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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Advanced Mediation: Examining the Art and Science of Mediators

Faculty:  Peter Robinson and Denise Madigan

This is an advanced program for mediators who want to pull back the curtains and experience those critical moments that will improve their mediation skills. Designed for litigators and mediators, this highly interactive program moves the mediation process from static to dynamic. We will examine the timeworn models of mediating litigated cases and ask lawyers to rethink the process beginning with the terms of engagement and progressing through the use of improvisational techniques that increase the probability of settlement.

What you will learn:

  • Identifying and utilizing opportunities in mediation for effective and persuasive advocacy
  • Understanding the role of the proactive mediator and engaging the mediator's talents
  • Listening for what isn't said and using the unstated signals to create livable solutions
  • Effective negotiation strategies to keep the process moving toward resolution
  • Engineering around hurdles in the process before they arise
  • Advice from successful colleagues on common process mistakes and deploying process brilliance


Peter RobinsonPeter Robinson is the managing director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and professor of law at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law. 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.

Denise MadiganDenise R. Madigan has been mediating full-time for over 20 years. She entered the field as associate director for the Harvard-MIT Public Disputes Program in the early 1980s, and after practicing law at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C, joined the pioneering ADR firm, Endispute, Inc., (which later merged with JAMS). The breadth of her practice is extraordinarily broad, and includes complex commercial, entertainment, intellectual property, insurance, mass accidents, public policy and health care, among others. In addition to her full-time mediation practice, Madigan has taught at the Straus Institute since the mid-1990s, and now serves as director of its Public Disputes Project. She also has designed and/or taught hundreds of tailored negotiation and ADR courses for courts, law firms, government agencies, universities, nonprofits and corporations in the United States, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.