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STAR: A Systematic Approach to Mediation Strategies

Faculty: Tom Stipanowich and Jim Craven

Mediations are dynamic and fluid. Both aspiring neutrals and sophisticated advocates should know the predictable themes and stages of a mediation as well as the variety of styles and techniques used in each stage. Competence in the mediation approaches and techniques that are not intuitive for a particular mediator marks the differences between the serious professional practitioner and the casual volunteer. This course will survey how successful mediators use a variety of approaches in five fundamental stages of a mediation. The emphasis will be on encouraging the exercise of conscious professional judgment and strategies analysis for both mediators and advocates.

What you will learn:

  • Stages of a mediation
  • How to convene and open a mediation
  • Facilitating communication
  • Encouraging problem solving
  • Utilizing the predictability of distributive bargaining
  • Using intangible interests to overcome impasse
  • Facilitating closure
  • Balancing neutrality and fairness
  • Managing emotions
  • Effective case presentation
  • Ethical concerns of mediators and advocates
  • Mediation advocacy tips

Tom Stipanowich holds the William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution and is a Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law; as Associate Dean, he heads the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, which has been ranked first in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 13 of the last 14 years. He is the award-winning author of more than 50 books and articles, and has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and many other courts. He is also an active arbitrator and mediator and a popular speaker and trainer on mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution who has worked on five continents. Prior to coming to Pepperdine he was a litigator, chaired professor of law, and, from 2001-2006, President and CEO of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR Institute), a Manhattan-based nonprofit think tank supported by many international companies and law firms that developed new insights and tools for managing and resolving business disputes. Stipanowich is the recipient of many honors including the D'Alemberte-Raven Award, ABA Dispute Resolution Section's highest honor (2008), for his contributions to the field, and CPR's James F. Henry Award. Last year he was named Distinguished Professor by the National Law University, Delhi, India—the first non-Indian to be accorded the honor. He will be a featured commentator on a forthcoming five-part documentary on arbitration in China that will be seen on China's national TV, and is expected to be seen by as many as 100 million people. In fall, 2018, he will be a Faculty Fellow of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Studies of Texas A&M University, having been jointly nominated by the Colleges of Architecture and Law.

Jim Craven is a lawyer, mediator, and frequent speaker in the conflict resolution field. He has been practicing law for over 40 years and remains of counsel to the Spokane, Washington, law firm of Evans, Craven & Lackie which he co-founded in 1978. He has extensive experience in the mediation of complex disputes, having served mediation clients throughout the northwest since 1990. He serves on the construction, commercial and mediation panels of the American Arbitration Association, and is a member of the Washington Mediation Association. Craven was a trial lawyer for over 25 years before becoming a full-time neutral. His trial practice emphasized complex construction, environmental, commercial, and professional negligence litigation. He received his law degree from Gonzaga University and the LLM in dispute resolution from Pepperdine University. In addition to his dispute resolution practice, Craven consults with business and government on a wide range of issues.