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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Apology, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation

Faculty: Peter Robinson and Lee Taft

This class will examine each of the themes of apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation. A spectrum of definitions and meanings of each theme will be explored. A variety of approaches on how to implement each theme will be discussed. The material will be addressed from the context of governing our own lives, providing professional advice to another as an advocate, and serving as a mediator. Class material will include religious and nonreligious perspectives on these themes.

What you will learn:

• A variety of meanings of apology and forgiveness

• Components of apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation

• Psychological needs addressed by apology and forgiveness

• Attorneys recognizing risks and benefits of client apologies

• Techniques for mediators to encourage apology or forgiveness

• Ethical issues arising from mediators encouraging apology or

Peter Robinson is professor of Law at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law and the former managing director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. He has presented advanced negotiation and mediation skills courses throughout the United States and in more than 10 foreign countries. He has served on the boards of the California Dispute Resolution Council, the Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA), Dispute Resolution Services of the LACBA, the Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement, and the Christian Conciliation Service of Los Angeles. The SCMA recognized him as Peacemaker of the Year in 1999. He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and was recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of mediation in 2006 and 2008. After being appointed by the Los Angeles City Attorney, he successfully mediated all the environmental objections to building the Farmers Field football stadium in downtown Los Angeles.

Lee Taft is a pioneer in the movement to transform cultural and legal responses to conflict. His scholarship focuses on the interrelationship between accountability and healing in mediation and litigation contexts. His essays have been published in the country's leading scholarly journals such as the Yale Law Journal, the Michigan Law Review, and the Harvard Health Policy Review. His unique mediation protocols—based on 20 years' experience as a plaintiff's litigator and a Harvard education in religion and ethics—integrate forgiveness theory with praxis so that the conflict is resolved and the parties' relationship is restored.