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Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

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Mediating the Litigated Case

Irvine and West Los Angeles, California

February 5-7, and February 19-21, 2015


Register Now

View the Mediating the Litigated Case Flier 

Irvine and West Los Angeles programs have limited spaces - only one section will be offered in each location.   These programs will sell out.
Please register as soon as possible!

Mediating the Litigated Case is a six day training program.
Program takes place on Thursday, Friday, Saturday of each week.

A sophisticated six-day program for experienced litigators, in-house counsel, and other practitioners. Professionals can study the mediation of litigated cases to either become a mediator or to be a better advocate.

The recent surge in mediation's popularity signifies a dramatic shift in the practice of law. Attorneys are now using professional neutrals to facilitate settlement negotiations for litigated cases. In the past, settlement efforts in the litigation arena have been limited to settlement conferences in which the focus is usually on the judge's case evaluation. As increasing numbers of courts are requiring parties to mediate in order to accommodate an overburdened legal system, there is a growing demand for professionals who, in addition to being able to evaluate a case, can also facilitate negotiations between adversarial parties to reach innovative solutions.

Now lawyers and other established professionals can use their expertise to break into a new area of practice with tremendous possibilities. The Mediating the Litigated Case program offers a unique opportunity to learn about the mediation process in a format geared specifically toward civil litigation cases. Taught by experienced lawyers, who have made the transition from litigation to mediation practice, course participants will learn the essential skills required to serve as mediators.

The program will focus on the various stages of the process, identifying and working with different negotiation styles, and facilitating problem solving regardless of whether the case involves contractual, tort, personal injury, employment, partnership, or securities issues.

In addition to providing mediation skills training, the program will deal with issues specific to the adversarial setting including managing attorney advocates, the parameters of confidentiality, and concerns about discovery. It will also focus on issues of particular concern to attorney-mediators including the proscription against dual representation, providing legal advice, conflicts of interest, drafting mediation agreements, and other ethical dilemmas.

Program Topics and Schedule

Day 1
  • Dispute Resolution Continuum
  • STAR Approach to Mediation
  • Mediator's Stylistic Grid
  • Mixed-Motive Exchange in Consensus Processes
  • The Predictability of Distributive Bargaining
  • Opening Offer Strategies
  • Facilitating Distributive Bargaining
Day 2
  • The Integrative Approach to Negotiation
  • Focusing on "Interests" Not Issues
  • How to Discover Underlying Interests
  • Creativity in Negotiation
  • Facilitating Integrative Bargaining
  • Mediator Timing in Facilitating Negotiation
  • Settlement Conference Mediation Model
  • Interest-Based Mediation Model
Day 3
  • The Mediator's Job of Providing Structure
  • What to Include in an Opening Statement
  • Reframing and Broadening the Issues
  • Communication Facilitation Techniques
  • Effective Use of Caucus
  • Validation
Day 4
  • Techniques to Facilitate Closing the Deal
  • How to Present Risks and Costs
  • Ethics and Bullying
  • Mediator Timing When Facilitating Closure
  • Concluding a Mediation That Doesn't Settle
  • Convening
  • Agreement to Mediate
Day 5
  • Fairness and Neutrality
  • Attorney Advocates in Mediation
  • Emotions in Mediation
  • Bias and Cross-Cultural Awareness
  • Multi-Party/Multi-Issue Mediation
Day 6
  • Ethical Standards for Mediators
  • Confidentiality
  • Med/Arb and Arb/Med
  • Power Imbalances
  • Malpractice Liability and Insurance
  • Licensure and Regulation
  • Tips on Building a Mediation Practice

Quotes from previous Mediating the Litigated Case program participants

"I learned so much in the Mediating the Litigated Case program that I enrolled in Pepperdine's master's degree program in dispute resolution."
-- Sam Cianchetti, retired judge Inland Valley Arbitration and Mediation Services

"My attendance at this program has been an important cornerstone for my mediation practice."
-- George D. Calkins, JAMS Los Angeles (formerly with Cox Castle and Nicholson, LLP)

A Distinctive Faculty (Faculty members vary from program to program)

Peter Robinson is co-director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and professor of law at Pepperdine University School of Law. He has presented advanced negotiation and mediation skills courses in more than 39 states and foreign countries. He has served on the boards of the Christian Conciliation Service of Los Angeles, Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement, Dispute Resolution Services of the LACBA, Southern California Mediation Association, and California Dispute Resolution Council. He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, a member of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, and was recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of mediation in 2006.

Thomas Stipanowich is the William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution and professor of law at Pepperdine School of Law. He is also the academic director of the Straus Institute. 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). 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.

Nina Meierding, a former civil attorney, has been a national leader in the field of conflict resolution, training thousands of individuals in businesses, courts, school districts, governmental agencies, medical centers, corporations, and universities throughout the United States and abroad for almost 30 years. She has been an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University School of Law for over 20 years and Southern Methodist University for over 15 years and has taught at many other universities, as well as the National Judicial College and the California Judicial College. She is a former president of the Academy of Family Mediators and served on the board of directors of the Association for Conflict Resolution and many other organizations. She was the director and senior mediator at the Mediation Center in Ventura, California, from 1985 to 2007 where she mediated over 4,000 disputes and is currently the mediation partner and consultant for the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS).

The Honorable Jacqueline Connor was a trial lawyer for 10 years trying hundreds of jury trials, and most recently retired from 25 years as a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. She has presided over thousands of trials from death penalties to construction defect to medical malpractice to family disputes. She offers judicial experience in resolving complex legal and factual issues to her mediations. Nationally recognized for her extensive study of juries, Connor's fluency in the art and business of jury perceptions offer parties an expert assessment of the risks and rewards that they face at the hands of a jury. Her in-depth knowledge of settlements, judicial decisions, and jury verdicts is enhanced by her ability to connect with parties on a straightforward and honest level. She was recognized this year as one of the Daily Journal "Top Neutrals".

Jim Craven is a lawyer, mediator, and frequent speaker in the conflict resolution field. He has been practicing law for 36 years and remains of counsel to the Spokane, Washington, law firm of Evans, Craven & Lackie which he cofounded in 1978. He has extensive experience in the mediation of complex disputes, having served 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 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 LL.M. 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.

Casey Elford is a trial attorney, mediator and arbitrator in Southern California with her own dispute resolution firm, ADR Catalysts. She has helped resolve hundreds of labor and employment, contract, insurance, surety, construction, fraud, real estate, professional liability, personal injury, and homeowner association disputes through various dispute resolution processes. From 2006 to 2012, she was general counsel for a national labor and employment consulting firm headed by a former director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Elford holds a BA in English literature from the University of California, San Diego and a juris doctor degree from Pepperdine University School of Law. She has also earned a master of dispute resolution degree and a master of laws degree in alternative dispute resolution from the Straus Institute. Elford has been recognized as a Super Lawyer – Rising Star by Los Angeles Magazine and the Journal for Law and Politics for her litigation practice and is the only mediator in Southern California under 40 to receive the distinction for alternative dispute resolution work.

Janet Rubin Fields has resolved and decided thousands of litigated disputes since 1999. She was honored by the Daily Journal as one of the "Top Neutrals in the State of California" every year since 2007 and as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Alternative Dispute Resolution, and featured as a Super Lawyer in Los Angeles Times Magazine annually since 2007. Rubin Fields maintains a philosophy of working diligently with the parties and carries the view that each dispute is unique, recognizing that all parties involved in a case—including the litigants, lawyers, and claims representatives—all have independent perspectives that often intertwine, often with emotion. Known for her genuine listening skills and positive attitude, she has earned a reputation for getting to the heart of the matter, which is one of the reasons she is sought out by lawyers and insurance companies state and nationwide.

The Honorable Matthew P. Guasco is a judge of the Superior Court, County of Ventura, California. A former civil trial and appellate litigator, he also enjoyed a successful career as a mediator and arbitrator with Judicate West in Los Angeles before being appointed to the bench in December 2011. During his ADR career, he mediated and arbitrated a wide variety of disputes, including business and commercial, employment, major personal injury, real estate, and probate and trust matters. Guasco is an adjunct professor at the Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, where he has taught negotiation and mediation theory and practice courses at the Malibu campus, throughout the United States, and abroad. He and professor and Straus managing director Peter Robinson are the coauthors of Principles of Negotiation (Entrepreneur Press/McGraw Hill, 2007).

John Lowry is the assistant dean of the Lipscomb University College of Business in Nashville, Tennessee, and founder of the college's School of Executive Education. In addition, he serves as assistant professor of management for Lipscomb University's College of Business, where he teaches negotiation and dispute resolution courses. Lowry also serves as vice president for the Strategic Resolutions Group, LLC (SRG). At SRG, he provides negotiation, mediation, and conflict management training for major insurance companies, health care organizations, and legal services providers. Prior to moving to Nashville, Lowry practiced law with Strasburger & Price, LLP in Dallas, Texas. As an attorney, he represented hospitals and health care providers in professional liability and commercial disputes. He has also served as a California State Assembly Fellow and worked in the law department of Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

Denise R. Madigan has been mediating full-time for over 20 years. She entered the field as associate director for the Harvard-MIT Public Disputes Program in the early 1980s, and after practicing law at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C, joined the pioneering ADR firm, Endispute, Inc., (which later merged with JAMS). The breadth of her practice is extraordinarily broad, and includes complex commercial, entertainment, intellectual property, insurance, mass accidents, public policy and health care, among others. In addition to her full-time mediation practice, Madigan has taught at the Straus Institute since the mid-1990s, and now serves as director of its Public Disputes Project. She also has designed and/or taught hundreds of tailored negotiation and ADR courses for courts, law firms, government agencies, universities, nonprofits and corporations in the United States, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Alexander H. Williams III is a mediator, arbitrator and discovery referee in private practice with ADR Services, Inc. in Los Angeles. He served as a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1984 to 2008. He presided for 8 years in a felony criminal trial department and for another 13 years in a general jurisdiction civil trial department, handling thousands of cases and conducting hundreds of court and jury trials. A trained mediator, he spent his final three years presiding over a full-time settlement court, where he daily conducted settlement conferences and settled hundreds of cases. Williams was the chair of the Judicial Education Subcommittee of the Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. Before taking the bench, he served as a police officer, Navy judge advocate, and federal prosecutor.


Tuition for Mediating the Litigated Case is $2,695.  The governmental and non-profit rate is $1,995.  PLEASE NOTE!!!  $500 of the tuition will not be refunded upon cancellation. Refunds for tuition paid by check will require a W-9 form submitted to the University.  This is for internal purposes only to generate a refund check.  The refund is not taxed nor would a 1099 be issued.

The governmental/nonprofit rate is for FULL-TIME employees only. Please be sure to list your governmental/company address and email on the registration form. You are agreeing that we may contact your employer to verify full-time employment.

Tuition includes all materials, a continental breakfast, and lunch each day. Since enrollment is limited, participants should register early. Should a paid participant be unable to attend tuition, less the $500 non-refundable deposit, will be refunded or a substitute may attend the program. 

PLEASE NOTE: There is a $50 administrative fee for transferring to another program. When canceling, we require 72 hours of notice prior to the program start date or there will be an additional $50 food service fee deducted.


These activities have been approved for 42 hours of MCLE credit by the State Bar of California including two hours of ethics. Pepperdine University School of Law certifies that the activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing MCLE.  Straus programs have been accepted for CLE credit across the nation.


All programs of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution are offered with a satisfaction guarantee. If a participant completes the program and is dissatisfied with the course content or performance of the faculty, the tuition fee will be refunded.

Tax Deduction

Education expenses (including enrollment fees, course materials, and travel costs) may be deductible if they improve or maintain professional skills. Treas. Reg. Sec. I 162-5.

Location and Times

Irvine program will take place at the Pepperdine University Orange County Center at 18111 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, California 92612. 
West Los Angeles Program will take place at the Pepperdine University Plaza at 6100 Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Classes are conducted between 8:30 am. and 5:00 pm.

Hotel Information:
Irvine Hotel List
West LA Hotel List

Questions may be directed to Lori Rushford