This course covers the salient points of U.S. arbitration law as it relates to domestic and international matters. The course curriculum begins with an introduction to the basic legal concepts that make up arbitration law and to the institutions that are central to arbitration practice. Consideration of the Federal Arbitration Act follows, along with a systematic treatment of the role of contract in arbitration and the function of subject matter inarbitrability. Problems relating to the enforcement of arbitral awards, the role of the arbitrator (focusing on the arbitrator’s functions, duties, and responsibilities), and other practice issues are examined. The basic facets of international commercial arbitration also are introduced. Through lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and simulations, this interactive curriculum is designed to foster effective use of contemporary arbitral processes.
This course examines how obvious and not-so obvious cultural difference impacts resolution of inter-personal and inter-state (international) disputes. Specifically, the course will bring an international perspective to understanding the impact of culture in the most commonly used international and domestic dispute resolution processes (negotiation, mediation and arbitration). It will follow a three-step approach to know and understand the influence of culture on decision-making, including: awareness and knowledge of one’s own culture; knowledge and understanding of another party’s culture; and knowledge and impact of either on the desired goal/outcome of the dispute. This course will help students be more culturally aware and better equipped for effective participation in dispute resolution processes that increasingly involve different languages, customs, values, nationalities, and states of origin.
Through discussion, simulations, and roleplay, this course focuses on the structure and goals of the mediation process and the skills and techniques mediators use to aid parties in overcoming barriers to dispute resolution. The course also examines the underlying negotiation orientations and strategies that mediators may confront and employ, the roles of attorneys and clients, dealing with difficult people and power imbalances, cultural considerations, and ethical issues for lawyers and mediators. In addition, special attention is devoted to the art of successful representation of clients in mediation. This course will meet the requirements of the Minnesota Supreme Court to be included on the Court’s Roster of Qualified Neutrals.
Negotiation (2 credits)
This course examines the skills, constraints, and dynamics of the negotiation process. A theoretical framework for understanding negotiation practice in a variety of contexts will be developed through readings and highly interactive exercises and role-plays. The course addresses the fundamental skills of systematic and thorough negotiation preparation, the ongoing management of a negotiation process, and the identification and achievement of optimal agreements. Legal and ethical constraints of negotiation also are considered. Course content is drawn from the fields of law, psychology, business, and communication.
Organizational Conflict (2 credits)
Theories of Conflict (2 credits)
This interdisciplinary course introduces students to important theoretical perspectives on our understanding of conflict and conflict response. Specifically, students explore the biological/ physiological, psychodynamic, social psychological, communication and sociological/political perspectives on conflict by reading and discussing major theoretical works within each perspective. Emphasis is on comparing and distinguishing key dimensions of these theories, such as the nature and sources of conflict, conflict escalation, conflict response, and the nature of the third party role. Classes follow an interactive format. Using case studies, exercises, and group discussion to draw upon personal experiences, including those involving race and social identity, the course explores the usefulness of each perspective to understanding the experience of conflict.