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Courses and Faculty

Winter Program Dispute Resolution Courses

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.


Michael Siboni is a trial lawyer since 1981, Mr. Siboni is a founding member of Siboni, Buchanan & McLean. He has focused his practice on complex litigation in the fields of aviation, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, commercial transactions, insurance and equine law in both State and Federal courts.

Mr. Siboni is certified by the Florida Supreme Court as Circuit-Civil and County Court Mediator and is supreme court qualified as an Arbitrator. His significant experience litigating civil matters over the last 30 years instills confidence in his clients during the mediation process, and he has earned a reputation as an effective and skillful mediator, selected by many of the most prestigious firms throughout Florida and nationally. Mr. Siboni employs a combination of facilitative and evaulative styles, to best allow clients to reach an optimum resolution.

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

Marcelo Rosadilla has extensive experience in handling complex, multiparty cases in the field of corporate, contractual, family and civil law. He opened his first law firm in 1992 along with two other law school colleagues. He has taught Commercial Law (Corporate, Contractual, IP, etc) to lawyers who wanted to undertake exams for judicial and governmental positions. As a Brazilian corporate and civil attorney, he practiced law for over 15 years before moving to California to work with several law firms in a legal-support company handling diverse types of cases from malpractice to insurance and workers comp. He is a graduate from the School of Law at the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos in Brazil, and later received his LL.M. in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in 2010. He has since then, been committed to help reshape the world through ADR and peacemaking. He currently works at the Straus Institute as a Program Administrator helping foreign attorneys who want to come to Pepperdine for their LL.M. in Dispute Resolution, as well as teaching as an Adjunct Professor in the LL.M. program.

Advanced Trial Practice

An advanced study of the trial skills used by counsel at trial, including the direct and cross examination of lay and expert witnesses, voir dire, opening statement, closing argument, the use of exhibits, and ethical considerations. The class will emphasize "learning by doing"—students will actively participate in classroom exercises and will be critiqued. The class will build on those skills learned in Trial Practice. All students will be required to complete a full trial. Prerequisite: Law 402 Trial Practice.

Harry Caldwell routinely represents condemned prisoners in the appeals of their death sentences before both the California Supreme Court and US Supreme Court. He has written extensively in the area of criminal procedure, trial advocacy, and the death penalty and is the co-author of Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury (1998), And the Walls Came Tumbling Down (2004) and The Devil's Advocates (Fall 2006). This popular series of books celebrates significant jury trials and the lawyers who tried the cases. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury was selected by the Los Angeles Times as a best non-fiction selection. Caldwell also co-authored The Art and Science of Trial Advocacy, and Case Files for Basic Trial Advocacy, Criminal Pretrial Advocacy and Mock Trials, all for use at the law school level.

Professor Caldwell has received several teaching honors including the 2012 Howard A. White Award along with several Luckman teaching awards, and in 2000 received the Richard Jacobson Award as the premier trial advocacy teacher in the nation.

  Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Decision-Making Under Conflict

This course incorporates psychology and neuroscience, behavioral economics and game theory, and light statistical analysis through computer programs that aid decision-makers and architects. Students will learn about well-known barriers to disinterested analysis, factors correlated with poor quality decisions and adverse outcomes, the incidence and magnitude of settlement decisions errors, and methods they can employ to improve decision-making and problem-solving skills for themselves and also for the parties and attorneys who appear before them in mediation. Decision making is a distinct skill that can be learned and honed. This course will help both mediators and lawyers meet the expectation that they have refined decision making and architecture skills.

Doug Noll speaks about and teaches people how to solve difficult, intractable, and highly emotional problems. He was a business and commercial trial lawyer for 22 years before turning to leadership development, problem-solving, and peacemaking. He is a Senior Consultant with Mobius Executive Leadership and maintains a high level mediation and arbitration practice.

In addition, Doug Noll is the author of Elusive Peace: How Modern Diplomatic Strategies Could Better Resolve World Conflicts (Prometheus Books, April 2011), winner of the Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) International Peace and Justice Book Award for 2011, Sex, Politics & Religion at the Office: The New Competitive Advantage (Auberry Press 2006), with John Boogaert, and Peacemaking: Practicing at the Intersection of Law and Human Conflict (Cascadia 2002) and, numerous articles on peacemaking, restorative justice, conflict resolution and mediation, and is a mediator trainer, lecturer, and continuing education panelist. Doug Noll is an adjunct faculty member of the Pepperdine School of Law Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and teaches The Psychology of Conflict Communication and Decision Making in Conflict.

Advanced Mediation

This advanced course builds upon and augments the basics of mediation theory and practice through an in-depth examination of selected aspects of the process. Students expand and refine their skills as mediators by addressing topics such as dealing with difficult parties, overcoming impasse, mediating with large numbers of participants, responding to media in a mediation, using a decision-tree analysis, and employing counterintuitive and "mindful" mediation strategies. Controversial ethical issues and public policy concerns, such as the limits of confidentiality and expectations of procedural fairness, are also explored through complex scenarios. The personal qualities of a mediator and central components integral to a professional mediation practice are examined, together with suggestions for marketing, managing and building a successful practice. Pre-requisite: Law 1422 Mediation Theory and Practice, LAW 380 Mediation Clinic suggested.

Sukhsimranjit Singh practices, teaches, and trains in dispute resolution. He is the Judge Danny Weinstein Managing Director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and an associate professor of law and practice at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, where he also directs the LLM program in dispute resolution. He specializes in cross-cultural dispute resolution, has published numerous articles, and delivered many keynotes, including a TEDx Talk on cross-cultural communication in Salem, Oregon. Dr. Singh has mediated intercultural and commercial cases in the United States, India, and Canada, among other countries. 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 and board member at Weinstein International Foundation. He has trained lawyers and law students in more than 30 states and 22 countries. An avid reader and an amateur photographer, he loves to travel with his family. He is passionate about music, sports, and interacting with new cultures.

Hon. Daniel Weinstein (Ret.) is one of the preeminent mediators of complex civil disputes in the United States. Judge Weinstein is also internationally recognized as one of the premier mediators of complex, multi-party and high-stakes commercial and political disputes. He is the recipient of the 2014 International Advocate for Peace Award from the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, whose past honorees have included: former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The National Law Journal has recognized him as an ADR Champion (2017-2018). In January 2020, the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, presented Judge Weinstein with the Peacemaker Award, its highest honor. The award was last presented in 2013 to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Judge Weinstein is the former Envoy of the United States to Bosnia, where he mediated a $14 billion transfer of funds to Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. He has settled some of the largest and most contentious financial sector, intellectual property and environmental cases of the past two decades — including those involving major financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, international corporations like Swiss reinsurer Converium, foreign governments, and high-profile celebrities.

He is a founder of JAMS, the world's largest private mediation provider, the JAMS Foundation, and the Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship program, named to honor his leadership and generous financial contribution. He is the founder of the Weinstein International Foundation, a nonprofit initiative begun in 2018, dedicated to making mediation available and accessible worldwide in the face of increasing global challenges and conflict.

A former head of the Juvenile Court in San Francisco, Judge Weinstein founded the Danny Weinstein Youth Foundation and is Chairman of the Board of Seven Tepees, a non-profit, community-based organization he co-founded that provides comprehensive services to under- resourced youth in San Francisco. He is a dedicated environmentalist and serves on the Board of the Environmental Law Institute. He founded and is president of the Baja Coastal Institute in Mexico, where his efforts are dedicated to preserving coral reefs around the world.

Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Online Dispute Resolution

 Online Dispute Resolution: The State of the Art

Courts were not designed to handle online disputes. The judicial system is slow, expensive, and geographically bound. Rapidly expanding e-commerce, the growth in cross-boundary transactions, and the inability of traditional legal processes to deal with disputes arising over the web has created a need for online redress options. The international consensus is that online alternative dispute resolution is the best solution to these problems. With advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, online ADR (or "ODR") is the accessible option to resolve offline and online disputes quickly, confidentially, and effectively. It connects capable neutrals with parties in effective ways, and it brings efficiencies and accessibility to a burgeoning marketplace of conflict.

ODR is the hottest area of the ADR field right now. But it is still in its infancy. Do the rules of offline ADR apply to ODR? How does technology change the equation? Can ODR be effective when parties are not looking into the other side's eyes? How can offline neutrals best translate their skills online? How can technology merge with face-to-face ADR to make it more effective?


Colin Rule is CEO of Mediate.com. From 2017 to 2020 Colin was Vice President for Online Dispute Resolution at Tyler Technologies. Tyler acquired Modria.com, an ODR provider Colin co-founded, in 2017. From 2003 to 2011 Colin was Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal. Colin co-founded Online Resolution, one of the first online dispute resolution (ODR) providers, in 1999 and served as its CEO and President. Colin worked for several years with the National Institute for Dispute Resolution (now ACR) in Washington, D.C. and the Consensus Building Institute in Cambridge, MA.

Colin is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002, and co-author of The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection, published by the ABA in 2017. He received the first Frank Sander Award for Innovation in ADR from the American Bar Association in 2020, and the Mary Parker Follett Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution in 2013. He holds a Master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from UMass-Boston, a B.A. from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.

 MCLE Credit

Each course has been approved for 32 Minimum Continuing Legal Education credits by the State Bar of California. Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing MCLE. Credit is routinely granted by other states as well.

 Housing and Residence Life

Housing and Residence Life is not available on campus during the Winter Intensive, but please explore a list of Malibu Hotels.

For additional information on program content, faculty, or registration, contact the Straus Institute at: 310.506.4655