November 9, 2007


Coach Klaus Sitte, Ben Heiner, Katie Mazurek, Charlie Cromwell, Lindsay Hecht, Thad Seegmiller, and Nicole Baratta

The University of Montana School of Law made history this past weekend. All three UM law school Negotiation Competition teams advanced to the final round of regional competition. Region 10 competition was hosted by the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in Saskatoon, Canada on November 3 and 4. Twenty teams, representing law schools across the northwestern United States and Canada, competed this year. In the history of UM's participation in the ABA Negotiation Competition, no other law school has advanced all three entrants into the final round.

Advancing to National Competition were the second place finishers and team partners Thad Seegmiller (Washington City, UT) and Nicole Baratta (Las Vegas, NV). Seegmiller and Baratta faced the only non-UM Team in the final round, Lewis and Clark Law School of Portland, Oregon. National Negotiation Competition will be held in Los Angeles in February. Team partners Charlie Cromwell (Missoula, MT) and Lindsay Hecht (Sioux City, IA) faced fellow teammates Katie Mazurek (Charlevoix, MI) and Ben Heiner (Missoula, MT).

With three UM teams in the final round, Heiner and Mazurek were required to switch sides for the final round to compete against fellow teammates, Hecht and Cromwell. "This has never happened before either," said Klaus Sitte, coach of the UM Team and adjunct faculty member at the School of Law. Sitte added, "When all three teams were announced as final round entrants, we were all simply speechless - no small feat for a Negotiation Team!"

This is the third straight year that the UM School of Law Negotiation Team has advanced to the final round of regional competition and the second straight year that UM will send a team to national competition. Sitte said that the team will spend many hours in January preparing for national competition. "One particular team strength is commitment to planning and preparation. Good negotiators plan. We're excited to have the opportunity to represent the UM Law School nationally again." Sitte has been coaching the Negotiation Team for 17 years. He is the executive director of Montana Legal Services Association.