Thompson Rivers University

Law students negotiate sports issues in San Diego

November 3, 2023

TRU Law was the only Canadian team in the National Sports Law Negotiation Moot (NSLNC) competition in San Diego, Calif. — the first competitive moot opening the 2023–24 competitive moot season.

Teammates Januel Ibasco and Harman Sandhu negotiated two problems, with sports as the core issues. The first problem centered around a dispute between a homeowners association and its residents over people playing pickleball, which is an ongoing issue as the sport grows in popularity. The second problem was a negotiation over the future of the remaining members of the Pac-12 football conference, which faces an uncertain future as 10 members of the conference are leaving in 2024. 

Ibasco and Sandhu studied hard to get up to speed on US law, particularly in respect to the Pac-12 problem. In addition, they developed their negotiating techniques through preparation and in the competition. Coach Karen Perry noted Ibasco and Sandhu took lessons from the first negotiation of the day at the competition, and applied those tips only a few hours later in their next negotiation. She was proud of the effort they put into preparing for the NSLNC and how quickly they learned and applied new concepts to boost their negotiating skills.

At the end of the day, team TRU Law established favourable deals for their clients in each negotiation. They got positive feedback from the judges, who told the team they would made exceptional litigators and they advocated well for their clients. One judge said the TRU team was “the most well-researched and prepared of all the teams (the judges) saw today.”

“The sports negotiation was a valuable learning experience because of its practical application to the real world and for when we become lawyers,” said Ibasco. “Conducting in-depth legal research, honing different negotiation styles and seeking mutually beneficial agreements for both parties are skills we’ll take into practice.”

In addition to Perry, the team was coached by Jesse Olynyk and Natasha Little. The coaches highlighted the work put in by the team, and felt that the team did an exceptional job of representing TRU Law.

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