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Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

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Courses and Faculty

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.

Jasper Kim

Jasper S. Kim is an Associate Professor for the Graduate School of International Studies, and School of Law at Ewha Women's University (Seoul, Korea). He has published in numerous journals, such as with Harvard, Columbia, and the University of California, and is working on an upcoming text, Korean Business Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2009). Jasper Kim received his J.D. from Rutgers University, School of Law, Certificate from Harvard Law School (Program on Negotiation), MSc. from the London School of Economics (Economics and Economic History), and dual-B.A.'s from the University of California, San Diego (Economics, Third World Studies). He is also an attorney who has worked for Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse, and Barclays Capital.


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

Andre Gomma de Azevedo

André Gomma de Azevedo is a judge before the state court of Bahia, in Brazil and, since 2006, a member of the Steering Committee of the Conciliation and Mediation Program of the National Council of Justice (CNJ) in Brasilia, Brazil. H has served as a lecturer and an instructor for the National School for Training of Federal and State Judges (ENFAM), and has also served as a member of the Mediation Consulting Committee of the Secretary of Judicial Reform of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice (SRJ/MJ). He is a recognized practitioner with more than 15 years of experience as a mediator, trainer, researcher, and nearly 12 years of experience as a sitting judge. Judge Gomma de Azevedo has conducted or supervised training seminars and lectures to over 4000 Brazilian judges and also to judges and court administrators from Argentina, France, Russia, India and China.

Psychology of Conflict
Based on findings from the social sciences, this course examines how individuals think about and relate to one another in the context of conflict. Students acquire a theoretical framework for understanding and assisting parties in conflict. Concepts explored for their usefulness in conflict resolution include the following: personality development and differences; neurotic styles; difficult people and psychological disorders; predictable cognitive biases; sources of psychological resistance to dealing with conflict such as fear of abandonment, shame, guilt and unresolved grief; stages of conflict including escalation, stalemate, de-escalation, and resolution; social origins of conflict, including differences in values, beliefs and morals; socialization of aggressive and cooperative behaviors; emotional intelligence, self awareness and empathy; trust and altruism; anger and the limits of argumentation and rationality; prejudice and the need for enemies. The course includes at least one self-assessment instrument to enhance student awareness of individual differences in psychological styles.

Richard ReubenRichard C. Reuben is the James Lewis Parks Professor of Law at the University of Missouri School of Law and co-director of the Missouri Center for the Study of Conflict, Law & the Media. Reuben is co-author of Dispute Resolution and Lawyers (4th ed. 2009), a leading ADR casebook; a reporter for the Uniform Mediation Act, a project of the American Bar Association and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws; and is one of the leading authorities on confidentiality in ADR processes. He is also the founding chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution's Committee on Public Policy, Consensus Building, and Democracy, a member of the Editorial Board of the Section's Dispute Resolution Magazine, and the American Law Institute.


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.

Nina Meierding is a national leader in the field of Nina Meierdingconflict resolution and has been providing training and mediation services for over twenty two years. She is a former president of the Academy of Family Mediators and served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Conflict Resolution and many other organizations. She is an adjunct professor at both Pepperdine University and Southern Methodist University. She was the Director and Senior Mediator at the Mediation Center for Family Law in Ventura, California from 1985-2007 where she mediated over 4,000 disputes. She is a consultant for the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS). Nina has trained thousands of individuals in businesses, courts, school districts, governmental agencies, medical centers, corporations and universities throughout the United States and abroad.


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 D. Zumeta is president of the Mediation Training &Zena ZumetaConsultation 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.