He received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law and Ph.D in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before coming to MU, he was director of the Mediation Program and assistant professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, where he supervised a child protection mediation clinic. Before that, he was on the faculty at Nova Southeastern University and was a fellow in residence at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. He began mediating professionally in 1982 in California.
His scholarship focuses on various aspects of dispute systems design, including publications analyzing how lawyering and mediation practices transform each other, business lawyers’ and executives’ opinions about litigation and ADR, designing court-connected mediation programs, improving the quality of mediation practice, the “vanishing trial,” and planned early negotiation.
The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution gave him its award for best professional article for “Principles for Policymaking about Collaborative Law and Other ADR Processes,” 22 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 619 (2007) and honorable mention for “Using Dispute System Design Methods to Promote Good-Faith Participation in Court-Connected Mediation Programs,” 50 UCLA Law Review 69 (2002).
He teaches courses on lawyering practice, dispute resolution processes, and dispute system design.
He was named a fellow of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers (ETL), a project of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver. ETL posted a portfolio of materials from his innovative negotiation course to share with colleagues.
The Legal Trends Network identifies him as a legal trendsetter. For more about his background, read the interview from the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s newsletter and Gini Nelson’s interview of John from her “Engaging Conflicts” blog.
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