Straus Honors Mediation in Representation

ProfessorMichael Rainey, J.D., LL.M.
Certified Mediator / Arbitrator/ Counselor at Law
Michael Rainey Dispute Resolution Services
16830 Ventura Boulevard
Encino, CA 91436


Professor Michael B. Rainey

Professor Rainey holds a B.A. from Loyola University, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, and a LLM from Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute. He was counsel for American Honda, Honda Motor Company, and Honda R & D. He handled all their product liability cases in the western United States. He was with Kern & Wooley, handling aviation, construction, and complex defense cases. He litigated cases in several States and the Republic of Panama. He is a member of the California State Bar, all federal courts in California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the Court of Customs and Patient Appeals, the United States Court of International Trade, the United States Court of Claims, and other federal courts.

A former JAMS/Endispute member, he has mediated cases in real estate, product liability, personal injury, property damage, insurance coverage, contract, business transaction, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and legal malpractice. He is a full time professor at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business & Management and an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University’s School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. He edited the text for Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business & Management negotiation class. He was named 2003 Businessman of the Year by the United States Business Advisory Council. He is a prolific, nationally published author.

This is an exemplar syllabus.  The dates and times have not be set as of August 6, 2011


Office hours are flexible and we can meet any time on Campus or any where else which is mutually convenient. Please call, page, fax, or E-mail for an appointment. Your professors are committed to you the students and we expect the students to be committed to this class, their classmates and the goals of this course.

Course Time:

Weekday evenings 18:00-22:00

Saturdays (if necessary)

Regional Competition

National Competition

(There will be additional preparation dates scheduled for this National competition. Participation in this competition is by invitation after extraordinary performance at the Regional Competition.)

Unit Credits:

This is a 2 unit course. Additionally, the four students who are selected for the competition teams and who compete at inter-mural competitions as a part of this course will receive 1 additional unit of course credit.

Course Materials:

These materials must be read before the first class session. The basic principles will apply in all class sessions.

Chapter 2, Beyond Winning, Mnookin, etc

Course Description:

Honors Representation in Mediation is designed for the student who is seeking to advance their skills set beyond what is normally available to a law school student. There will be a lot of one on one time between student and professor. In addition to learning real world skills such as effective presentation of evidence, proper negotiation/mediation processes, winning tactics, and persuasion technicalities, the students will be groomed for competition in national and international mediation competition.

Course Requirements:

In addition to class attendance, preparation and participation, the course requires the following:

  1. Periodic papers discussing events such as effective/persuasive opening statements; problem analysis, legal research.
  2. Preparation and completion of the peer evaluation form.
  3. Four (4) students will complete the class in the form of being on the Representation and Mediation Competition team. To pass this course, these students must be willing to spend the required time necessary to study the problems, evaluate the problems, complete role playing and sparing, and attend the inter-school competitions.
  4. Students not part of the competition teams will continue to work with students who are on the teams, in preparation, analysis of problems, research, sparing and as needed during this semester.
  5. Sparing: all students are required to coordinate with other course students and non-course students to spar out side of class time, as discussed in class.

Course Grading:

Honors Representation in Mediation is a pass/fail course. These factors will be considered when grading pass/fail:

  • Class preparation: read the text or other assigned reading, thoroughly prepare for all classes, including problem analysis, research, work with classmates and teammates, and complete all other assignments on time.
  • Fully participate in class and sparring outside of class
  • A part of your grade will be predicated upon confidential peer evaluations, similar to that used by Laush and the U.S. military academies.

Course Syllabus: IMPORTANT NOTES:

  1. A good portion of the class and your success in the class is highly dependant upon your willingness to spend time together, outside of class, to practice your skills so that the time spent in class can be maximized.
  2. Most, if not all of you, were in the Honors Negotiation Class. You were all part of the Team which got two (2) of your classmates to the National Finals. You are now in a new class, with new criterion, new demands, new problems, and new approaches. In other words, we all begin from the beginning. Each of you has an equal opportunity to become part of the competition team.The decision of who becomes the Competition Team will be a combination of peer review and the Professors decision. The criterion for the choice will consist of knowledge of the process, demonstrated substantive knowledge of the problem, demonstrated ability to excel in the numerous mediation exercises.
  3. This is syllabus may be adjusted during the course.


Class Date Topics Covered Assignment Due
1. Course Schedule; Meet with Regional Champions to get hints; Hand out Peer Review & discuss; discuss films and plan for viewing Create a email list and get to MBR and all students; Read Chapter 2, Beyond Winning
2. Discuss what we learned from films; Discuss Chapter 2, Beyond Winning; Review ABA Rules; Discuss Mediation Plan requirement Read and be ready to discuss ABA Rules.
3. Analyze the “Practice Problems” supplied by ABA Read Practice Problems; Prepare Mediation Plan for Problem 1 for next week; do required legal research
4. Discuss Mediation Plans, Discuss Peer Review progress to date; Spar Practice Problem 1, Analyze time management; Discuss how to get past impasse and getting bogged down; Rescue routines Share legal research on Practice Problems

Spar Practice Problem 2; Analyze and discuss results
6. Spar Practice Problem 3; Analyze the Competition Problem; Assign legal research (predicated upon receiving the ABA Competition Problems. If we have received the Competition Problem, thoroughly read and be prepared to discuss problem, nuiances, and be ready to propose possible legal research
7. Discuss results of Competition Problem research; Discuss the Self Critique aspect of the competition; Discuss and practice Mindfulness Report on progress of your out of class sparring;
Guest speaker (TBA); Spar Competition Problem 1 Fully analyze Competition Problem 2 and prepare for next sparring
9. Discuss Peer Review; Spar Competition Problem 2; Analyze results; Discuss additional research Analyze Competition Problem 3 and prepare for next sparring
10. Spar Competition Problem 3, Final prepartion, discuss Spar on your own
11. Regional Competition
12. Wrap up-What Did We Learn?; closing comments for us all
13. National Competition