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Wayne Law Dean Robert M. Ackerman to Serve as Keynote Speaker at the Stanley “Hank” Marx Lecture Series in Dispute Resolution, Oct. 20

October 06, 2008

DETROIT (Oct. 6, 2008) - Wayne State University Law School Dean and Professor of Law Robert M. Ackerman will serve as the keynote speaker during the Stanley "Hank" Marx Lecture Series in Dispute Resolution from 10 a.m. – noon on Monday, Oct. 20, 2008, in the Law School’s Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium.

Dean Ackerman will present a 10:30 a.m. lecture titled “Astride Two Worlds: Lawyers and Other Professionals in Dispute Resolution” at the annual event, which is hosted by Wayne State University’s Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution program, in the College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts’ Department of Communication. A reception will precede the event, and a question and answer session with respondents Sheldon G. Larky, Esq., Wayne Mediation Center Executive Director Howard Lischeron, and Janice Tracht, LMSW, ACSW, BCD will follow the lecture.  

Co-sponsors of the event include the Michigan Southeastern Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution and the State Bar of Michigan, ADR section.

“We are thrilled to feature Dean Ackerman in this year’s lecture,” said Loraleigh Keashly, event moderator, Department of Communication Associate Professor and Academic Director for the master’s program in Dispute Resolution. “He is very well known for his vast experience and expertise in dispute resolution and will, no doubt, captivate audience members.”

The Marx Lecture Series was spearheaded in 2004 by the generosity of the Stanley Henry Marx family to stimulate an interest in the value of using mediation to settle disputes. This series honors Marx’s “passion for enhancing people's relationships to one another, for dealing constructively with conflict and to provide another means by which people's hearts and minds could be engaged in thinking and being ourselves into greatness.” Marx died peacefully on Oct. 21, 2007.

Dean Ackerman came to Wayne Law in May 2008 from Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, where he taught torts, dispute resolution, conflict resolution theory, negotiation and mediation. He also served as chair of several committees and was the director of the Center for Dispute Resolution, at the time the nation’s seventh-ranked law school dispute resolution program.

A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, Dean Ackerman served as dean and professor of law at Willamette University College of Law from July 1996 to May 1999. While dean, the law school experienced a 60 percent increase in financial aid to law students, a revitalization of the alumni organization and annual giving, enhanced visibility of the Center for Dispute Resolution and Law and Government program, and an increase in the diversity of the faculty and student body.

Dean Ackerman has held academic appointments at the University of Vienna School of Law, the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, and Leicester Polytechnic School of Law (now deMontfort University), and has lectured at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He has also been employed by the Denver firm of Holme Roberts & Owen and the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project.

He has written extensively in the fields of torts, dispute resolution, communitarian theory and civic responsibility, and his scholarship has appeared in a wide variety of high profile publications. His recent essay, "Taking Responsibility," was a winner of the international Communitarian Essay Contest and was published in the German social science journal Leviathan. His co-authored book (with Robert F. Cochran Jr.) titled “Law and Community: The Case of Torts,” was published early in 2004.

Dean Ackerman is also an active participant in professional groups related to conflict resolution, and recently completed a term as chair of the AALS Section on Law and Communitarian Studies. A founding member of Mediators Beyond Borders, he has been working on development projects in Tanzania with Penn State's InterInstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge.

The Stanley “Hank” Marx Lecture is free and open to the public, and parking is available in Structure #1 across from the Law School, on Palmer Street (corner of Cass) for $3.50.

For more information on this event, please contact Mary Alleyne at (313) 577-2945 or at mealleyne@wayne.edu. To learn more about Marx, please visit http://www.comm.wayne.edu/marx.php.

Wayne State University Law School has educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 West Palmer Street in Detroit's re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media and distance learning classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 40 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne State Law School students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, five live-client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities. For more information, visit www.law.wayne.edu.

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