The article, "A New Straus Institute Initiative in China" was published in the Pepperdine Law Surf Report on March 28, 2018.

In the early morning of the first working day following the Chinese Spring Festival, Professor Thomas J. Stipanowich, Dean of Pepperdine Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, and Sammy Liu, the Institute’s Head of China Programs, sat in an old Beijing taxi, its torn seats covered with lamb skins to warm up the passengers in the chilly weather. Having flown for thirteen hours after Stipanowich taught a full day of class in Malibu, they were worried that they might miss their 9:30am appointment with the deans of the Peking University Law School and Stipanowich’s scheduled presentation to law students.

Apparently, nobody had anticipated that day as the opening day of the Chinese National Congress Conference. Despite the driver’s efforts, traffic was restricted, and it could take up to three hours to get to arrive at Peking University – they needed a miracle to change clothes and make their appointments on time.

In the end, Liu and Stipanowich would make their appointments and numerous others during the next seven days. These included meetings and lectures at Peking University Law School and two other prominent law schools in Beijing, the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), and the Chinese University for Political Science and Law (CUPL). At CUPL, the largest law community in China with a law faculty of 800, Stipanowich and the President of CUPL, Professor Huang Jin, were taped by a film crew for a new CCTV Channel 12 TV series on arbitration in China.



Stipanowich was one of only two foreign speakers at the Shanghai International Arbitration Conference, a multi-day event co-sponsored by the Straus Institute and many other organizations and attended by more than two hundred lawyers, arbitrators, and scholars from China and Hong Kong. Stipanowich’s speech was highly praised for its substance and insights on increasing confidence in commercial arbitration. Subsequently, a legal news report specialist for the Legal Daily, China’s leading law newspaper, Ms. Mao Xiaofei, conducted a two-hour interview with Stipanowich on past and current issues in dispute resolution.

Stipanowich and Liu ended their trip with meetings and a talk at Shanghai’s University for Political Science and Law (SHUPL). Stipanowich spoke on “Lawyering Skills for the 21st Century.”

California Fellow Thomas J. Stipanowich holds the William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution and is a Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law. He is also Dean of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, which has been ranked first in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 13 of the last 14 years. He is the author of more than fifty articles and books, including FEDERAL ARBITRATION LAW (Best New Legal Book, Association of American Publishers); COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION AT ITS BEST (2001); and RESOLVING DISPUTES: THEORY, PRACTICE, AND LAW (3rd ed. 2016); His work has been cited by the Supreme Court and many other tribunals. After starting his legal career as a litigator and chaired professor of Law, he served as President of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR)(2001-2006). A leading participant in many initiatives affecting policy and practice, an experienced arbitrator and mediator, and a popular speaker and trainer, he has received many honors including the D’Alemberte-Raven Award, ABA Dispute Resolution Section’s highest honor (2008). He is a founding member of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and of the Pepperdine / Straus Dispute Resolution Inn of Court. In 2017 he was honored to be named a Distinguished Professor by National Law University Delhi, New Delhi, India. In the fall of 2018 he will be a Faculty Fellow of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Studies at Texas A&M University, having been jointly nominated jointly by the Colleges of Law and Architecture. He is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.