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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Straus Summer Program

students sit and study around tables underneath trees on the school of law terrace

The Straus Summer Program offers students an unparalleled opportunity to obtain the finest dispute resolution educational experience in substantive theories, exposure to the field's literature, extensive practical skills development, and stimulating dialogue with students and faculty drawn from around the world.

Registration is easy and we are happy to help you through the process. Contact us at strausadmissions@pepperdine.edu.

Program Benefits

This summer, law students and professionals everywhere can join the "Pepperdine Experience" in dispute resolution:

  • A faculty of academics and practitioners drawn from around the world
  • The most extensive dispute resolution curriculum in legal education
  • Convenient extended and two-weekend formats
  • Study with students and colleagues from around the world
  • Each class offered is worth 2 units of credit and all are part of Pepperdine's JD curriculum
  • Current law or graduate students can use summer courses towards their JD or graduate degree while earning a Certificate or Masters in Dispute Resolution (MDR).
  • Professionals in various fields can use intensive courses to count towards a Certificate, Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) or Master of Law (LLM), or audit a course for additional training.


Sample Program Format and Schedule Options

  Course Description

May 24 - July 9

Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Apology, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation - Professor Starla Anderson

This class will examine each of the themes of apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation. A spectrum of definitions and meanings of each theme will be explored. A variety of approaches on how to implement each theme will be discussed. The material will be addressed from the context of governing our own lives, providing professional advice to another as an advocate, and serving as a mediator. Class material will include religious and nonreligious perspectives on these themes.

Psychology of Conflict Communication - Professor Stephanie Blondell

This course explores psychological phenomena, the frameworks for analyzing conflict that results from these phenomena, as well as conflict resolution communication skills to address these phenomena. This course is designed to provide insights from areas of cognitive and social psychology, neuro-collaboration, and communication theory and apply those insights to dispute resolution, lawyering, and negotiations. Topics include paradigms for the sources of conflict; escalation and de-escalation theory; the physiology of conflict; managing personalities in conflict resolution, both "regular" and "high conflict" personalities; emotional intelligence competencies and conflict resolution; exposure to the cannon of personality instruments including MBTI and TKI; the myth of rationality and decision-making; cognitive biases; neuropsychology including empathy, mirror neurons, and memory; trust and altruism; persuasion, rhetoric, dialogue, narrative paradigm, and linguistics; power, threat, and face-saving; and anger and the limits of argumentation and rationality.

Introduction to US Law - Professor Jeffrey Belton

A study of distinctive features of the United States legal system designed for graduates of non-U.S. law schools. The course examines U.S. constitutional structure, doctrines delineating the respective roles of the state and federal systems, prominent legal institutions, sources of law and the common law method. Distinctive elements of American legal practice will also be considered.
Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Apology Forgiveness and Reconciliation

This class will examine each of the themes of apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation. A spectrum of definitions and meanings of each theme will be explored. A variety of approaches on how to implement each theme will be discussed. The material will be addressed from the context of governing our own lives, providing professional advice to another as an advocate, and serving as a mediator. Class material will include religious and nonreligious perspectives on these themes.

International Commercial Arbitration Procedure and Practice - Professor Jack Coe

This course studies prevailing procedural models common to international commercial arbitration in light of common law and civil law traditions, the role of institutions, party autonomy and emerging best practices. Students consider both pre-dispute planning and post-dispute strategies for ensuring effective proceedings that will lead to enforceable awards. The course stresses the critically important interplay among counsel, the arbitrators, arbitral institutions and the courts. Students also are introduced to the rudiments of successful advocacy.
Legal Research and Writing I

This class will teach students legal research, writing, and analysis. Students will learn how to identify, use, and analyze primary and secondary legal authorities to solve legal problems and how to structure and draft legal memoranda, letters, oral presentations, and other professional communications.

Legal Research and Writing I - Professor Sarah Park

This class will teach students legal research, writing, and analysis. Students will learn how to identify, use, and analyze primary and secondary legal authorities to solve legal problems and how to structure and draft legal memoranda, letters, oral presentations, and other professional communications.


  Faculty Bio

Starla Anderson - Selected Issues in DR: Apology, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation

Starla Anderson, M.A., J.D., LL.M. has been a licensed California attorney since 1996 and currently serves as an Associate Professor of Communication Management at Azusa Pacific University. Prior to teaching full-time, she was a Trial Consultant for Forensic Technologies International Corporation. Her professional consulting experience involved an integral role in John DuPont's criminal trial, whose storyline was featured in the 2014 American biographical sports drama film Foxcatcher. She served clients throughout the United States, including ARCO, Norplant and Francis Ford Coppola. Anderson also has both civil and criminal litigation experience as a general practitioner and as a prosecutor for the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office. She completed a post-doctoral specialty Master of Laws (LL.M.), at Pepperdine University's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution in 2012.

With a passion for life-long learning and a deep desire to mend broken situations, Anderson helps students understand the complexities of the law and the field of conflict resolution in a way that prepares them for future professional and personal endeavors. Her efforts were recognized when she received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 2019. Students appreciate her creativity and integrative efforts to equip them to use their analytical and communication skills to bridge divides and facilitate reconciliation, even in seemingly intractable conflict situations. Anderson's recent publication involved research centered on the creative use of combining conflict analysis with art. Retention and results increase when students create art highlighting common ground in conflict to inspire them to implement their recommendations to resolve conflicts in God-honoring ways. She is a proponent of utilizing restorative justice principles in systems designs for organizations and churches. Her dispute resolution skills have been utilized at a community mediation center, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, and The University of California in Riverside. Recent work for a 150-year-old church involved designing and leading a process to accommodate diverse perspectives regarding a church name change that utilized an open communication process to help guide a 4000-member congregation to a unifying resolution.

Stephanie Blondell - Psychology of Conflict Communication

Stephanie Bell Blondell is an assistant professor of law and practice and associate director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. She directs the Mediation Clinic as well as reaching Mediation Theory and Practice and Psychology of Conflict. Prior to joining Pepperdine, Blondell served as the manager of the King County Alternative Dispute Resolution Program and Interlocal Conflict Resolution Group, a tri-county labor-management and public policy mediation program in the Seattle area. In the Straus Profession Skills Programs, she currently teaches Mediating the Litigated Case, The Womens' Negotiation Academy and leads the Conflict Resolution initiative between the Los Angeles Police Department and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Prior to this she was the alternative dispute resolution coordinator for the City of Seattle where she designed and implemented a labor and employment mediation program for city government. Before joining Straus full time, Blondell served as an adjunct at Straus, Seattle University School of Law, and the University of Washington Master's in Public Administration Program. She earned her B.A. with Honors in American Civilization from Brown University, and her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law.

Jeffrey Belton - Introduction of US Law

Jeffrey Belton is a practicing attorney and owner of a successful real estate brokerage. His primary practice areas include construction and HOA litigation, real estate, class actions, and appeals. Mr. Belton currently works as corporate counsel for homeowners' associations and also serves as appellate counsel for several law firms. He has participated in hundreds of mediations while representing more than 5,500 plaintiffs in mass tort and class action cases in both state and federal court. His cases have generated more than $60 million in settlements and verdicts. Mr. Belton currently serves as adjunct faculty at Pepperdine University School of Law and has taught Honors Appellate Advocacy, and both Introduction to U.S. Law and Torts for Pepperdine's Master of Legal Studies program. Jeff was selected for admission into the Los Angeles County Bar Association's prestigious program for advanced trial training. He has tried numerous criminal cases to verdict as a prosecutor with the Ventura County District Attorney. He holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from UCLA and a J.D. from Pepperdine. He is a member of the California and Nevada State Bars and has been admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Jack J. Coe, Jr. - International Commercial Arbitration Procedure and Practice

Professor Coe is the Faculty Director of the LLM Concentration in International Commercial Arbitration. He is listed in Who's Who Legal for Arbitration, and is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an elected member of the American Law Institute, and an associate reporter for the Restatement on the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration. Coe has chaired the Disputes Division of the ABA International Law Section, and the Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration.

Professor Coe consults with governments and multinational corporations in relation to commercial and direct investment disputes under the treaties and has both argued international arbitral claims and acted as arbitrator in ad hoc and institutional arbitrations. He is on the arbitrator panel of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) of the American Arbitration Association. His consultancies and arbitral appointments have involved him in a wide variety of commercial topics including production sharing agreements, mining joint-ventures, patent cross-licensings and domain name management. He is admitted to practice in California and Washington, and holds the Diploma of the Hague Academy of International Law.

Professor Coe's training includes advanced studies and work assignments in Europe, including a two-year post at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at the Hague. He has been a Rotary International Graduate Fellow, a Salzburg Seminar Fellow, and a Fellow of the NYU Center for Transnational Litigation, Arbitration and Commercial Law.

Professor Coe is a regular speaker in the United States and abroad and has taught in several international programs including at the Academy for the Center for American and International Law. He has authored numerous books and articles on arbitration, private international law, and related topics.

Professor Coe teaches International Business Transactions, International Commercial Arbitration, International Investment Disputes, International Litigation, and Public International Law.

Sarah Park - Legal Research and Writing I

Sarah Yoo Park teaches Legal Research and Writing at the Straus Institute. Before coming to Pepperdine Caruso Law School, Sarah practiced civil and intellectual property litigation in the U.S., and worked in trademarks in Korea's largest law firm. She has also worked in Christian publishing and admissions consulting. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley, and a diploma in Divinity from the University of Cambridge. She loves meeting and mentoring students from the many different countries represented at the Straus Institute.


Two-Week Format June 1-12, 2021

  Course Descriptions

Negotiation Theory and Practice - Professor Paul Rafferty

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.

Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Resolving Conflicts and Systems Design for Organizations and Corporations - Professors Kenneth Cloake and Joan Goldsmith

The course addresses the theory and practice of dispute systems design, defined as the intentional organization of resources and procedures, which interact with each other, to prevent, manage, deescalate and resolve disputes. The course will present some of the main existing contexts in which dispute systems design is applied worldwide, such as claims resolution facilities and compensation programs stemming from tragedies, business to business and business to consumers initiatives, early case assessment and resolution procedures for corporations and organizations, online dispute resolution schemes, community, government and trans-jurisdictional initiatives and integrated conflict management systems in workplaces and other organizational settings. The course is designed to offer a response to the growing needs of businesses, institutions, organizations, communities and governments for less costly and more humane ways of dealing with disputes. Every institution, organization or environment at large has an existing dispute resolution system, that may vary according to different shades of formality, thoughtfulness, effectiveness and efficiency. Lawyers in the 21st Century are being called upon to help improve institutions and organizations and become dispute resolution processes "architects", instead of simply acting at already distressed stages of disputes, following blindly and repetitively the established protocols and procedures for late and isolated negotiation and litigation

  Faculty Bios

Paul Rafferty - Negotiation Theory and Practice

Paul Rafferty has spent over 30 years advising businesses as a trusted advisor and trial lawyer in virtually every area of importance, including product development and sales, intellectual property and trade secrets, fiduciary duty breach, contracts, real estate, banking, and finance, merger failures, and other areas of concern. Paul’s clients have been equally diverse, including subject areas such as oil and gas, computer software and hardware, retail and apparel, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, technology, life sciences, real estate, manufacturing, and distribution, executive coaching, collegiate concussive injury, federal forfeiture actions, leasing and real property.

Professor Rafferty also specializes in the successful defense of class action litigation and he has utilized all available tools to win, including dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction (athletic conference), summary judgment (well-known oil and gas company), class certification itself (well known real estate company), abandonment (MDL college), and by motions (well-known computer hardware company).  To date, no class action defended by Paul has been successfully certified.  

In addition to the above, Paul has over twenty years experience mediating all varieties of cases for the Orange County Superior Court (1995-2001), and United States District Court (2006-present), he is admitted to the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) as a mediator and arbitrator, he has lectured on mediation topics for the Straus Institute, was an Executive member for the first ADR Inn on the west coast, and teaches Negotiations Theory for Pepperdine’s Caruso School of Law. 

Kenneth Cloke - Selected Issues in DR: Resolving Conflicts and Systems Design for Organizations and Corporations

Kenneth Cloke, JD, LLM, PhD, is director of the Center for Dispute Resolution in Santa Monica, California, and a mediator, arbitrator, coach, consultant, and trainer and has mediated hundreds of workplace and organizational disputes.  He is the author of Mediating Dangerously: The Frontiers of Conflict Resolution; The Crossroads of Conflict: A Journey into the Heart of Conflict; and Conflict Revolution: Designing Preventative Systems for Chronic Social, Economic, and Political Conflicts (2nd Ed.).  He is also coauthor with Joan Goldsmith of Thank God It’s Monday! 14 Values We Need to Humanize the Way We Work; Resolving Personal and Organizational Conflict: Stories of Transformation and Forgiveness; The End of Management and the Rise of Organizational Democracy; The Art of Waking People Up; Resolving Conflicts At Work: Ten Strategies For Everyone On The Job (3rd Ed.); and The Dance of Opposites.

Joan Goldsmith - Selected Issues in DR: Resolving Conflicts and Systems Design for Organizations and Corporations

Joan Goldsmith has been an organizational consultant, coach and educator for the past thirty-five years, specializing in leadership development, organizational change, conflict resolution, and team building. Joan has authored several books on leadership including (with Warren Bennis) Learning to Lead, and the soon to be published Women Leaders at the Grassroots: 9 Stories and 9 Strategies.

She has served on numerous boards of directors, and been an advisor to the Woman's International Health Coalition, Disney Institute for Women Entrepreneurs, Women's Lens on Global Issues, and Women International League for Peace and Freedom, and a speaker at national and local conferences on issues of women in leadership. As a family therapist, coach and consultant, she has specialized in supporting individuals in improving their skills, life and work patterns and organizations. She has been a consultant to faculty and administration in U. S. and international universities. In the non-profit sector and in educational reform, she has been an advisor on organizational issues, school change, curriculum development and teacher education. She is an Associate of the Synergos Institute, which builds international, collaborative partnerships to end poverty in the Southern Hemisphere. She has had professional engagements in Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, the Bahamas, Japan, China, India, the Netherlands and Great Britain. She is a founder of Cambridge College, a former member of the faculties of the Harvard University, UCLA, Antioch University, and holds a Master of Arts in Social Sciences and a Doctorate of Humane Letters.

Two-Week Format June 15 - 26

  Course Descriptions

Mediation Theory and Practice - Professor Stacie Hausner

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.

Cross-Cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution - Professor Baldeep Basraon

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 expressed, perceptions of time and personal space, and aversion to risk.

  Faculty Bios

Stacie Feldman Hausner - Mediation Theory & Practice

Stacie Feldman Hausner, Esq. is a mediator at ADR Services, Inc. following 20 years as a lawyer specializing in high-stakes litigation for both plaintiffs and defendants.   She has been an adjunct professor at the Pepperdine School of Law Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution for many semesters where she has taught both Mediation Theory and Practice and the Mediation Clinic.  Hausner has mediated hundreds of cases for ADR Services, Inc., the Los Angeles Superior Court, the L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Center for Conflict Resolution. She specializes in mediating disputes in the areas of business, personal injury, employment, construction defect, real estate, and malpractice.  Hausner also spends time presenting MCLE programs to bar associations and law firms on various topics, including effective attorney advocacy in mediation, optimization of negotiation outcomes, ethics and mediation, psychology and mediation, and gender negotiations. She received an LLM in dispute resolution from the Straus Institute.

Baldeep "Deep" Basraon - Cross-Cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution

Baldeep "Deep" Basraon is a lead consultant for businesses in the United States and Canada on cross-cultural decision making and on statistical analysis of business growth. She merges the two fields of dispute resolution and mathematics with her master's degree in dispute resolution from the University of Oregon School of Law and her bachelor of science in statistics and applied mathematics from California State University. Among other clients, Basraon has successfully helped Choice Hotels, Wyndham Group, Food Chains, Farm Owners, and Private Dispute Resolution Practices in managing revenue increases while creating budget cuts. With a passion to help parties in identity-based conflicts, her mediation practice is focused on business-to-business conflicts and national culture conflicts. Deep has taught or lectured on negotiation and cross-cultural dispute resolution at national and international conferences in India, the United States, and Canada, and has served as a professor of mathematics at Chemeketa Community College in Oregon.

 Two-Week Format July 6-17

  Course Descriptions

Arbitration Practice and Advocacy - Professor Paul Burns

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.

Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Ombuds - Professor Kaci Wallace

This course will explore the theory and practice of ombuds and ombuds programs. These programs are being created at a quickening pace. Our goal is to provide a thorough background that could be used in making a decision about establishing an ombuds program or in examining ombuds practice as a personal career direction. This course is organized around a series of questions: 1. What is ombuds? A general overview of the concept and it evolution. 2. Why does ombuds work? A review of the theory of third party intervention in conflict. 3. How does ombuds work? A survey of ombuds practice with opportunities to try it out. 4. How can ombuds get wide institution/constituency support? An exploration of best programmatic practices for building strong and enduring programs. 5. What are the issues that arise in ombuds practice? An open-ended discussion of the current opportunities and challenges in the profession. Time will be spent in a variety of activities: presentation, discussion, brainstorming, and skills practice.

  Faculty Bios

Paul E. Burns - Arbitration Practice and Advocacy

Paul E. Burns practices intellectual property and litigation with Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP in San Diego and Arizona and has an active arbitration and mediation practice.  He serves as a neutral for the American Arbitration Association, the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, and the International Trademark Association's Panel of Neutrals.  From 2006-2008, Professor Burns served as Chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s ADR Committee. He has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers each year since 2007.  He received his B.S., magna cum laude, and J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston College. 

Kaci Wallace - Selected Issues in DR: Ombuds

Kaci Wallace was named the Athlete Ombudsman for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee in January 2015. In this role, Wallace serves as an independent adviser to athletes regarding their rights and responsibilities under national and international rules in the Olympic and Paralympic movements. She also works with athletes to help resolve disputes and as a liaison between athletes, National Governing Bodies, the USOPC and other stakeholders. Her background is in law, law enforcement, mediation, art and sport.

Prior to her full-time role in Colorado Springs, Wallace consulted with the USOPC and mediated cases involving athlete disputes since 2005, and served as the Athlete Ombudsman at the Paralympic Games in London and Sochi.

Wallace spent the previous decade teaching negotiation, mediation and international conflict management at Duke University, the University of North Carolina and through Rotary International. She also taught courses at Duke University that examined global conflict through the lens of documentary film and how film can be used as a persuasion tool. She partnered with experts in the video gaming industry and won a $250,000 digital innovation award from the MacArthur Foundation to build virtual training environments for NGOs, governments and other agencies to simulate coordination efforts necessary to address relief needs following large scale natural disasters. She also has designed exhibits for a children’s museum and taught art therapy in a state psychiatric institute.

Wallace received a bachelor’s degree in art-design from Duke University, a law degree from North Carolina Central University, a master of law in dispute resolution from Pepperdine University, and a certificate in documentary studies from Duke University. She was a swimmer in college, has competed in international open water competitions, and now competes in long distance races for the YOLOboard standup paddle team.


Two-Week Format July 20-31

  Course Descriptions 

Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Conflict Consulting and Coaching - Professor Selina Shultz

Conflict Consulting and Coaching are fairly new disciplines, which are growing daily as organizations begin to grasp the cost of poorly managed conflict on their employees’ morale and ultimately their bottom line.  As Conflict Managers, we are uniquely equipped to meet organizations where they are and help them develop into more “Conflict Competent Cultures”.  At its heart, Conflict Consulting and Coaching is rooted in the understanding that conflict is inevitable and that leaders and organizations that learn how to navigate it for positive change are the most dynamic and successful.  The Course will enlighten students how they can use their mediation skills, understanding of conflict dynamics, and knowledge of alternative dispute resolution methods to help organizations improve their conflict cultures.  In addition to learning how to apply existing skills in an organizational intervention, students will also gain an understanding of how to address some unique causes of conflict in an organization, including issues with structure, poor management, and lack of accountability.  

Creating “Conflict Competent Leaders” is a core part of any successful “Conflict Culture Intervention”.  Students will learn and practice the basics of how to be an effective coach for employees and managers struggling with conflict.  In addition, they will be exposed to new approaches to teaching conflict resolution skills to non-mediators.  The course will be balanced between a study of relevant theory and learning practical application.  Students will have opportunities to practice skills through several simulation exercises during class and drafting a “Conflict Culture Assessment Report and Action Agenda” for a hypothetical company as part of their course writing requirement

 Divorce and Family Mediation - Professors Michael and Karen Aurit

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 considerations 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: Mediation Theory and Practice OR Alternative Dispute Resolution

  Faculty Bios

Selina Shultz - Selected Issues in DR: Conflict Consulting and Coaching

Selina Shultz is a highly sought after mediator and consultant in dispute resolution, who works with individuals and businesses. She has over 17 years of extensive mediation experience.  Shultz currently serves as the codirector of CoralBridge Partner's Conflict Transformation Institute. In addition to her private mediation practice, she served for 13 years as a mediator for the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. She is currently on the approved mediator panels for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the EEOC, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. She is a popular lecturer and trainer in the area of dispute resolution and has worked with individuals and businesses to provide both basic and advanced trainings in mediation and conflict resolution skills. She is an adjunct professor at Duquesne University Law School, where she co-teaches the first law school credit course on attorney judgment and decision making. She has served as a leader in the field, most recently serving on the boards of both the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators and the Mediation Council of Western Pennsylvania, and helping to launch the Western District of Pennsylvania’s Prisoners Civil Rights Mediation Pilot Program. She obtained her JD in 1993 from the University of Pittsburgh and her LLM in dispute resolution from the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Michael Aurit - Divorce and Family Mediation

Michael Aurit, JD, MDR, is a nationally recognized professional divorce and family mediator, Arizona attorney, and Co-Founder of The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has mediated thousands of divorce mediations over his career. Michael is a Professor at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, where he teaches family mediation. Michael is currently President of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM). He has achieved the prominent status of Advanced Practitioner with APFM. He holds his Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law and Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution from the prestigious Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law.

Under Michael’s leadership, The Aurit Center has been voted “Best of our Valley” for Family Law in Arizona Foothills Magazine for the past four consecutive years, 2016 – 2019. Michael is a Certified Member of the Maricopa County Superior Court Mediation Roster. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors and as Ethics Chair of the Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators. Michael is a former American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Fellow. He has served as faculty and presented mediation trainings and workshops at numerous national conferences. His work has been published by prominent local and national media outlets. Michael is certified by the Supreme Court of Arizona as a licensed document preparer.

He is a contributor to The Huffington Post, NBC 12 News, ABC 15 News, and FOX 10 News in Phoenix, Arizona as an expert on divorce mediation and co-parenting solutions.

Michael is passionate about his work as a divorce mediator. He dedicates 100% of his practice to divorce mediation. He believes in helping both spouses find healthier divorce solutions out of court. He is an expert professional mediator for high-conflict divorce, known for resolving difficult cases involving child custody, spousal support, and high net worth asset division. He is particularly dedicated to helping parents in conflict create parenting plans that allow healthy co-parenting after divorce.

Karen Aurit - Divorce and Family Mediation

Karen Aurit, MA, LAMFT is Co-Founder of The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation in Scottsdale, Arizona where she currently serves as Director of Mediation Services. She is an innovator of dispute resolution systems design. Karen received her mediation certification from The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. Karen is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University in Los Angeles. A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, she holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Arizona State University.

Under Karen’s leadership The Aurit Center has won “Best of our Valley” in Arizona Foothills for “Family Law” for the past three consecutive years, 2016 – 2018. Currently, Karen is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. She is also a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and Arizona Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. She has published numerous articles about healthy co-parenting after divorce.

During Karen’s tenure practicing therapy, she specialized in mindfulness theory, which focuses on stress reduction. Today, although no longer in practice as a therapist, Karen incorporates this approach into how clients experience the divorce mediation process at The Aurit Center. She is devoted to the work of helping clients through healthier divorces in the most caring way possible.