Law Firm PLLC

• Tom Przybylski of ITC Holdings Corp.

• Arius Webb, Wayne Law class of 2015, of Ford Motor Credit Co.

• Bryan Zair, Wayne Law class of 2004, of Jones Day