Winners named in Wayne Law’s Jaffe Transactional Law Competition

DETROIT – Forty Wayne State University Law School students participated Friday, Nov. 6 in the 2020 Jaffe Transactional Law Competition.

Winners were:

  • Negotiations (seller’s counsel) – Third-year students Patrick Masterson and Max Shuart; Matthew Ryder (Tie)
  • Negotiations (buyer’s counsel) and Drafting (buyer’s counsel) – Second-year students Lindsey LaForest and Madison Light
  • Drafting (seller’s counsel) – Third-year students Matthew Antoniou, Alanah Haskin, Courtney Lavender and Layla Sizemore 

This innovative, live-round competition is part of a one-credit course created and supervised by Associate Professor Eric Zacks. Past winners and third-year students Jackson Buday, Scott Carter, Brandon Corcoran and Kelsey Postema are the chairpersons of the competition. The program is supported by the Jaffe Transactional Law Competition Fund, established in 2018 by Michigan-based law firm Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss.

Eric Zacks
Associate Professor Eric Zacks speaking at the 2019 Jaffe Transactional Law Competition.

The winners will represent the Law School at the spring Jaffe Regional Transactional Law Invitational – a national competition hosted by Wayne Law.

The Jaffe Transactional Law Competition helps students develop drafting, negotiating and counseling skills, with two-member teams representing a buyer and seller involved in a complex acquisition. After a semester of drafting and revising, the negotiations brought the teams together for two rounds of competition. The panel of judges – composed of 18 attorneys – offered feedback following the completion of each round. Due to COVID-19, the competition took place virtually. 

Wayne Law alumnus Justin Hanna of Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss served as one of the judges. “We are proud to support the Jaffe Transactional Law Competition and the resulting growth and development of business-minded law graduates from Wayne Law,” Hanna said. “Professor Eric Zacks, and his revolving team of student ‘managers’ of the competition, continue to improve and expand the impact of the competition on the training and maturation of Wayne’s Law graduates. This competition advances and enhances the competitive quality of Wayne’s business law graduates nationally and internationally.”

Attorneys serving as judges were:

  • Gabriel Appel ’17, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss
  • Cody Attisha ’16, Kerr Russell
  • Brian Balow, Dykema
  • Christopher Banerian ’14, LogicalisUS
  • Joshua Borson ’13, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss
  • Laura Davis, Honigman
  • John Decker, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss
  • Marguerite Donahue ’87, Seyburn Kahn
  • Danielle Graceffa ’06, Capital Impact Partners
  • Robert Gordon, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss
  • Nezar Habhab ’18, Kerr Russell
  • Justin Hanna ’15, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss
  • John Kanan, Honigman
  • Sara Kruse ’96, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss
  • Aleksandra Miziolek ’80, Tenneco, Inc.
  • Steven Migliore ’08, Honigman
  • Christopher Moceri, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss
  • Peter Sugar ’70, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss

“This is an amazing year for the Jaffe Transactional Law Competition. Not only were we able, with the continued support of Jaffe, to continue and complete the school-wide competition this fall, but in the spring, we will host teams from eighteen different law schools,” said Zacks. “I am very proud of the competitors for their performances and efforts, and am grateful to the volunteer judges and student chairpersons.”

To learn more about the Jaffe Transactional Law Competition, visit

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Contact: Mary Hiller



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