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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Serving Our Community Through Mediation

Women Mediating

Purpose, Service, and Leadership through ADR

Guided by Pepperdine University's core values of purpose, service, and leadership, the Straus Institute at the Caruso School of Law works with nonprofit and government entities to design and implement mediation programs that assist individuals, small businesses, and essential stakeholders in our local community. Our program equips interested parties with knowledge about the mediation process and connects them with Straus' faculty, alumni, and/or students who may help mediate their disputes.

Our Community Partners

We are proud of our longstanding community partnerships with nonprofit and government entities across Southern California, and we are open to nurturing new relationships that allow our students, alumni, faculty and staff the opportunity to serve new populations in the greater Los Angeles Area.  

City of Santa Monica

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution is collaborating with the City of Santa Monica to provide mediation services for landlords and tenants who are navigating payment of deferred rent alongside city- and state-wide eviction moratorium orders in place through the end of the year. Pro bono services will be offered through the Straus Mediation Clinic and externship program. 

October 20 - Community Information Session

The Straus Institute is pleased to partner with the City of Santa Monica to host a virtual Community Information Session on Mediation on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm. This event is open to all community members, including residential and commercial tenants and landlords. Attendees will be informed about mediation services and how they may be utilized to resolve rental disputes in connection with COVID-19. Professor Stephanie Blondell from the Straus Institute will be joined by City of Santa Monica staff to answer your questions related to the content.


Learn More about Straus' Mediation Process

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about mediation and the dispute resolution process. We encourage you to explore the information and submit a request for mediation services. The Straus Institute will contact you to learn more about your circumstances.

  What is Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process facilitated by a third-party neutral.

Mediation is a voluntary and private process where a neutral third person called a mediator helps opposing parties discuss and try to resolve their conflict. Often, parties have the opportunity to describe their circumstances, discuss their issues and interests, and convey their understandings and feelings to one another. Parties also may provide each other with information and explore ideas for the resolution of the dispute. 

  What types of cases do you mediate?
Currently, we provide pro bono and pro per mediation services for commercial and residential landlords and tenants who are navigating the payment of deferred rent following the end of the City of Santa Monica's eviction moratorium order. 
  What does the mediation process look like?

Individuals can begin the mediation process by completing the online request for mediation form below. Once we receive your request, we will connect you with a mediator--either a Straus alumnus or a graduate student who is supervised by a faculty member--who will contact you and invite the opposing party if have not yet agreed to mediating the dispute.  

Once both parties have agreed to the mediation, the mediator will move forward to learn more details about the dispute. 

  What happens in a mediation?

During the mediation, the mediator acts as a neutral third party who helps to bridge understanding between the two parties and focuses the discussion on the conflict at hand. He or she assists you in reaching a solution with which both parties feel comfortable. 

Mediations can take place over the telephone or online through Zoom or similar platforms. Parties may choose to discuss the issues together, as a caucus, or opt for a conciliation method whereby each party talks to the mediator separately. 

  What happens after the mediation?

 Given that mediations are not taking place in person due to COVID-19, parties may create and sign the agreement online. 

If no agreement is reached, parties may take further action by taking their dispute to court. 


Get Started by Completing a Request for Mediation Services

Please fill out the form below so that we may contact you for further assistance on mediation services. Please note that while we will do our best to serve your mediation needs, we reserve the right to decline your request due to our students' and staff's capacity.