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FALL 2017

Inside Straus 2017: Straus Looks Forward After 30 Years

`` The Future of Dispute Resolution............................... 1

`` A Focus on Students and Alumni.............................. 10

`` International Strategic Alliances................................ 4

`` In Memoriam.............................................................. 13

`` Increased Service Locally and Around the World..... 6

`` Save the Date............................................... Back Cover

THE STRAUS INSTITUTE HAS JUST COMPLETED ITS 30TH YEAR, and since its founding, the ADR field and organizations have undergone considerable change. In 1986, Randy Lowry titled the program “The Institute for Dispute Resolution and Professional Lawyering Skills� because he wanted a fallback position if the dispute resolution movement proved to be a passing fad. At that time, the ADR movement and the Straus Institute were fighting for credibility and to define a lasting contribution and legacy. As we enter a new era, both ADR and the Straus Institute have gained a measure of competency and maturity that permit observations about the future of this institution and field.

Four Decades and Counting: The Present and Future of Dispute Resolution Thomas J. Stipanowich

In the last 40 years, a “Quiet Revolution” has altered the landscape of public and private dispute resolution around the world. The tide of change is arguably far from complete, and some developments have defied early expectations. The following summary (based on Prof. Stipanowich’s keynote at a symposium at Cardozo School of Law) touches on key aspects of the Quiet Revolution. AN ERA OF CHANGE At the 1976 National Conference on the Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice, often known as the “Pound Conference,” Chief Justice Warren Burger encouraged the creation of more efficient and expeditious procedures tailored to the real needs of parties in conflict. In the ensuing decades, such visions inspired a wide variety of developments including neighborhood and community justice programs, reforms in judicial procedure, new organizations promoting “alternative dispute resolution,” and new education and training programs. The central theme of the Quiet Revolution in the US was the growth of mediation. Mediation is an immensely flexible form of intervention that offers a wide array of potential benefits. Recent empirical research suggests that court-based mediation may provide individuals with a greater sense of empowerment and the ability to attain a higher level of satisfaction with the judicial system.

Dispute resolution professionals are also experimenting with new ways of using their skills in facilitated consensus building, civic engagement, and deliberative democracy. Conflict management skills are also critical to effective 21st-century practice; law students in our program are being given a range of tools to serve “the whole client” and not simply focus on legal issues.

QUESTIONS RAISED BY EXPERIENCE Although many now have vast experience—and considerable success—with mediation and other approaches to managing conflict, we still have a great deal to learn. A 2014 survey of International Academy of Mediators (IAM) broken down by region, also illuminated differences in mediation practice from region to region and country to country. Recently, the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts conducted an extensive study of mediation and conflict resolution in the court system which sought to determine the relationship between techniques used and participants’ short-term and long-term perceptions of processes and outcomes. The study showed that the

 ummarized from Thomas J. Stipanowich, Living the Dream of ADR: Reflections on Four Decades of the Quiet Revolution in Dispute Resolution (Symposium S Keynote), 18 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 513, available at

1  |  Pepperdine University


greater the percentage of time spent in separate caucuses with individual parties, the more likely participants were to say the neutral controlled the outcome, pressured them into solutions, and prevented issues from coming out. There was also a greater likelihood that participants would return to court for an enforcement action.

pledge recognizing the value of diversity and inclusion among providers of dispute resolution services and urging law firms and counterparties to include qualified diverse neutrals on lists of proposed mediators or arbitrators; and a commitment by members of the international arbitration community to promote greater representation of women.

Other findings showed that opinion-giving and the offering of proposed solutions by neutrals were negatively associated with long-term perceptions, including participants’ view that the outcome was working and that they were satisfied with the outcome.

We have yet to develop much data respecting the differences race, ethnicity, or gender make in dispute resolution. What we do know at this point is that there remains an important disparity between the proportion of women and various ethnic groups in the ranks of dispute resolution professionals and their representation in the general population. Recent findings from the Maryland court system reinforce the notion that the racial identity of mediators may make a profound difference to participants in several ways, such as the improvement of communication between participants.

While the resulting data must be treated with caution, it does set out some new markers for thoughtful practice.

CLIENTS AND COUNSEL: WHO OWNS THE PROCESS? While there is no question that mediation has changed the practice of law, it is also clear that lawyers have had a significant impact on mediation. For example, while the IAM survey data showed a variety of reasons why mediators employ caucuses, comments by California mediators suggested that their heavy emphasis on caucus was often the result of pressure from legal advocates. As noted above, there is now evidence to suggest that an over-emphasis on caucus and on the rendering of case evaluations could actually diminish the value clients derive.

THE DIVERSITY CHALLENGE There’s been a great deal of emphasis on promoting greater race, ethnic, and gender diversity among adjudicators and facilitators of settlement. Proponents argue that diversity reduces the chance that decisions will emanate from either conscious or subconscious biases, that it enhances the credibility of the process in the eyes of participants, and even helps reduce the likelihood of “group-think.” Such concerns have inspired a diversity and inclusion plan by the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility; a CPR


TOWARD MORE DYNAMIC, TAILORED APPROACHES Some creative mediators faced with impasse invite parties to explore other dispute resolution options and even assist in their arrangement. One recent initiative aimed at promoting the use of mediation for the purpose of working with parties to promote insights into dispute is “Guided Choice,” which is characterized by a commitment to mediate process as an initial matter, confidential discussions with the facilitator to permit the latter to make a “diagnosis” of the dispute, facilitated process design and option generation based on the diagnosis, and information exchange by agreement. Contractual relationships offer a particularly fertile ground for the creation of frameworks for the management of conflict. Such opportunities have been most avidly taken up by companies that perceive important benefits in tackling conflict at its roots. There are, however, substantial barriers that stand in the way moving beyond “boilerplate” solutions and of embracing the opportunities for proactive conflict

management afforded by contract. These include timemanagement conflicts for business people, the aversion of business clients to perceived risks associated with untried processes for handling disputes, and lawyers’ lack of experience or interest in early conflict management.

ARBITRATION AND THE PROBLEM OF CHOICE Arbitration is all about opportunities for choosing—both pre-dispute (at the time of contracting) and post-dispute (both before and during the arbitration process). Yet there are two main arenas of arbitration in which choices are often practically foreclosed or effectively made by default. In the US, unlike many other places, arbitration agreements in individual contracts for employment or for consumer goods or services are broadly enforceable and state attempts to place meaningful limits on enforcement are preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act In some cases, efforts have been made to overcome the lack of meaningful individual assent and absence of bargaining over arbitration process choices and produce procedures that are fundamentally fair. One good example is SEC-regulated arbitration of investor-broker disputes. Another is provided by influential community standards for arbitration procedures visions such as the Employment Due Process Protocol and Consumer Due Process Protocol. Still, the unilateral crafting of arbitration provisions in consumer and employment contracts gives companies the opportunity to impose claims-suppressing terms. Today, the debate over arbitration agreements in standardized contracts focuses on provisions purporting to waive the right to engage in class actions. In commercial arbitration meanwhile, lawyer-driven choices have produced mixed results for business users. The conceptual starting point under standard rules has become something akin to a private form of litigation. This kind of arbitration may be precisely what business users want, but there is growing evidence that for at least some users and some disputes, the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of court-like procedure and away from expedition and cost-effectiveness.

GLOBALIZATION, CULTURE, AND LEGAL TRADITION As the currents and crosscurrents of the Quiet Revolution have spread around the globe, they have splashed up against longstanding traditions and well-established practices in systems underpinned by different cultural norms. Our traditions and cultural makeup affect our perceptions of dispute resolution processes and outcomes.

One effort to come to a mutual understanding of these factors is the International Task Force on Mixed Mode Dispute Resolution, cosponsored by the Straus Institute. More than 60 experienced professionals are organized into working groups focused on understanding international variations in the handling of complex dispute resolution scenarios involving the interplay between mediation, evaluation, and arbitration in order to develop new insights for international and domestic commercial practice.

THE ULTIMATE REVOLUTION: TECHNOLOGY Communication and information technology is transforming every aspect of our lives and conflict management and dispute resolution are no exception. Much change has centered on employing technology in support of traditional mediation or arbitration processes; face-to-face interaction is supplemented and framed by intensive online communications. These advancements have transformed our ability to communicate, but have also raised critical and abiding concerns regarding cyber-security and threats to the confidentiality of dispute resolution proceedings. Dispute resolution practice is also supported more broadly by dense networks of online communication, such as listservs, which permit users to avail themselves of a broad aggregation of expert opinions on the double-quick. A much greater volume of relatively low-value consumer disputes have been resolved without direct human intervention. The European Commission created a web-based, multilingual platform for the resolution of contractual disputes relating to online purchases of consumer goods and services in the EU. It is intriguing to think about the possibilities inherent in our advancing technology, which may open new “doors” well beyond Professor Sander’s multi-door vision.  |  Pepperdine University


Straus’ Future Includes International Strategic Alliances A clear difference in the ADR landscape over the last 30 years is the amount of international interest. In 1986 ADR was fighting for respect in the US. Over the last 30 years, ADR has proven to be a valuable resource for courts, lawyers, administrative agencies, the insurance industry, businesses, and communities. Straus’ visibility from the U.S. News & World Report rankings has resulted in a multitude of international opportunities. Straus has decided the emphasis for its international efforts will be on creating long-term strategic relationships in five countries: Brazil, China, India, Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Straus is blessed to have professors and staff members with deep relationships in many of these countries.



Brazil’s ADR development is progressing at a rapid pace, including the enactment of Brazil’s Law of Mediation and the new Code of Civil Procedure in 2015. Consequently, Brazil has experienced the need for ADR educational programs and events. This need has provided the Straus Institute with exciting opportunities to partner with various governmental, academic, and institutional organizations.

Straus’ efforts to connect with Chinese organizations interested in ADR has largely focused on the Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC) and numerous universities.

The Straus Institute has cooperated to offer various educational programs with the following entities: • Tribunal Regional do Trabalho (Labor/Employment Tribunal) of a few states • Conselho Nacional de Justiça (National Council of Justice) • Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (Brazilian Bar Association) • AJURIS (magistrate school) and • Two prominent universities Straus will continue to play an active role in the advancement of dispute resolution methods in Brazil in order to support and assure the development of qualified, competent, and efficient professionals in the area. The goal is to provide a more efficient strategy for dealing with the incredible amount of litigation cases inundating Brazil’s judiciary. Marcelo Rosadilla, a native Brazilian attorney and Straus assistant director, leads Straus’ efforts in Brazil. 4

The most involved relationship has been with the BAC. Over the years, Straus has provided weeklong mediation programs for BAC-affiliated arbitrators and judges invited by Straus. also partnered with BAC to teach a one-week course on how to teach mediation for law professors from across China. BAC has sponsored a Straus LLM scholarship and also has hired some of its LLM graduates as BAC staff. Finally, Straus visits Chinese universities annually on recruiting trips organized by the Fulbright Program and similar organizations. It has attended LLM fairs and made presentations to students at three universities in Beijing, three universities in Shanghai, two universities in Wuhan, and two universities in Guangzhou. Straus assistant director Sarah Gonzales grew up in China, speaks Mandarin, and has traveled annually to the country to promote Straus and develop a presence from which future university partnerships will be developed.




The Straus Institute has been active in building collaborative relationships in Korea to support Korea’s burgeoning international arbitration market, as well as in supporting the training and growth of professionals in Korea’s growing mediation community. Straus’ professor of legal research and writing Sarah Park is forging relationships with Korean law firms and law schools. Park’s family is wellknown in Korea where she worked as a young lawyer at the country’s largest law firm, Kim & Chang.

Straus’ opportunities in Saudi Arabia grew out of the extremely favorable reaction of Saudi students earning LLM and MDR degrees at Straus. Saudi students affirmed that the core values of mediation were very consistent with Islam and Saudi culture. Their enthusiasm grew when they learned practical mediation skills and techniques. They explained that mediation was a significant part of Saudi culture and practice, but there are no formal educational programs on the topic in the kingdom.

Recently Straus has also actively collaborated with the newlyestablished Los Angeles branch of the Korea Commercial Arbitration Board (LA KCAB). The Straus Institute and the LA KCAB cosponsored a well-attended “Conversation with Lucy Reed.” Reed is an internationally renowned arbitrator who is wellknown in Korea as a lead negotiator in US-North Korea negotiations.

The opportunity to partner with a Saudi university was greatly enhanced when a member of the royal family earned a degree at Straus. He was amazed by the Mediation Clinic experience and said his family was so proud when he described his mediations for the court. His endorsement of Straus as a good strategic partner for a Saudi university opened doors. Straus recently entered into a three-year memorandum of understanding with a Saudi university.

Straus associate director and professor of law and practice Sukhsimranjit Singh is leading the initiative to create collaborative relationships with Indian governmental and academic leaders interested in advancing the practice of mediation and arbitration. Singh was born in India where he also earned his first degree before completing his LLM in dispute resolution in the US. He and his family are very well connected in the legal academy and judiciary of India. Last year, Singh led three trips of Straus ambassadors to build relationships in India.

Lastly, the Straus Institute is actively seeking qualified applicants for its Seegmiller Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship for LLM applicants from Korea, endowed by Straus LLM student and prominent Southern California personal injury attorney West Seegmiller. The Seegmiller Scholarship reflects the Straus Institute’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of Korean dispute resolution professionals and building collaborative relationships with Korean legal institutions.

Professor Peter Robinson has agreed to serve as the Straus representative for this project. He hopes it will include teaching intensive Straus courses in Saudi Arabia and in other predominantly Muslim countries. Robinson began his mediation career as the director of the Christian Conciliation Service of Los Angeles, so he is very comfortable approaching mediation from a religiously driven peacemaking perspective.

One of the visits was initiated by the invite of the immediate past chief justice of India, Justice T. S. Thakur, to attend the International Arbitration Conference at New Delhi in 2016. The Supreme Court of India continued its relationship with Straus by the invitation of the 44th chief justice of India, the Honorable Justice J. S. Khehar. Justice Khehar invited Professors Singh and Stipanowich to his chambers to discuss current legislation and trends affecting the implementation of mediation and arbitration in India. While visiting academic institutions, Stipanowich and Singh visited the historic city of Amritsar where Singh’s father, Dr. Daljit Singh, served as principal of the landmark and historic Khalsa College Amritsar for nearly a decade.  |  Pepperdine University


Straus' Future Includes Increased Service Locally }} Announcing the Creation of the Pepperdine/Straus American Inn of Court for Dispute Resolution In January 2017 a charter was granted to an organizing committee led by Tom Stipanowich for a new American Inn of Court, the Pepperdine/Straus American Inn of Court for Dispute Resolution. The Inn is modeled on and affiliated with the American Inns of Court, associating more than 30,000 lawyers, judges, professors, and other legal professionals nationally from all levels and backgrounds who share a passion for excellence, civility, professionalism, and ethics. The origins of the Inns of Court date to discussions in the late 1970s among the United States members of the Anglo-American Exchange of Lawyers and Judges, including chief justice of the United States Warren E. Burger and judge J. Clifford Wallace of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The first American Inn of Court was founded on February 2, 1980, and today there are more than 400 American Inns chartered in 48 states, Washington, DC; Guam; and Tokyo, Japan. Continuing the tradition of mentoring students and young professionals, the Pepperdine/Straus Inn will offer the highest caliber dispute resolution professional education programs and provide MCLE credit, with lunch and dinner program meetings beginning in February 2018. Membership will be by invitation and will be limited to 80 members in the first year in categories defined by practitioner experience levels including: Master (11+ years), Barrister (6-10 years),

Associate (0-5 years), Student, and Honorary. Social gatherings providing exceptional networking opportunities are planned for November 2017 and June 2018 at various venues, including the Santa Monica Jonathan Club. The Executive Committee of the Inn on July 10, 2017 elected officers and has adopted the following mission statement: The mission of the Pepperdine/Straus American Inn of Court for Dispute Resolution is to foster excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal and other professional skills relating to dispute resolution and conflict management. Pursuant to this mission, the Inn will establish a diverse and inclusive society of judges, lawyers, dispute resolution professionals, educators, students and others and provide significant educational experiences that will improve and enhance the abilities of all who play a role in dispute resolution processes, be it as advocates, neutral adjudicators or facilitators, or others. The activities of the Inn will focus on mentoring and emphasize the importance of civility and professional ethics. The Pepperdine/Straus Inn is one of only two Inns nationally that specialize in dispute resolution (DR) and is the only DR-focused Inn affiliated with a law school DR program. Membership invitations will be issued beginning in September 2017.

}} Robinson Equips Military in Environmental Clean-up Programs Peter Robinson regularly teaches negotiation skills for representatives of all branches of the US military who lead environmental clean-up projects. The US Navy is the primary sponsor of a workshop to teach negotiation skills to managers of environmental clean-up efforts. Strong negotiation abilities are necessary because these managers need to gain the support of or permits from a cross section of stakeholders, including the EPA, state and local regulators like departments of fish and game, neighborhood groups near the base, environmental clean-up consultants and contractors, and base commanders with finite clean-up budgets. The navy has inventoried sites on all its bases that do not meet modern environmental standards and has made a long-term commitment to bring its facilities into compliance with modern standards. The success of the workshop is reflected in the requests from the other branches of the military to either have their people attend a navy session or to have the workshop offered on one of their bases.


and Around the World

and also gave the keynote address at a conference.

}} Rosadilla Represents Straus at II National Conference on Mediation and Conciliation

Professor Sukhsimrajit Singh delivered lectures on negotiation and mediation at NLUD. Dr. Ranbir Singh, vice chancellor at NLUD, honored Professor Singh with the title of Honorary Professor of Law. Professor Singh has been invited by another National Law University to serve as its first GIAN Scholar and teach an intensive academic course in the fall of 2017.

In October 2016 assistant director and adjunct professor Marcelo Rosadilla represented Straus at the II National Conference on Mediation and Conciliation in Brasilia, Brazil. A special invitation was extended by Counselor Jose Norberto Lopes Campelo on behalf of the National Council of Justice and by Justice Rogerio Neiva Pinheiro on behalf of the National Commission for Promotion of Mediation at the Tribunal Superior do Trabalho.

}} Dean Stipanowich Named Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor Singh Named Honorary Professor of Law at National Law University in Delhi In March 2017 Straus associate dean and professor Tom Stipanowich became the first dispute resolution professor from the US to be designated a “Distinguished Professor of Law” at National Law University, Delhi (NLUD). Stipanowich was sponsored by the government of India to visit Delhi as the GIAN (Global Initiative of Academic Networks) Scholar. While in Delhi, he delivered lectures on international commercial arbitration

}} Blondell Leads Straus Programs for LAPD Straus associate director and professor of law and practice Stephanie Blondell is expanding the dispute resolution programs for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). For the last two years, Blondell has designed and administered a dispute resolution workshop for first-level LAPD supervisors to proactively manage workplace conflict. LAPD chiefs decided to equip sergeants, detectives, and lieutenants to provide conflict resolution leadership for minor problems as part of a commitment to provide a positive workplace environment, as well as a strategy to reduce the number of internal workplace lawsuits. The four-day workshop has been very well received with plans for approximately 10 programs next year. In addition, LAPD has just been awarded a grant by the Open Society Foundation to partner with Straus to offer a training to address the conflict and distrust between LAPD chief Charlie Beck (second from right) spoke at almost all LAPD and segments of the Pepperdine workshops to encourage his employees to apply of the community. these techniques.  |  Pepperdine University


}} Pepperdine Hosts Doping in Sport Conference On April 27, 2017 Pepperdine Law partnered with the Foundation for Global Sports Development and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP to present a symposium on “Doping in Sport: How the culture Might Change.” More than 100 guests attended with multiple media outlets represented at the event. Sir Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, commented at the event, “In order to protect the integrity of sport for future

generations, sports have to get back to the basics.” When posed the question, “What has changed?” Craven explained that committees are getting better at detecting banned substances and there is more coverage in the media. The issue of doping remains because the financial rewards are exponential, leading athletes to pick “profits over principles, medals over merits.”

Left to right: ESPN's T.J. Quinn, International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Craven, and Pepperdine law professor and codirector of the EMS program Maureen Weston

}} The International Task Force on Mixed Mode Dispute Resolution Launches Six International Working Groups The International Task Force on Mixed Mode Dispute Resolution was launched in 2016 in collaboration with the College of Commercial Arbitrators and the International Mediation Institute with the purpose of studying and providing guidance with respect to many different kinds of scenarios that involve the interplay between public and private adjudication (litigation/ arbitration) and processes aimed at facilitation agreements (such as mediation).


The task force is being overseen and coordinated by a high-level executive committee, composed of Thomas J. Stipanowich, associate dean and professor, Straus Institute; Veronique Fraser, professor, University of Sherbrooke Faculty of Law, Canada, and scholar-inresidence, Straus Institute; Jeremy Lack, member, International Mediation Institute (IMI) Independent Standards Commission, Switzerland; Deborah Masucci, chair, IMI board of directors; Moti Mironi, professor, Haifa University Faculty of Law, Israel; Kathleen Paisley, partner, Ambos NBGO, Belgium and UK; and Edna Sussman, president, College of Commercial Arbitrators.

• Working Group 1: Mediators Using Non-Binding Evaluations or Proposals

On September 23-24, 2016, the Straus Institute hosted the inaugural summit of the task force where nearly 50 world’s leading scholars, dispute resolution practitioners, as well as outside and corporate counsels together representing six continents gathered. The task force members decided to form six working groups to investigate, describe, and compare practices in different countries and regions related to the following mixed modes scenarios:

The working groups will examine the extent to which the perceptions and practices regarding the mixing of modes in domestic or international dispute resolution are influenced by one or more of the following: (1) national cultures and legal traditions, (2) the legal profession, (3) traditional practices in specific arenas of conflict, and (4) priorities in specific transactions or circumstances. To follow the work of the task force, visit: imi-mixed-mode-mediation-task-force.

• Working Group 2: Mediators Setting the Stage for Dispute Resolution Processes • Working Group 3: Neutrals “Changing Hats” (e.g., Med-Arb, Arb-Med, or Arb-Med-Arb) • Working Group 4: Arbitrators Managing the Process and Employing Techniques to Foster Settlements • Working Group 5: Consent Awards and Enforceability of Mediated Settlement Agreements • Working Group 6: Possible Interactions Between Evaluators, Mediators, and Adjudicators

}} Investor Advocacy Clinic In 2010 the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation awarded the Straus Institute a grant to establish a comprehensive clinical education program in investor advocacy. The clinic represents all of its clients on a pro bono basis. The Investor Advocacy Clinic is the only FINRA-funded clinic to win every arbitration case tried by the clinic, and no FINRA-funded clinic has had more wins or recovered more money for its clients. The Investor Advocacy Clinic is also is the only FINRA-funded clinic to have produced back-to-back FirstPlace winners in the national James E. Beckley Student Writing Competition sponsored by the Public Investor Bar Association. Director Robert A. Uhl and associate director Judith Hale Norris supervise the Investor Advocacy Clinic. The Investor Advocacy Clinic California Bar-certified law students work under the supervision of Uhl to handle arbitrations and mediations before FINRA Dispute Resolution on behalf of California investors who have: claims less than $100,000; have household incomes less than $100,000; and arbitral disputes with their brokers or brokerage firms. In the clinic, students learn critical lawyering skills generally not taught in doctrinal courses. Uhl says that the course and clinic are a win for everyone involved. The students benefit from the hands-on, real-life experience of working on an actual case from start to finish and learning arbitration law in the securities industry. The clients win by having free legal representation from the law students under the direct supervision of Uhl, who has more than 28 years of experience trying securities arbitration cases. And Uhl wins by fulfilling a lifelong dream of teaching the next generation of attorneys what he loves to do.

}} Jack Coe Noted for ICC International Court of Arbitration Appointments — Global Arbitration Review Pepperdine School of Law professor Jack Coe is prominently mentioned in a recent Global Arbitration Review article titled “Who Is Sitting at the ICC?” The article discusses the recent disclosure by the ICC International Court of Arbitration of the composition of its arbitral panels. Coe is recognized as being the sole arbitrator in 12 out of 30 cases appointed to US arbitrators.

}} Straus Welcomes Steve Lepley Straus is happy to welcome Stephen Lepley as the director of operations for student recruitment, marketing, and educational events. (Shellee Warnes continues in her counterpart position as Straus’ director of operations for academic programs and student services.) Lepley comes to Straus with an LLM in dispute resolution and a distinguished career as a civil trial and appellate lawyer. His career included supervising eight attorneys as corporation counsel for Waukesha County, Wisconsin. Later, he supervised a dozen lawyers and a supporting professional staff as chief counsel for a section of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, prosecuting civil racketeering and other financial remedies cases against organized crime syndicates and other criminal enterprises.

}} Straus' Women's Negotiation Academy Well Received

Bottom row left to right: Robert A. Uhl, client Margaret Hutchinson, Judith Hale Norris Top row left to right: Jackie Rodgers, Jr., Steven Gagliano, Jacqueline Harvey, Neil Eddington II

The Women's Negotiation Academy, created by Straus professor Stepahnie Blondell, has been offered three times with positive results. Many participants commented that the program fills a need to encourage women to be better negotiators. The academy's use of coaches allows individual feedback for every participant. The program will be offered again in February 2018 at Pepperdine's West Los Angeles Graduate Campus.  |  Pepperdine University


Straus Congratulates 273 Students Who Graduated from One of Our Dispute Resolution Programs During 2016–2017

As each academic year comes to a close, one of the ways in which we assess the success of our work is by reflecting on the accomplishments and impact we had on students during the year. We are extremely proud of the diverse group of students that graduated from one of our academic programs this past year. A total of 273 students representing 23 countries and several different academic disciplines earned an LLM, master’s degree, or certificate (either graduate or undergraduate) from Straus during this past academic year.



LLM Degrees in the following areas:

`` LLM in Dispute Resolution `` LLM in International Commercial Arbitration `` LLM in International Commercial Law and Arbitration `` LLM in International Commercial Law and Dispute Resolution `` LLM in US Law and Dispute Resolution


Master’s Degrees in Dispute Resolution, including:

`` Master of Dispute Resolution `` JD/Master of Dispute Resolution `` Master of Public Policy/Master of Dispute Resolution


Graduate Certificates in Dispute Resolution from the following programs:

`` JD/Certificate in Dispute Resolution `` MBA/Certificate in Dispute Resolution

61 10

Undergraduate Certificate in Conflict Management

On the Back Cover:

STRAUS WELCOMES NEW STUDENTS Pictured are Straus’ newest group of students as well as our Straus faculty and staff team with the panoramic view of Pepperdine’s Malibu campus in the background. This year’s group of students hail from 17 different countries. They include both new and experienced lawyers and judges, as well as non-legal professionals from a variety of different backgrounds, enrolled in one of Straus’ five different LLM programs focusing on select aspects of dispute resolution and international commercial arbitration, our master’s degree, or graduate certificate program in dispute resolution. Not pictured are the 40 Pepperdine undergraduate students who will also be earning the Certificate in Conflict Management when they arrive to begin classes in two weeks. We are grateful to each and every student who has trusted us to lead them into this next stage of their professional lives.

First-Ever Straus Alumni Survey One of the milestones of Straus’ 30th year is the first-ever Straus alumni survey. Putting together and conducting the survey required prodigious, special effort on the part of Straus assistant director Joanna Reese, with input from director of operations Shellee Warnes and others. The survey is important because of the valuable insights it provides into the perspectives of key members of what we refer to as the Straus family—the graduates of our LLM, MDR, and certificate programs who live in the US and throughout the world. It’s our first opportunity to understand how our dispute resolution programs prepared them for professions and for daily life. We are confident in the survey data because we sent out 1,743 invitations and had a response rate of 15.3%, 266 responses. Approximately half of this number were recipients of Straus certificates, more than two-thirds of whom were also Pepperdine JD graduates. LLM graduates (18%), non-JD MDR graduates (17%), and Pepperdine JD graduates who obtained an MDR (13%) made up nearly all of the other half of the respondent group. The great majority of respondents graduated after 2005; the response was especially strong among those graduating in the last seven years (2010-2016).



• Arbitration skills and insights

Leading responses include the following: • Being a better manager of conflict • Mediation skills and insights • Being better prepared for US law practice • Being a better negotiator • Preparation for roles of coach/teacher/ADR educator • Being a better communicator and listener at work or in other settings • Understanding why and how people come into conflict • Being better prepared for international law practice

• Current employment status. Seventy percent of respondents reported being “employed in a new position/ industry.” Another 19 percent were employed in the same position/industry in which they were employed prior to their program at Straus. Seven percent were seeking work. • Nature of current employment. Roughly 40 percent (39.7%) of respondents were working in the legal profession, with a further three percent (3.1%) describing their work as “Law-ADR.” Other primary occupations involved education (11.6%) and business (11.2%). Respondents also reported employment in government (6.3%), ADR (5.4%), the nonprofit sector (4.5%) and consulting services (3.6%). • Positive professional and general impact of Straus training and skills. Eighty-four percent (84%) of respondents said their dispute resolution training and skills were “helpful” (39.4%) or “very helpful” (44.7%) contributors to their professional success. Among responding LLM graduates, 95.9% described their Straus preparation in these positive terms.

AS ONE MDR GRADUATE OBSERVED: "Conflict is everywhere, understanding how to mediate is very valuable. I often am required to diagnose a situation [in terms of] root cause in order to shape change. I also have a much better appreciation for understanding everyone's motivations at the table in any discussion or negotiation, which comes in very handy."  |  Pepperdine University


Alumni Profiles


Clare Rice

Marcio Vasconcellos

“Earning my master of dispute resolution from the Straus Institute sharpened the gifts and skills in my heart while giving them academic credibility.” For Clare Rice (MDR ’13), mediating conflict felt like an instinctual calling. After earning her master of dispute resolution from the Straus Institute, Rice joined the Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement as executive director and also acts as director of care for Encounter Church. Splitting her time between the two organizations, Rice’s dispute resolution training comes into play every single day whether it’s in court or managing conflict between employees or volunteers. In addition, she trains professionals from a variety of fields to mediate in small claims, divorce, and family court. She says that resolution skills are "transformative" and are invaluable in strengthening households and systems.

Dispute resolution skills play the primary role in the career of Marcio Vasconcellos (LLM ’16), a commercial arbitration attorney with Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP. Vasconcellos practiced for several years in Brazil before relocating to California specifically for the dispute resolution training at Straus. What drew him to the LLM program was the focus on international arbitration coupled with the University’s commitment to each individual’s academic progress and personal well-being. He explains that the Straus Institute unequivocally prepares graduates for a successful career in international arbitration through its extensive and practical course work. What’s more, he says, is the professors at Pepperdine simply “cared the most.”

Audie Attar

Michael Zacharia

Audie Attar (MBA ’10) earned his MBA with a certificate in dispute resolution at a time when his professional and personal paths were undergoing a paradigm shift. “I was ready to start something of my own; I knew I wanted to get my black belt in areas applicable to my field.” As former Division I athlete, Attar often applies sports metaphors to describe his work as founder and president of Paradigm Sports Management. The joint degree program offered by Graziadio and the Straus Institute allowed him to gain the necessary experience as an entrepreneur, negotiator, and mediator to be successful in sports management. Attar is the agent behind some of the biggest contract negotiations in sports, including that of mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor. Attar describes Straus as a high-level training environment with great coaches and teachers that sharpens professionals for whatever field they choose to pursue.

Michael Zacharia (LLM ’10) spent his career as a conflict mediator and international negotiator. Whether in Hong Kong as general counsel and secretary of DFS Group Limited, the world's largest travel retail company; as assistant secretary of commerce for export administration under President Ronald Reagan; partner in the renowned Washington, DC, law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding; or in his current role as an executive coach to a select group of top executives, including Fortune 150 companies, Zacharia understood that conflict resolution was at his core, thus leading him to the Straus Institute where he earned his LLM in 2010. Zacharia calls the Straus experience “phenomenal” and recognizes an inherent moral foundation to the Straus enterprise. He remains a part of Straus as an adjunct professor of law, offering a course in cross-cultural negotiation and dispute resolution and as cofounder of the Faith Based Diplomacy Project. In 2011 the Pacis Project was honored as Peacemaker of the Year by the Association for Conflict Resolution.

In Memoriam Remembering Our Colleague Jack McCrory

Celebrating the Life of Tim Pownall

On January 17, 2017, our dear friend and colleague Professor John P. (Jack) McCrory passed away. He began his teaching career as a professor of law and founding director of the Dispute Resolution Project at Vermont Law School. He first taught for the Straus Institute as a visiting professor in 1988 and was here on a fairly regular basis during the summers teaching courses such as Alternative Dispute Resolution, Environmental and Public Policy Dispute Resolution, and Arbitration Practice. He joined the Straus family as a full-time faculty member in 2001 and he continued in this position for a decade.

Tim Pownall, Straus assistant director and director of Straus/Seaver Conflict Management Program, passed away on October 9, 2016. He was a gifted teacher and a committed peacemaker—known for his dedicated work in reconciliation and thoughtful, constructive dispute resolution through initiatives like the PACIS Project for Interfaith Dialogue. He made extraordinary contributions to the work of the Straus Institute and to the University, spearheading the institute's undergraduate dispute resolution certificate program and teaching the course in Dispute Resolution and Religion. Most of all, he warmly embraced the opportunity to sit down with students of all ages and backgrounds for a heart-to-heart talk not just about classes and careers, but also life priorities and callings. He was a thoughtful and caring colleague and mentor. His life is cause for joyful reflection and emulation.

McCrory served as chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Association of American Law Schools (AALS); chair of the AALS Labor Law Section; the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (now the Association for Conflict Resolution); and liaison to the ABA Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution (predecessor of the Section on Dispute Resolution). Jack McCrory continues to inspire admiration and warm recollections from his colleagues … Straus dean Tom Stipanowich commented, “Jack was the model of a dedicated and strong teacher as well as a terrific colleague. When we first moved out to the area, Jack and Mitzi hosted me in their Santa Monica home until our campus residence was furnished and ready. I also got special pleasure from Jack’s wry sense of humor.”

Professor Tim Pownall, through his teaching and tireless work in dispute resolution, strove daily to bring peaceful resolve and reconciliation locally and globally. He was recognized by the Association for Conflict Resolution as the Peacemaker of the Year for the Pacis Project to encourage reconciliation between various religious communities in the Middle East.  |  Pepperdine University


PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY School of Law Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution 24255 Pacific Coast Highway Malibu, CA 90263-4655

Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

Tel: 310.506.4655 Fax: 310.506.4437

SAVE THE DATE! 3 Annual Professional Skills Program Nashville, Tennessee rd

``October 19-21, 2017 ABA Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skill Conference Malibu, California

``January 2-6, 2018 Five Winter Intensive Courses Malibu, California

``February 1-2, 2018 Women’s Negotiation Academy West Los Angeles, California

``February 8-10 and 22-24, 2018 Mediating the Litigated Case Irvine, California

``May 21-August 4, 2018 15 Summer School Courses Malibu, California

``June 21-23, 2018

31st Annual Professional Skills Program Malibu, California

``July 30-August 4, 2018 Mediating the Litigated Case Malibu, California


``October 19-21, 2017

Pepperdine Law Inside Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution  

After completing its milestone 30th year, the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution looks forward towards a new era as a leader in the fie...

Pepperdine Law Inside Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution  

After completing its milestone 30th year, the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution looks forward towards a new era as a leader in the fie...