Rubenstein, Judith

Judith Rubenstein

Judith Rubenstein has often been described as a peacemaker, problem-solver, teacher, and “Born Mediator.” After a decade as a litigator in family law and business, Judith Rubenstein has been a full-time mediator for the past thirty years where she has resolved thousands of complex disputes including family, probate, real estate, employment, business, and tort matters. She founded the Conflict Management Institute in 1990 which provides mediation and negotiations training to individuals, government agencies, educational institutions, and corporations. Emphasizing the transformative aspect of conflict resolution through the practice of compassionate listening, Rubenstein has trained thousands of mediators around the globe. Judith Rubenstein is also a conflict management consultant, designing workplace conflict management systems for universities, schools, and corporations. With a law degree from Columbia University, a masters in Psychology from the Pacifica Graduate Institute, a Bachelors from the University of Michigan, and countless hours in mediation and negotiation training from Harvard University and Pepperdine University Straus Institute among others, Rubenstein’s unique background in law and psychology gives her a uncanny ability to work from both the legal and human dynamic perspectives. Recognizing the importance of mediation, Judith Rubenstein remains passionate about her calling as a mediator which fulfills her life-long commitment to bringing more peace to the world.


  • Mediator and Trainer (1983-Present)
  • Principal at Rubenstein & Sorenson Mediation (2007-Present)
  • Founder and President of Conflict Management Institute (1990-Present)
  • Mediator on U.S. Bankruptcy Court Mediation Panel (1996-2005)
  • Supervising Mediator and Trainer for Community Mediation Program (1990-1997)
  • Mediator on Ventura Superior Court Mediation Panel (1994-1998)
  • Adjunct Professor in Southern California (1991-2006)
  • Founder and Executive Director of Franklin Mediation Service (1985-1990)
  • Partner at Mediation Associates of Western Massachusetts (1985-1988)
  • Mediator at Dispute Resolution Center (1984-1985)
  • Litigator at Goldman & Kagan (1983-1985)
  • Director at Westside Legal Services (1982-1984)
  • Litigator at Private Legal Practice (1980-1983)
  • Litigator at Western Massachusetts Legal Services (1973-1974)
  • M.A. in Counseling Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute (2003)
  • Advanced Transformative Mediation Training sponsored by United States Postal Service REDRESS Program (2001)
  • “Mediating the Litigation Case” and Advanced Mediation Training Certificate at Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University (1996)
  • J.D. at Columbia University Law School (1972)
  • Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Sociology at Harvard University Graduate School (1965)
  • B.A. at University of Michigan (1964)
  • Member of the California State Barr
  • Member of the Massachusetts State Bar
  • ADR Committee, Santa Barbara Superior Court
  • ADR Committee and Past Chair, Santa Barbara Bar Association
  • Past Board Chair, Conflict Solutions Inc.
  • Master, William L. Gordon Inn of Court
  • Member of Mediators Beyond Borders, Rwanda Team
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Barbara Superior Court for Development of Mediation as a Way of Settling Lawsuits, 2011
  • Divorce Mediation, three-part series in Santa Barbara CAMFT Newsletter, 2011
  • The Alchemy of Mediation, Thesis for Masters in Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, 2003
  • Mediation and Collaborative Negotiation Training Manual, 1990, 2001.
  • Using Mediation in Estate Planning, Management and Elder Care, with Christopher Jones, Santa Barbara Lawyer, 2000
  • Conflict Management Training Manual, 1999
  • Contributor, Woolner, C., Rethinking Mediation for a Multi-Cultural World, Bi-lingual training manual for youth, National Association for Mediation in Ed, 1992
Speaking Engagements / Training
  • Mediators Beyond Borders Training in Transformative Mediation, Rwanda, 2012
  • Mediation and Conflict Management, Seminar for Managers, Santa Barbara County, 2012
  • Conflict Management, Tecolote Corporation, 2012
  • How to Prepare Your Clients for Mediation, MCLE, Santa Barbara Bar Association, 2011
  • Mediation of Probate Cases, Estate Section, Webinar, California Bar Association, 2011
  • Best Preparation for Mediation with High Conflict People, Santa Barbara Bar Association, 2011
  • How to Handle High Conflict People in Litigation, Santa Barbara Bench and Bar Conference, Probate Section, Ventura Bar Association, 2011
  • How to Handle the High Conflict Client in Litigation and Mediation, MCLE, Ventura County Bar Association. 2009, Santa Barbara Bar Association, 2010
  • Advanced Transformative Workplace Mediation Training for Postal Service Mediators, United States Postal Service, REDRESS Program, 1998 - 2002
  • Team Building/Conflict Resolution, College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, 2002
  • Conflict Management, Cox Cable COMTV Staff, 2001-2002
  • Transformative Mediation and Conflict Management Training, University of California, Santa Barbara, Housing and Residential Services, 2001
  • Team Building, Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services, May, 1998
  • Advocacy in Mediation, Santa Barbara County Bar Association, Bench and Bar Conference, 1998
  • Conflict Management in the Workplace, seminar for Non-Profit Support Center of Santa Barbara County, 1997
  • Conflict Management For Human Resource Professionals, seminar for Santa Barbara Human Resource Association, 1997
  • Getting to Yes in the Workplace, Office of the President, University of California, Conflict Management Training Conference, UCLA Conference Center, Lake Arrowhead, October 1997


“I love the challenge of each new mediation and like a detective, I follow my intuition to find the key to settlement — whether that’s bridging the deepest emotions of the parties, focusing on their common interests, or helping them get to the right number.”

Resume / VCARD
T 800.616.1202 x739


Case Manager
Michele T. Pfeiffer