Tom Stipanowich

Tom Stipanowich

Thomas J. Stipanowich is William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution and Professor of Law at Pepperdine University, as well as Academic Director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. The Straus Institute was ranked number one among academic dispute resolution programs each of the last seven years by U.S. News & World Report. He was co-author, with Ian Macneil and Richard Speidel, of the groundbreaking five-volume treatise Federal Arbitration Law: Agreements, Awards & Remedies Under the Federal Arbitration Act, cited by the Supreme Court and many other federal and state courts, which was named Best New Legal Book by the Association of American Publishers. He also co-authored Resolving Disputes: Theory, Law and Practice, a law school course book supplemented by many practical exercises and illustrations on video; the second edition was just published. He is the author of many other much-cited publications on arbitration and dispute resolution, and has twice won the CPR Institute's First Prize for Professional Articles (1987 and 2009)--most recently for "Arbitration: The 'New Litigation.'" In 2008, he was given the D'Alemberte/Raven Award, the ABA Dispute Resolution Section's highest honor, for contributions to the field.

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Articles and Video:

Arbitration Conversation No. 5: Amy interviews Prof. Tom Stipanowich of the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law (06/19/20)
Check out the latest episode of The Arbitration Conversation where Amy Schmitz interviews Tom Stipanowich about mixed mode arbitration and his concept of "arbigotiation" which keeps the door open to negotiated or mediated resolutions within an arbitration process.

Mediation vs. Arbitration (05/15/20)
Tom Stipanowich talks about the arbitration process being taken out of contracts while being replaced with mediation or litigation processes.

Interview with Thomas Stipanowich - Views from the Eye of the Storm (06/19/18)
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with Tom Stipanowich, Co-Director of Pepperdine's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and former Director of CPR in New York, filmed as part of's 'Views from the Eye of the Storm' Video Series.

The International Evolution of Mediation: A Call for Dialogue and Deliberation (02/05/16)
Much has been written about the global development of mediation, but more should be said about the important questions that should be confronted by practitioners, policymakers and users.

Case Management or Upstream Intervention (or both) (01/20/15)
"Today, mediation is overwhelmingly employed after attorneys have been retained and have taken charge. Instead of becoming a proactive tool for the facilitation of successful relationships, mediation is commonly engaged in as a passage in the dance of litigation. Early expectations regarding “upstream” intervention aimed at managing conflict at its roots and promoting healthy and productive relationships remain largely unfulfilled." Read Tom's article here.

Beyond “Getting to Yes:” Building Mediation Skills and Insights into Relationships (12/16/14)
A quarter century ago many believed we were experiencing a revolution in the way conflict was managed. Nowhere was this more noticeable than in the construction sector, the primary focus of my practice as an advocate and dispute resolution professional.

ABA / Straus Institute Survey (07/18/14)
One of the three recent surveys undertaken by the Straus Institute in 2013 as part of the Theory-to-Practice Research Project was a survey of corporate counsel co-sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Section on Public Utilities, Communication and Transportation (PUCAT) ADR Committee.

Living with 'ADR': Evolving Perceptions and Use of Mediation, Arbitration and Conflict Management in Fortune 1,000 Corporations (07/09/14)
As attorneys for the world’s most visible clients, corporate counsel played a key role in the transformation of American conflict resolution in the late Twentieth Century. In 1997 a survey of Fortune 1,000 corporate counsel provided the first broad-based picture of conflict resolution processes within large companies. In 2011, a second landmark survey of corporate counsel in Fortune 1,000 companies captured a variety of critical changes in the ways large companies handle conflict. Comparing their responses to those of the mid-1990s, clear and significant evolutionary trends are observable, including a further shift in corporate orientation away from litigation and toward alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

What Does the Fortune 1,000 Survey Portend for International Mediation? (04/02/13)
A new study of dispute resolution practices in Fortune 1,000 corporations shows that many large companies are using binding arbitration less often and relying more on mediated negotiation and other approaches aimed at resolving disputes informally, quickly and inexpensively.

What Does the Fortune 1,000 Survey on Mediation, Arbitration and Conflict Management Portend for International Arbitration? (03/15/13)
A new study of dispute resolution practices in Fortune 1,000 corporations shows that many large companies are using binding arbitration less often and relying more on mediated negotiation and other approaches aimed at resolving disputes informally, quickly and inexpensively.

Consumer Arbitration Roundtable Summary Report (07/09/12)
This Summary Report and its attachments: 1) summarize the discussions at the Roundtable and the Planning Committee’s conclusions; 2) provide an overview of related empirical studies and the range of dispute resolution programs and processes available to resolve consumer disputes; and 3) include an annotated list of key resources. Several work groups have been formed to carry on the work of this National Roundtable.

Tom Stipanowich: Mother Influenced Value of Peacemaking - Video (06/18/10)
Tom Stipanowich explains how his mother was the peacemaker in his household and how that influenced his decision to work in the conflict resolution field where he feels most comfortable.

Stipanowich, Tom: Teach Law Students to Advise Clients - Video (02/07/10)
Tom Stipanowich explains his hope of training law students to be more thoughtful negotiatiors and ultimately, changing the way the culture looks at resolving disputes.

Thomas Stipanowich: Chinese Model for Conciliation - Video (05/07/09)
Thomas Stipanowich shares his notion of the Chinese model for concilliation, which is about restoring harmony within a community. Traditionally, a community elder would come in to the conflict to help resolve it.

Tom Stipanowich: Favorable Arbitration was Still Unsatisfactory - Video (03/22/09)
Tom Stipanowich tells of a client's experience with arbitration, which left the client feeling unsatisfied and somewhat unresolved, even though the arbitrated decision was in his favor.

Stipanowich Joins Robinson to Direct Pepperdine's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution (01/24/06)

Pepperdine University has named Thomas Stipanowich as academic director and Peter Robinson as managing director of the School of Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Currently ranked by US News & World Report as the nation’s number one dispute resolution program, the Straus Institute has held the top ranking four years out of the previous seven.