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Straus Institute Hosts Second Videoconference with Beijing Arbitration Commission

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International Dialogue to Focus on Mediation and Arbitration in the U.S. and China


Pepperdine University's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution will hold its second international video conference on Wednesday, Sept.17, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Mendenhall Appellate Courtroom at the School of Law.

The program is titled, "East Meets West: An International Dialogue on Mediation and Med-Arb in the U.S. and China," and will feature an exchange between leading U.S. and Chinese experts on mediation. This is the second international videoconference cosponsored by the Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC) and the Straus Institute.

Earlier this year, BAC announced the creation of a landmark program for the mediation of international business disputes: stand-alone mediation. The Straus Institute trained BAC mediators in this method last March.

"We provided forty hours of mediation training for more than forty senior lawyers and former judges affiliated with BAC," says Tom Stipanowich, professor of law and academic director for the Straus Institute. "In this videoconference, we will be measuring what has happened since our training in the spring."

Stand-alone mediation is widely used to resolve business disputes in the United States and some other Western countries but is not often used in China. The joint venture between BAC and the Straus Institute has also served to focus attention on Chinese and U.S. attitudes regarding the use of "med-arb" procedures in which a single neutral serves multiple roles in the course of attempting to resolve a dispute. This is a common practice in China, but is much more controversial (although often used) in the U.S.

Following last year's successful inaugural program, this videoconference will provide different perspectives on the current BAC initiative and evolving attitudes toward mediation and med-arb.

Chinese participants in the videoconference include Tan Jinghui, Zhang Jianhua, Chen Qiming, and Chen Guang. Participants in the U.S. include mediators Denise Madigan and Jeff Kichaven; Straus Institute directors Professor Peter Robinson and Professor Thomas Stipanowich; and Jay Welsh, general counsel for JAMS.

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution offers the LLM, masters, and certificate programs and is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the Number One dispute resolution program in the country.