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Courses and Faculty

Winter Program Dispute Resolution Courses

Negotiation Theory and Practice

This course examines the theory and practice of negotiation as a process used to put deals together or to resolve disputes and legal claims. Students learn about competitive positional bargaining and collaborative problem solving and acquire insight into the strategic management of the tension between the two approaches. Through simulated exercises, students develop skills and confidence as negotiators, including an awareness of the psychological encouragements and barriers to consensus. Special challenges of multiparty negotiations are addressed with an emphasis on the attorney-client relationship, including applicable ethical standards, codes, and law.


Charles WigginsCharles Wiggins is professor of law (retired) at the University of San Diego. He is also guest professor at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He received his JD from the University of California, Hastings, and his LLM from Yale. He is past chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the Association of American Law Schools. Wiggins also maintains a private consulting practice, providing negotiation and conflict management training, and facilitation and mediation services, to businesses, governments, and nonprofit institutions throughout the world. Wiggins is a three-time Fulbright Scholar, and the coauthor of Negotiation and Settlement Advocacy (2nd ed.).


Mediation Theory and Practice

This course explores the various theories underlying and practices basic to mediation. The mediation process is organized into a series of stages, and basic mediation skills and techniques appropriate to each stage are identified and cultivated. Simulations and experiential exercises provide students with an opportunity to develop proficiency as mediators and to rigorously analyze appropriate roles and behavior as mediators and advocates taking into account the legal, ethical and public policy issues surrounding the practice of mediation

Jim CravenJim Craven is a lawyer, mediator, and frequent speaker in the conflict resolution field. He has been practicing law for 40 years and remains of counsel to the Spokane, Washington, law firm of Evans, Craven & Lackie which he co-founded in 1978. He has extensive experience in the mediation of complex disputes, having served mediation clients throughout the northwest since 1990. He serves on the construction, commercial and mediation panels of the American Arbitration Association, and is a member of the Washington Mediation Association. Craven was a trial lawyer for over 25 years before becoming a full-time neutral. His trial practice emphasized complex construction, environmental, commercial, and professional negligence litigation. He received his law degree from Gonzaga University and the LLM in dispute resolution from Pepperdine University. In addition to his dispute resolution practice, Craven consults with business and government on a wide range of issues.


Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Facilitating Dynamic Groups

More and more managers and conflict resolution professionals are being asked to serve as "facilitator" of larger groups which are discussing difficult issues—often with difficult people. The success and reward of this work, for the entire group, depends on the skills of the facilitator. Often, we take on this challenge without thinking through the complexities and nuances that could move our groups from a dysfunctional group to a dynamic group capable of making effective decisions in a timely manner. This course targets those professionals who work with large groups charged with discussing and making decisions about difficult issues. Students will be introduced to and then will explore the creativity necessary to create and facilitate dynamic groups. By the end of the class, students will have a fluent understanding of the roles of a facilitator, the process of facilitation and skills to design a facilitated process.

Donna SilverbergDonna Silverberg has been in the field of mediation and facilitating consensus-building efforts involving nonprofits; businesses; local, state, federal, and tribal governments; and the public for nearly 25 years. Her work has included a wide range of issues and groups addressing complex topics such as health care policy, endangered species, water quality, human resources, nonprofit board planning and management, land use management, multicultural interactions, and organizational development. She is an adjunct professor at Lipscomb University's Institute for Conflict Management and a visiting instructor at the University of San Diego School of Law and the University of Idaho.


Cross-Cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution

This course surveys the impact that cultural differences, stereotypes and attributions have on key dispute resolution processes, and on conflict generally. It is designed to build theoretical knowledge, to equip students with an analytical framework useful in determining suitable dispute resolution processes, and to instill practical skills and strategies to enhance effectiveness in cross-cultural contexts. Cultural differences in language, customs, values, legal systems and world-views are examined along various dimensions: orientation towards the individual or the collective community; importance of career success over quality of life; deference to authority; long vs. short term orientation; extent to which expectations for behavior are implicit or express; perceptions of time and personal space; and aversion to risk.

Sukhsimranjit SinghSukhsimranjit Singh practices, teaches and trains in dispute resolution. He is assistant professor of Law and Practice and associate director of the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law where he also directs the LLM program in dispute resolution. He specializes in cross-cultural dispute resolution and has published numerous articles in that field, and in 2015 he delivered TED Talk on Cross-Cultural Communications in Salem, Oregon. He has mediated inter-cultural and commercial cases in the United States, India and Canada. An Honorary Fellow with the International Academy of Mediators, he is also a Council Member of the Section of Dispute Resolution of the American Bar Association. He has trained lawyers and law students in more than twenty states and twelve countries.


Divorce and Family Mediation

This advanced course explores conflicts that arise in the context of families, with emphasis on negotiating and mediating issues surrounding marital separation and divorce. It is designed to equip students with the strategic judgment, skills and sensitivity needed to help parties build consensus on matters such as child custody, visitation, division of property, spousal support, and child education and support. Relevant emotional concerns, such as feelings of betrayal and loss, are examined, along with techniques for addressing them. Special consideration surrounding high conflict families, domestic violence, spousal or child abuse, and “move aways”, as well as ethical issues related to power differentials court mandated mediation, collaborative law and mediator certification, are also covered. Pre-requisite: Law 1422 Mediation Theory and Practice OR Law 1392 Alternative Dispute Resolution; Law 102 Family Law is suggested.

Zena ZumetaZena D. Zumeta is president of the Mediation Training & Consultation Institute and The Collaborative Workplace in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Zumeta is a former board member and president of the Academy of Family Mediators, past president of the Michigan Council for Family and Divorce Mediation, and past Regional Vice President of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. She has extensive experience as a trainer, mediator, facilitator and consultant. She has been providing mediation services since 1981. Zumeta is the recipient of the Family Mediation Council-Michigan Lifetime Achievement in Mediation Award; the National Education Association/Saturn Corporation Award for Union-Management Collaboration; the John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award from ACR; and the Kumba Award from the National Conference on Minorities in ADR.