Advanced Practitioner Mediation Certificate Series

An interactive, advanced mediation certificate for judges, attorneys, and practitioners

About the Series

On the UC Law SF campus, The Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution (CNDR) offers high-quality dispute resolution training on in-depth topics for practitioners. This Certificate is designed to engage participants in advanced discussion and practice on specific topics that are essential in any mediator’s toolkit. A specially selected team of our adjunct professors and experienced professionals will be teaching and coaching this series for a variety of perspectives and expertise. Registration will be limited to keep class size small, so register now!

Sessions in this advanced series assume completion of a basic mediation course (Fundamentals of Mediation offered by CNDR in summer), but it is not required to participate. Find all CNDR’s trainings here.

Key components for sessions include:

  • Individual and small group interaction components
  • Q&A
  • Role play demonstrations
  • Practice sessions with experienced coaches
  • Discussions of real-life case studies
  • Individual feedback

Dates and Times: Held 2-3 times annually, sessions range from 2–4 hours each. See below for exact dates.

Certification: Certification will be available for individuals completing at least 8 total hours of series training annually, since the series is over multiple years.

Location: UC Law SF, 200 McAllister, San Francisco, CA 94102. All sessions take place at UC Law SF unless indicated otherwise as virtual.

Questions? Email CNDR or call us at 415.581.8941



Register for individual sessions below; if there is no link yet, please check back at a later date.

4-Hour Sessions 2-Hour Sessions
General Registration $450 $225
Government, Nonprofit, or Alumni Rate $400 $200
Early Bird Special (ends one month prior) $400 $200
Additional Processing Fee for MCLE Credit $100 (4 credit hours) $50 (2 credit hours)


Sessions & Instructors

Upcoming Sessions

Advanced Mediation Certificate Series: Breaking Impasse: How to Close the Deal

This interactive session will focus on the mediation process itself: learning how to diagnose the cause of the impasse and developing analytical tools for choosing the appropriate intervention to overcome impasse and move towards resolution.

4 hours MCLE credit available (please select the “add on” at checkout to register for credit). Session includes 4 hours of instruction and plus breaks.

Will be held in-person on the UC Law SF Campus at 333 Golden Gate Avenue, 5th Floor Deb Colloquium Room, San Francisco, CA 94102.


Date: November 15, 2024 from 8:30am – 1:00pm

Instructors: Jonathan Gross and Mattie Robertson

Professor Jonathan Gross is a shareholder at Bishop, Barry, Howe, Haney, & Ryder. His practice is focused on Insurance Coverage, Insurance Bad Faith, Complex Civil Litigation and Mediation. Professor Gross is a 1985 graduate of UC Law SF and is admitted to practice in the State of California, all Federal District Courts of California, and the Ninth Circuit. Also, Professor Gross is a Member of the Mediation Program for USDC, Northern District; California Court of Appeals, First District; Bar Association of San Francisco, Early Settlement Program; and Bar Association of San Francisco, Fee Dispute Program. Professor Gross has also served as the Chairman of the California State Bar Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution; the President of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution; and on the Board of Directors of the California Dispute Resolution Council.

Professor Gross has authored many publications. Some of those publications are: The Appraisal Process: A Brief Overview for the Practitioner, American Bar Association Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar (March 2005); Out of Practice: New Rules Could Determine if ADR Neutrals Are Engaged In The Practice Of Law, Arbitration & Mediation Supplement to the Recorder (March 2004); What Punitive Damages Message Is the U.S. Supreme Court Sending? Defense Counsel Journal, pp. 447-454 (October 2002); Daily Journal (May 10, 2001); Perplexing Punishment: O.J.’s Complaint: ‘Simpson’ Ruling Opens Door to Higher Verdicts, Admission Or Prejudicial Evidence, Awarding Punitive Damages In Bad-Faith Insurance Cases, California Law Business (October 16, 2000); Bad Faith Litigation In California, Manual, National Business Institute (1999); What Mediators Do: A Perspective, San Francisco Barrister Law Journal, Vol. 14, No. 12, pp. 13-15 (December 1995). Professor Gross is recipient of the George W. Yancey Memorial Award presented by the International Association of Defense Counsel for Most Outstanding Article written in October 2002, titled “What Punitive Damages Message Is the U.S. Supreme Court Sending?” Defense Counsel Journal, pp. 447-454.

Deputy Director and Adjunct Clinical Professor Mattie Robertson is a dispute resolution professional who has mediated hundreds of cases, and is certified as a mediator, facilitator, and arbitrator. She has mentored many other professional mediators and conducted numerous conflict resolution trainings and practicums on a variety of topics. Mrs. Robertson spent a decade working in community mediation nonprofits after law school. At SEEDS Community Resolution Center, she oversaw a practicum which trained professional mediators, and managed the Court Mediation Program, which provided same-day mediation services to litigants in the Alameda County Superior Courts. At California Lawyers for the Arts, Mrs. Robertson was Program Director for the Arts Arbitration and Mediation Services (AAMS) serving the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Since 2019, Mrs. Robertson has been Deputy Director of the Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution (CNDR) at UC Law SF, having served as Interim Director of the Center in 2022; she also teaches the UC Law SF Mediation Clinic, supervising students working as mediators in local courts.

Mrs. Robertson is the former Chair of the Alameda County Bar Association’s ADR Executive Committee; and is a member of the Alameda County Superior Court’s ADR Administration Committee; The Mediation Society; Chabot College’s Administration of Justice Department’s Advisory Board; and, the Bay Area Coalition for Community Mediation (BACCM). Mrs. Robertson is a graduate of UC Law SF in San Francisco, beginning her mediation career in CNDR’s Mediation Clinic, and is a graduate of San Francisco State University. Mrs. Robertson is a proud tribal member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.



Past Sessions

Building Facilitative Skills

Most mediators rely on facilitative skills at some points in mediation – for example when listening to a party’s story at the outset – but default to a more directive approach at other times. This half-day, interactive workshop is designed to enhance facilitative skills for use throughout the mediation process.

Topics addressed will include how mediators can effectively employ facilitative techniques in the following areas: Discussing the law and risk assessment; Building understanding; Diffusing conflict; and Problem solving.

Date Held: March 15, 2024

Instructors: Claudia Bernard and Howard Herman

Playing for the Long Game: Negotiation Skills 1 & 2

Building on the previous advanced training sessions, this two-part double session focuses on providing participants with advanced and complex negotiation skills and tools to take their mediations to the next level, and create long-lasting, satisfactory resolutions for participants. These are the final two sessions in the Certificate Series. 8 hours total over two separate 4-hour sessions. 8 hours total MCLE credit available over two sessions. 

Topics preview:

  1. Early, mid, and final stage negotiation strategies and challenges
  2. Types of complex negotiations
  3. Different mediation models for challenging cases
  4. Negotiation styles and strategizing
  5. Shuttle diplomacy and confidentiality
  6. Challenging participants and attorneys
  7. Advanced Tools, Techniques and Tips for Successfully Overcoming Impasse

Dates Held: June 27, 2022 and September 14, 2022

Instructor: Shirish Gupta

Tackling Biases in Mediation

Understanding the difference between implicit and explicit bias, and how they factor into decision-making can alter the course of a mediation. This session explores how to recognize and manage bias for participants, attorneys, and the mediators themselves. 2 hours MCLE credit available. 

Date Held: February 16, 2022  from 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Instructor: Mattie Robertson

Dynamic and Technical Mediation Approaches

This session delves into specific step-by-step process details of the mediation session itself, to look at how flexibility in designing the session can help mediators create a process that best suits the needs of the case and the parties. We also will explore tools for preventing and overcoming impasse. An interactive, 4-hour virtual session. 4 hours MCLE credit available. Session includes 4 hours of instruction and 1 hour of breaks. Will be held online.

Date Held: September 29, 2021 from 10:00am – 3:00pm

Instructors: Claudia Bernard and Howard Herman

Legality and the Neutral’s Basis in Law

Explore the legal basis and professional standards underlying mediation, and develop a key base for practice covering mediation statutes, confidentiality, ethics, competence, and new developments in the law. 2 hours MCLE credit available. Will be held online.

Date Held: May 12, 2021 from 9:00am – 11:00am

InstructorShirish Gupta

Handling Emotions Productively

Human emotions are vital in mediation: They let us know what matters, they help us connect with others, and they propel us to action. At the same time, people in conflict often experience intense negative emotions that can derail a mediation. This session will provide a basis for understanding the neurobiology of emotion, as well as provide tools for enhancing the positive emotions – and managing the negative emotions – of participants, attorneys, and mediators themselves. 4 hours MCLE credit available. Session includes 4 hours of instruction and 1 hour of breaks. Will be held online.

Date Held: February 10, 2021 from 10:00am – 3:00pm

InstructorsClaudia Bernard and Howard Herman

Increasing Effective Communication

In this second session of the series, we explore how mediators are the custodians of the communication flow. They need to pay close attention to communication, both their own communication skills and the communication dynamics of the participants. Most mediators consider empathic listening to be their core skill. In addition, the advanced listening skill of reframing is vital. Mediators also need to ask a lot of questions, not to satisfy their curiosity but to support the conflict-resolution process. And when they need to assert themselves or be persuasive, mediators are tactful communicators. This course focuses on the key communication skills that support the mediation process, and skills is reviewed from the perspective of the mediator. 4 hours MCLE credit available. Session includes 4 hours of instruction and 1 hour of breaks. 

Date Held: September 16, 2020 from 10:00am – 3:00pm

InstructorJohn Ford

How to Assume the Neutral’s Role

The first in this series is a styles assessment course designed to help participants identify their natural strengths as well as opportunities for growth as an effective mediator. This reflective session will focus on the mediator’s role, and differing models and methods of mediation as a basis for building more advanced skills. 4 hours MCLE credit available. Session includes 4 hours of instruction and 1 hour of breaks.

Date Held: September 2, 2020 from 9:30am – 2:30pm

InstructorJessica Notini

Cancellation Policy

For all CNDR events, cancellations on or before 30 days prior to the event will receive a full refund, minus a $50 administrative fee. Cancellations after 30 days prior to the event will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations on or after 5 days prior to the event will not receive a refund.

ADA Accommodations Statement

The University of California College of the Law, San Francisco is committed to making its facilities and events accessible in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need reasonable accommodations, please contact CNDR at 415-581-8941 or, or the Disability Access Hotline at 415-581-4848 or at least two weeks before the event.