Kristen Blankley

Professor Kristen Blankley

Kristen Blankley Associate Professor of Law

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Professor Blankley joined the faculty in 2010. She received her B.A. in History and Political Science and graduated summa cum laude from Hiram College, and she received her J.D. from The Ohio State University, Mortiz College of Law, graduating first in her class. After law school, Professor Blankley served as a law clerk on the Sixth and Eighth Circuits.Following her two appellate clerkships, Professor Blankley practiced at the Columbus, Ohio office of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP. Her practice involved a wide variety of civil litigation matters, including cases involving the First Amendment, trade secrets, contract issues, and product liability.

Professor Blankley teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution, Advocacy in Mediation, Mediation, Arbitration, and Legal Professions. She first became interested in the field of alternative dispute resolution while in law school, where she earned a Certificate in Dispute Resolution. Her research has largely focused on how parties can customize alternative processes to suit their dispute-resolution needs. Her research also deals with the crossroads of alternative dispute resolution and ethics. Professor Blankley is an active member of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution.  She was appointed as a member of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Council in 2016.  Additionally, she serves on the American Bar Association Law School Division Arbitration Competitions Committee, which oversees the annual law school Arbitration Competition. Professor Blankley is also a practicing mediator and arbitrator in Nebraska.

Professor Blankley also instituted and coaches the Nebraska Mediation Competition for students. This competition teaches students how to be effective mediators and advocates for their clients in mediation.

Professor Blankley sits on the Board of Directors of The Mediation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.  She is a past member of the Board of Directors and former Board President of the Nebraska Mediation Association.  She also serves as the Secretary of the Advisory Council for the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution. Professor Blankley currently sits as a co-chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Subcommittee on Ethics.



Alternative Dispute Resolution Law 708/G (3 cr hr)
This course covers the theoretical, practical, ethical and legal issues confronted by mediators, arbitrators, neutral evaluators, and other dispute resolution specialists and the parties they serve. The course considers the legal context within which alternative forms of dispute resolution take place. Procedures examined include: litigation, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, summary jury trial, mini-trial, early neutral evaluation, online dispute resolution and negotiated rulemaking. The status of these procedures is examined in light of existing law and from a public policy point of view. Issues covered include: confidentiality and privilege, conflicts of interest, finality/enforceability of resolutions, liability and ethical standards for practitioners, and judicial review of decisions.

Advocacy in Mediation Law 720 (2 cr hr)
This limited enrollment course considers the differing roles of the neutral and the advocate in mediation, focusing on representing clients in all aspects of the mediation process. Students represent clients in drafting agreements to mediate, preparing for mediation, attending mediation sessions, and drafting mediation settlements. The course also covers issues such as confidentiality and ethics. This course employs role-play and drafting exercises, in addition to class discussions.

Arbitration Law 709/G (3 cr hr)
A study of arbitration law, policies, process, and skills; federal and state laws pertaining to arbitration; commercial, consumer, labor, employment, securities, construction, international, and court-annexed arbitration; and other topics related to arbitration as a method of alternative dispute resolution.

Meditation Law 710/G (4 cr hr)
A study of the process in which a trained neutral third party assists others in resolving a dispute or planning a transaction. Students will be trained in basic mediation skills through readings, demonstrations, simulations, and the keeping of a mediation journal. Topics covered include the nature of mediation and its relationship to other forms of dispute resolution, the nature of conflict, models and styles of mediation, negotiation theory, communication skills, the interest-based mediation process, the representation of clients in mediation, special issues relating to attorney mediators, and mediators standards and ethics.

Negotiation Law 740/G (3 cr hr)
This class will examine a variety of negotiation styles and give students an opportunity to apply these styles in a series of increasingly complex negotiation problems. Students will be expected to complete a journal which relates class discussions, lectures, readings, and personal experiences into a guide book for future negotiation practice. Negotiation problems will include plea bargains, personal injury cases, commercial negotiations, and labor management disputes. Strategic and psychological factors present in negotiation styles will be examined. The purpose of the class is to improve negotiation performance and broaden the repertoire of strategic and stylistic choices available to the student negotiator.

Legal Profession Law 790/G; 3 (cr hr)
A systematic study of the principles of professional responsibility governing the practice of law in the United States. This course meets the faculty's requirement for a course in professional responsibility.


Is a Mediator Like a Bus? How Legal Ethics May Inform the Question of Case Discrimination by Mediators,  52 Gonzaga L. Rev. 327 (2017)

The Ethics and Practice of Drafting Pre-Dispute Resolution Clauses,  49 Creighton L. Rev. 743 (2016)

Impact Preemption: A New Theory of Preemption Under the Federal Arbitration Act,  Fl. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2015)

Lying, Stealing, and Cheating: The Role of Arbitrators as Ethics Enforcers,  52 U. Louisville L. Rev. 443 (2014)

Advancements in Arbitral Immunity and Judicial Review of Arbitral Awards Create Ethical Loopholes in Arbitration,  JUSTICE CONFLICT & WELL-BEING (2014)

Adding By Subtracting? How Limited Scope Agreements for Dispute Resolution Representation Can Increase Access to Attorney Services,  28 OHIO ST. J. DISP. RESOL. 659 (2013)

Taming the Wild West of Arbitration Ethics,  60 U. Kan. L. Rev. 925 (2012)

Keeping a Secret From Yourself? Confidentiality When the Same Neutral Serves Both as Mediator and as Arbitrator in the Same Case,  63 Baylor L. Rev. 317 (2011)

Interlocutory Appeal of Non-Final Class Action Arbitration "Awards",  34 Vermont L. Rev. 439 (2010)

Multi-Jurisdictional ADR Practice: Lessons for Litigators,  11 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 29 (2010), with Emily E. Root and John Minter

Empirical Research on Consumer Arbitration: What the Data Reveals,  113 Penn. St. L. Rev. 1051 (2009), with Sarah R. Cole

Online Mediation,  8 Tol. L. Rev. 193 (2006), with Sarah R. Cole

Be More Specific! Can Writing Detailed Arbitration Agreements Expand Judicial Review Under the Federal Arbitration Act?  2 Seton Hall Circuit Rev. 391 (2006)

Confidentiality or Control: Which Will Prevail as Confidentiality and 'Good Faith' Negotiation Statutes Collide in Court Annexed,  4 Rutgers J. Confl. Resol. (Spring 2006)

Class Actions Behind Closed Doors: How Consumer Claims Can (and Should) Be Resolved by Class Action Arbitration,  20 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 451 (2005)

Commentary, Arbitrability After Green Tree v. Bazzle: Is There Anything Left for the Courts?,  65 Ohio St. L.J. 697 (2004)

Note, Are Public Records Too Public? Why Personally Identifying Information Should be Removed from Both Online and Print Version,  65 Ohio St. L.J. 413 (2004)


Arbitration: Law, Policy, and Practice Carolina Academic Press, 2017 (With Maureen Weston, Jill Gross, Stephen Huber)

Understanding Alternative Dispute ResolutionCarolina Academic Press, 2017 (With Maureen Weston)

Cross Cultural Negotiations For U.S. Negotiators,Kristen M. Blankley, ed., United States Air Force, publ'shr. 2006

Book Chapters

Ethical Issues for Mediators, in ADR in Employment Law (2017)

Advancements in Arbitral Immunity and Judicial Review of Arbitral Awards Create Ethical Loopholes in Arbitration, in Justice Conflict & Well-Being (2014)

Arbitration, in Handbook of Dispute Resolution (Jossey-Bass 2005), with Sarah R. Cole.


2015 University of Nebraska Woman of Courage, Character and Commitment  (nominated by a Nebraska College of Law student)

Winner for "Confidentiality or Control: Which Will Prevail as Confidentiality and 'Good Faith' Negotiation Statutes Collide in C  2004 American Bar Association James Boskey Alternative Dispute Resolution Writing Competition

First Place for "Confidentiality or Control: Which Will Prevail as Confidentiality and 'Good Faith' Negotiation Statutes Collide  2004 Nancy H. Rogers Prize in Dispute Resolution



Applying Motivational Interviewing to Parenting Act Mediation,  Nebraska Lawyer (Jan/Feb 2017), with Lisa M. PytlikZillig and Kate Speck

Can Careful Drafting Expand Judicial Review?,  The Mayhew-Hite Report, vol. 5, issue 2 (2007)

Can Class Action Arbitration Decisions Actually Bind Unnamed Class Members?,  Acresolution, Spring 2005, at 28

Res Judicata and Class Action Arbitration Awards,  The Mayhew Hite Report, vol. 4, issue 1 (2005)


J.D., summa cum laude, The Ohio State University, Mortiz College of Law (2004)
Order of the Coif, 2004
Managing Editor, 2003-2004, Ohio State Law Review
B.A., summa cum laude, Hiram College (2001)

Areas of Expertise


Director, Robert J. Kutak Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics, 2016
Associate Professor of Law, 2016
Assistant Professor of Law, 2010