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Winter Program 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.


Thomas Stipanowich holds the William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution and is a Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law; as Associate Dean, he heads the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, which has been ranked first in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 13 of the last 14 years. He is the award-winning author of more than 50 books and articles, and has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and many other courts. He is also an active arbitrator and mediator and a popular speaker and trainer on mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution who has worked on five continents. Prior to coming to Pepperdine he was a litigator, chaired professor of law, and, from 2001-2006, President and CEO of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR Institute), a Manhattan-based nonprofit think tank supported by many international companies and law firms that developed new insights and tools for managing and resolving business disputes. Stipanowich is the recipient of many honors including the D'Alemberte-Raven Award, ABA Dispute Resolution Section's highest honor (2008), for his contributions to the field, and CPR's James F. Henry Award. Last year he was named Distinguished Professor by the National Law University, Delhi, India—the first non-Indian to be accorded the honor. He will be a featured commentator on a forthcoming five-part documentary on arbitration in China that will be seen on China's national TV, and is expected to be seen by as many as 100 million people. In fall, 2018, he will be a Faculty Fellow of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Studies of Texas A&M University, having been jointly nominated by the Colleges of Architecture and Law.


Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Conflict Consulting and Coaching

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.

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.


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 & Consultation 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.


MCLE Credit

Each course has been approved for 32 Minimum Continuing Legal Education credits by the State Bar of California. Pepperdine University 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