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Entertainment, Media and Sports Dispute Resolution Project

Entertainment, Media and Sports DR Project

Straus Institute has launched an innovative new Dispute Resolution Project relating to the Entertainment, Media and Sports Industries to coincide with the July 2nd-14th, 2012 Olympic & International Sports Law: Dispute Resolution and Management course in London, taught by Professors Maureen Weston, and Jeffrey G. Bentz as well as William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution, Academic Director and Professor of Law, Thomas J. Stipanowich's presentation entitled DeHavilland v. Warner Bros. Pictures: Changing the Landscape of Hollywood Contracts, at Oxford University on October 31st.

All these industries are highly developed, yet continually evolving with constant frictions among the various labor, creative, technology and other constituencies that lead to regular judicial and other confrontations among parties in relation to collective bargaining, intellectual property, commercial and other issues. While law school curricula have historically focused on the substantive areas of law, with a particular emphasis on litigation, the area of ADR has not been a principal focus of any national law school. Straus Institute is particularly well-positioned to develop and implement a series of different programs to address this gap in academic and professional education.

EMS- Straus is led by its Faculty Director, Maureen Weston, industry expert William Nix, Straus Institute Professors Peter Robinson, Managing Director of the Straus Institute, Thomas J. Stipanowich, Academic Director of the Straus Institute, and Straus Institute Adjunct Professor and Council of Distinguished Advisors Member, Gerald F. Phillips. The Project will be offering the following:

  • Speaker Events
  • Industry Expert Conversations
  • Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and other Conferences
  • Webinar and Online Programs/Archival Downloads from Website Store
  • Domestic and International Off-Campus Programs
  • Student ADR Competitions
  • Research and Analysis
  • Technology and Media Initiatives

The leaders of the Project will work closely with the Directors of Pepperdine Law School's Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law, its Investor Advocacy Clinic, Dispute Resolution Law Journal and the University's Center for Entertainment Media and Culture. The Members of Pepperdine's Law Review and Sports and Entertainment Law Society, bar association and other professional and industry groups will be actively involved in the development and staging of these activities throughout the year.

Meet the Directors:

Faculty Director:

Maureen Weston

Maureen Weston is Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law. She received her JD from the University of Colorado, and B.A. in Economics/Political Science at the University of Denver. Professor Weston teaches courses on arbitration, mediation, negotiation, international dispute resolution, legal ethics, and U.S. and international sports law. She serves as Faculty Advisor to the Sports & Entertainment Law Society, Dispute Resolution Journal, coaches students in ICC Mediation Advocacy and Sports & Entertainment Law Negotiation competitions. Weston has taught law at the University of Oklahoma, University of Colorado, University of Las Vegas Nevada, Hamline, and in Oxford, England. Prior to teaching, Weston practiced law with Holme Roberts & Owen and Faegre & Benson in Colorado. She is actively involved in programs furthering opportunities for students to gain experience in negotiation, mediation and arbitration. Her service membership includes subcommittee chair for the ABA, Law School Division, Arbitration Competition, AALS Sports Law Executive Committee, and former co-chair of the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Education Committee and ABA, Representation in Mediation Competition. She is a member on the Boards of Directors at the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette School of Law, the University of Colorado School of Law Alumni Board, and Malibu Little League. A frequent speaker at conferences, Weston is co-author of casebooks on sports law and arbitration and has written numerous articles in the area of Olympic and International Sports Arbitration, disability law, sports law, and dispute resolution.

Industry Advisor:

William Nix

William Nix is an executive producer of feature films, television and new media programming as well as an attorney.His professional work has covered intellectual property, entertainment, sports, and Internet/new media matters, including litigation in the federal courts and administrative proceedings with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Nix was Co-Chair of the BakerBotts, LLP Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Practice Group and VP of Legal and Business Affairs for NBA Properties. He was with Motion Picture Association of America for sixteen years and, in his most recent position, served as Senior Vice-President and the Chief Operating Officer of its Worldwide Content-Protection Division. Along with other industry and professional organizations, he is a lifetime voting Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a member of their Grants Committee.

For further information regarding the Straus Institute's Entertainment, Media and Sports Dispute Resolution Project, please contact either: Maureen.Weston@pepperdine.edu or William.Nix@pepperdine.edu