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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Los Angeles Superior Court Supplemental Training:

Sharpening Your Mediation and Negotiation Skills


Pepperdine School of Law
Malibu, California

8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


About the Program

8:30-9:00   Registration, Continental Breakfast, and Exhibitors
9:00 - 10:30

Brief Introduction
Session 1

Better Practices on Critical Ethical Issues: Problem-solving techniques to reach an ethical and responsible negotiated outcome when a mediator is faced with issues of privacy, illegality, and confidentiality
Faculty: Peter Robinson and Max Factor

10:30-10:45     Break

Session 2

Closing the Deal:  Part 1 – All the "little things" which are used to move to and through impasses, using the respective strengths of counsel, litigants, and the mediator
Faculty:  The Honorable Joyce Fahey and The Honorable Alexander Williams, Ret.

12:15-1:15   Lunch
1:15 - 2:45   

Session 3

Closing the Deal:  Part 2 – "DEAL or NO DEAL!"  The art of creating offers and demands that cannot or at least should not be refused
Faculty:  Deborah Saxe and The Honorable Alexander Williams, Ret.

Creating Solutions in the Face of Limited Financial Resources and Other Complex Issues:  Part 1 – This program will address the complex financial issues in family law matters by focusing on tough problems and using mediation for results that are not possible to achieve in litigated matters. Specific topics include simplifying possibilities for settlement, dealing with emotions that block settlement and creating solutions when there are not enough resources.
Faculty:  The Honorable Mark Juhas, The Honorable Aviva BobbRet., Heidi Tuffias, and Dr. Carol Hirshfield
2:45 - 3:00 Break
3:00 - 4:30

Session 4
The Critical Path to Discovering Interests:  
Needs and information exchange in the face of the reluctance of participants to cooperate
Faculty:  Brenda Radmacher and Alexander Polsky 

Custody and Parenting:  Getting Past the Time Share Issues, Letting the Child Have a Voice and Techniques for the Custody Mediator: 
Part 2 – Achieving resolution in custody matters and creating parenting plans. Panelist will discuss techniques available to custody/parenting mediators and how to get parents past the "timeshare" focus, dealing with custody/parenting issues unique to family law mediation. Also included in the program, "How to get the child's voice into the mediation and how to deal with "move away issues."  
Faculty:  The Honorable Mark Juhas, The Honorable Robert SchniderRet. and Dr. Carol Hirshfield

4:30 - 5:00     Close and Networking   


Peter Robinson is managing director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and associate professor at Pepperdine University School of Law. He has presented advanced negotiation and mediation skills courses in more than 39 states and foreign countries. He has served on the boards of the Christian Conciliation Service of Los Angeles, Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement, Dispute Resolution Services of the LACBA, Southern California Mediation Association, and California Dispute Resolution Council. He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, a member of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, and was recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of mediation in 2006.

Max Factor III is one of Southern California's busiest neutrals, specializing in the mediation of real estate, employment, professional malpractice, entertainment, insurance and business partnership disputes. Elected as a Distinguished Fellow, International Academy of Mediators, he is a trainer for the LASC Neutral Evaluation Panel, and an adjunct professor at the Straus Institute since 2006.  Factor's leadership qualities are highly valued by his colleagues: Member, LASC ADR Committee & Sub-Committee on Operations since 2008; President, LACBA Trial Practice Inn of Court (2008-09); Chair, State Bar Committee on the Administration of Justice (2007), and President, So. Cal. Mediation Association (2006). He is a frequent lecturer and published writer on negotiation strategies and tactics. Recent articles and more information at www.FactorMediation.com.

Alexander H. Williams III is a mediator, arbitrator, and discovery referee with ADR Services, Inc., and an adjunct professor at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.  He served as a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1984 to 2008. He presided for 8 years in a felony criminal trial department and for another 13 years in a general jurisdiction civil trial department, handling thousands of cases and conducting hundreds of court and jury trials. A trained mediator, he spent his final three years presiding over a full-time settlement court, where he daily conducted settlement conferences and settled hundreds of cases. Williams was the chair of the Judicial Education Subcommittee of the Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. Before taking the bench, he served as a police officer, Navy judge advocate, and federal prosecutor.

Brenda Radmacher, is a partner with Wood, Smith, Henning, & Berman LLP.  She is a distinguished defense counsel providing advice to Fortune 500 companies in litigated and non-litigated matters.  Widely recognized by her peers, Radmacher has been selected as one of the Top Attorneys in Southern California by Los Angeles Magazine and a Super Lawyers Rising Young Star (2008-2011).  She is a past member of the California Bar Association Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, and teaches alternative dispute resolution (ADR) at the University of Southern California. In 2011, she was pivotal in assisting USC Gould School of Law earn the 2011 Ninth Circuit ADR Education Award from the ADR Committee of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for the ADR programs offered at USC, including Radmacher's Negotiation and Mediation course.

Alexander S. Polsky, is considered a pioneer in the field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). An AV-rated trial lawyer who began practicing in 1977, Polsky left litigation in 1991 and refocused his practice solely on ADR at a time when few attorney specialists were working in the field. His practice spans disciplines and countries, as he conducts mediations, arbitrations, reference trials, and training programs worldwide. He has presided over the resolution of more than 10,000 disputes and is well known for his ability to calm highly emotional parties and to simplify complex disputes. Polsky has received nearly every independent award for excellence in the field of ADR. He has been recognized year after year as a top arbitrator and mediator by the Los Angeles Daily Journal, Super Lawyers and ALM Best Lawyers.

The Honorable Joyce Fahey has a highly successful mediation record which stems from her unique background and professional experiences. In addition to her judicial experience in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Fahey is also a former federal prosecutor, a former mayor and city council member of the City of Manhattan Beach, and a businesswoman with expertise in oil and gas matters. In addition to resolving numerous business matters, she specializes in employment and real estate disputes and disputes involving governmental entities. She is the hearing officer for the City of Santa Monica and the arbitrator for Rolling Hills Estates. She is fluent in Spanish and is available throughout California.

Deborah Saxe is a partner at Jones Day. She has repeatedly been listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA, and is recognized as one of the top 50 Women "Super Lawyers" in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. She was identified in Human Resource Executive magazine in 2010 and 2011 as one of the 100 most powerful labor and employment lawyers in the nation. Saxe serves as a volunteer mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court and as an attorney settlement officer for the U.S. District Court. She arbitrates disputes as a member of the American Arbitration Association Employment Law Panel.   

The Honorable Aviva K. Bobb, Ret. was recognized as a Top Neutral in 2009, 2010, and 2011 by the Los Angeles Daily Journal. Judge Bobb is a versatile jurist with 30 years of experience in family law, probate, and civil litigation. She serves as a mediator, arbitrator, special master, and discovery referee at ARC Dispute Resolution. As a Los Angeles County Superior Court supervising judge of the probate and family law departments over the past decade, Bobb successfully conducted hundreds of settlement conferences and was recognized for developing innovative programs that increase access to the court system for parties and their families. Practice areas: probate, family law, law and motion, and civil litigation, including business, employment, medical and legal malpractice, and personal injury.

The Honorable Robert Schnider, Ret. retired in 2008 and joined ARC Dispute Resolution after spending nearly three decades assigned to the Los Angeles County Superior Court's Family Law Department in the Central District. One of the state's most experienced family law jurists, Schnider regularly made rulings in high-profile custody, paternity, and other disputes involving celebrities such as Michael Jackson, David Hasselhoff, Kim Basinger, Alec Baldwin, and Anna Nicole Smith. He has handled thousands of settlement conferences during the course of his career. Practice areas: elder abuse and family law, including custody, visitation, move-away, property, and support disputes.

Heidi Tuffias is a Certified Family Law Specialist with her own practice in West Los Angeles. She has been on the Board of Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, chairing the Family Law Section; belongs to the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists; and is on the Family Law Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and cochairs the mediation subsection. She volunteers for the mediation program at the Los Angeles County Superior Court and has served on the Superior Court ADR Committee.

Carol Hirshfield, PhD, is a licensed psychologist with 25 years experience working with children, adults, and their families on both the east and west coasts.  Her special expertise includes child development, parenting, populations who have special needs, and services for families who are considered high-conflict divorce. In addition to her psychotherapy practice, she is a custody mediator, and for collaborative divorces has been both a divorce coach and child specialist. Hirshfield has coparenting classes and does coparenting counseling.  She sees children, adolescents, and families, and has social skills groups and divorce groups for children.

The Honorable Mark A. Juhas sits in a general family law assignment on the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He is a member of several committees for the Superior Court. He is currently on the Elkins Family Law Implementation Task Force, the Self-Represented Litigant Task Force, and the Family and Juvenile Advisory Committee. He currently chairs the Family Law Curriculum Design committee for the Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER). He regularly teaches for the Superior Court's education program, CJER, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and Southwestern Law School, among others.


Tuition  - 

  • LASC Mediation Panel Members: $75
  • General Registration: $295


Note: Should a paid participant be unable to attend there is a $10 administrative fee for a refund or a substitute may attend the program.  When canceling, we require notice by Wednesday, May 16, 2012, or an additional $50 food service fee will be deducted from the registration fee.

A continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments during the morning and afternoon break will be served.  Materials and parking are included in the registration fee.


These activities have been approved for 6 hours of MCLE credit by the State Bar of California. Pepperdine University School of Law certifies that the activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing MCLE.


All programs of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution are offered with a satisfaction guarantee. If a participant completes the program and is dissatisfied with the course content or performance of the faculty, the tuition fee will be refunded.

Tax Deduction

Education expenses (including enrollment fees, course materials, and travel costs) may be deductible if they improve or maintain professional skills. Treas. Reg. Sec. I 162-5.

Location and Times

Pepperdine School of Law, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263
May 19, 2012 - 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Questions may be directed to Lori Rushford at lori.rushford@pepperdine.edu or call 310.506.6342.