On April 29, 2008 Ogden & Sullivan attorneys coached competing teams comprised of eighth graders at Academy Prep in a Mock Mediation. Tampa attorney Jack Townsend served as the mediator for this community mediation involving a fictional dispute between a group of teenagers and a clothing store which had recently implemented rules limiting the access of teenagers to the store. In the mediation hypothetical the fictional store restricted store access for teenagers less than sixteen years of age due to an increase in merchandise loss.
The mediation was the final installment of a three session training program conducted by Ogden & Sullivan lawyers which was designed to introduce the Academy Prep eighth graders to the mediation process as a form of dispute resolution. The program focused not only on the advocacy skills required in mediation, but also on the concepts of risk analysis, compromise and consensus building required for successful dispute resolution. The participating eighth grade students, who will be graduating from Academy Prep this spring and attending college preparatory schools throughout Tampa and the country, prepared mediation position letters to the mediator, opening statements, demonstrative exhibits and researched on the internet as part of their preparation. Mediator Townsend favorably compared their efforts to Tampa's finest lawyers.
Our participating attorneys, Tim Sullivan, Jere Tolton, Rachel Krause, Jay Spengler, Melissa Daley and Richard Maselli were impressed with how the eighth graders used both their advocacy and problem solving skills during the three session program. The mediation program represents an ongoing volunteer commitment by Ogden & Sullivan to Academy Prep. Our attorneys look forward to their next program, a Constitution Day presentation, in the Fall.
Academy Prep Center of Tampa is a non-profit, fifth through eighth grade middle school which operates 11 hours a day, 6 days a week, nearly year round. To learn more about Academy Prep, you can visit their website at http://academyprep.org/tampa/