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Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics

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LAWYERS, FAITH AND PEACEMAKING

Religious Freedom PosterFebruary 3-4, 2006

Pepperdine School of Law's Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics along with co-sponsors Christian Legal Society and the Jewish Law Students Association, hosted a conference examining "Lawyers, Faith and Peacemaking" on February 3-4 at Pepperdine's Malibu campus.

The common image of the lawyer is that of combatant, but much of the work of lawyers serves the ends of peace. Litigation itself is an alternative to violent resolution of conflict and more than 90 percent of litigated cases are settled. Though they are not often thought of as peacemakers, good transactional lawyers avoid conflict by putting together deals in ways that are designed to avoid conflict from the beginning. Good lawyers bring important skills to the project of peacemaking, including the ability to identify the sources of conflict, organize complex situations, narrow the issues, bring law and other social norms to address emotionally driven conflicts, and creatively identify stable solutions.

This conference explored some of the most difficult conflicts facing us today, at the local, national, and international levels. Speakers and participants considered how lawyers can draw on their religious traditions in ways that will help to resolve conflicts.

Panels and presentations included:
• Peacemaking in the Ordinary Practice of Law
• Muslim/Christian Dialogue on Peacemaking
• Peacemaking in the Family and the Religious Congregation
• Crime, Punishment and Reconciliation
• Faith and Peacemaking in Family Law and Civil Litigation

Featured speakers included:
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, Sydney M. Irmas Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics at
Loyola Law School and director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Project Next Step, an educational outreach in Los Angeles
Rodolpho Carrasco, executive director, Harambee Christian Family Center, Pasadena, California
Rt. Reverend Archimandrite Alexei Smith, pastor of Saint Andrew Russian Greek Catholic Church in El Segundo, and director of the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

For more details, download the conference brochure here.