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Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

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Orange County Campus

(Current JD students are not eligible to enroll in these courses)

All Orange County courses meet:


Thursday and Friday evenings: 6-9:30 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Arbitration Practice and Advocacy

June 7-9 and 14-16, 2012

Today many business and employment disputes are resolved through out-of-court binding arbitration processes. This intensive, interactive course is designed to provide students with a practical grounding in counseling and advocacy skills required for state-of-the-art arbitration practice through problems and exercises simulating common arbitration scenarios in which students play the parts of lawyers, arbitrators and parties. Students learn how to draft dispute resolution agreements for arbitration and how to advise clients on many different aspects of arbitration, including the suitability of arbitration as an alternative to negotiation, mediation or litigation. They also experience advocacy roles at all stages of arbitration, including the filing of an arbitration demand, the selection of arbitrators, planning for and conducting hearings, the publication of a final decision (award), and the enforcement or setting aside of an award. The course emphasizes modern commercial and employment arbitration in the U.S. but also includes references to international, consumer, securities and labor arbitration.

Thomas J. Stipanowich is the academic director of the Straus Institute and professor of law at Pepperdine University School of Law. Stipanowich brings a long and distinguished career as a scholar, teacher, and leader in the field along with wide-ranging experience as a commercial and construction mediator, arbitrator, federal court special master, and facilitator. From 2001 until mid-2006, he served as CEO of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR Institute). The longtime William L. Matthews Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky, he has authored two of the leading books on commercial arbitration and many articles on ADR. Recently he coauthored a groundbreaking book and materials entitled Resolving Disputes: Theory, Practice, and Law (2005).

Introduction to Legal Processes

June 21-23 and 28-30, 2012

This course is designed for non-lawyers and non-law degree seeking students in the graduate dispute resolution programs. This course provides students with an understanding of law, its role in society, and the dispute resolution principles that have emerged from it. It familiarizes students with the court system, its operation, and the challenges it faces in serving as this society s traditional formal dispute resolution forum. The course examines efforts to reform the justice system and the movement of the last two decades. The course is taught using a traditional law school case method, but it also includes substantial personal contact with those most prominently involved in the justice system practicing lawyers and sitting judges as well as personal observation of the court system.

Robert K. Wrede following a forty year career as a commercial trial lawyer, Mr. Wrede is now a full-time mediator and arbitrator on Alternative Dispute Resoltuion panels established by the Los Angeles Superior Court; the United States District Court for the Central Disstrict of California; ADR Services, Inc., in Los Angeles, and both Dispute Prevention & Resolution, Inc., and the Hawaii International Dispute Resolution Group, in Honolulu; the Federal Mediation & Concilation Service; and the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan, among others.  He has lectured at the Cornel Law School, the California CPA Education Foundation, the Practicing Law Institute, Woodbury College, the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and for California Continuing Education of the Bar audio programs, and is currently on the Executive Committee of the Beverly Hills Bar Association Conflict Resolution Section.

Cross-Cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution

July 12-14 and 19-21 2012

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.

Karenjot Bhangoo Randhawa has completed a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and a Master’s in Sociology and Dispute Resolution. She recently published as a co-author in “Conflict across Cultures: A Unique Bridging Experience,” with Intercultural Press and is currently under contract with Lexington Books.