Robert Wrede, Esq.


ADR Experience/Training/Certifications

Mediator, settlement officer, early neutral evaluator and/or arbitrator in over 400 civil cases for the Los Angeles Superior Court and the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Adjunct Professor of Law: Pepperdine Law School and Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Representation of clients in numerous court-ordered and voluntary arbitrations and mediations, under the auspices of the:

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

  • Heckler & Koch v. Olin Corporation [breach of international munitions contract]

American Arbitration Association (AAA)

  • Kurinij v. Bear Stearns [finder’s fee]; Pace Healthcare Consultants v. Actuarial Sciences and AT&T [unfair business practices]; the Screen Actors’ Guild James Brolin v. LocoMotion Productions [breach of talent contract]; grievance proceedings pursuant to collective bargaining agreements ILWU adv Bird & Son of Massachusetts [work rules, wage and hour]; Machinists Union adv Greyhound (wrongful discharge), Elaine Kaptein v. County of Los Angeles, the University of Southern California and S. Massry [sexual harassment and discrimination]

Numerous ad hoc arbitrations pursuant to the Federal Hawai’i and California Arbitration Acts

  • Attorney General of Hawai’i v. Trustees of the Bishop Estate [removal and surcharge claims against sitting trustees]; Garey v. Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co. [life insurance coverage-suicide exclusion]; Activision v. Philips Interactive Media [copyright infringement]; Rotbart v. Feliciano and Hollman v. Feliciano [Estate of Larry Hillblom]; In the Matter of Washington Medical Center [construction defects and delay claims].

Areas of Expertise

  • Business/Contracts
  • Employment
  • Insurance
  • Probate
  • Construction Defect
  • Entertainment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Environmental/Toxic Torts
  • Antitrust
  • Securities


  • Straus Institute Seminars: Strategic Negotiation Skills Seminar, June 19-21 2008; Negotiating, Mediating, and Managing Conflict: Evolution in a Global Society, April 2008; The Conflict Management Culture and the Technology-Driven Company, Santa Clara, September 2004
  • State Bar of California, International Law Section: Seminar: Debates on Key Issues in International Arbitration, Winter 2006
  • Los Angeles Superior Court, Early Neutral Evaluation Pilot Program Seminar: Los Angeles, May 2006
  • International Chamber of Commerce, Court of Arbitration: Conference: ICC International Commercial Dispute Resolution: Flexible Solutions for an Evolving World, September 2005
  • Dispute Prevention & Resolution, Inc., Advanced Mediation Training: Honolulu, April 2005
  • Mediation Externship: Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, London (CEDR): Comparative Analysis of UK and US Mediation Styles, Spring 2005
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California Settlement Officers Advanced Mediation Strategies Seminar: Los Angeles, March 2005 and May 13-14 2008
  • National Association of Securities Dealers Arbitration Panel Training: San Francisco, April 2005
  • Mediation Externship: Los Angeles Superior Court Civil Mediations and Civil Harassment Mediation Pilot Project, 2004-2006
  • Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Labor Arbitrator’s Certification Training: Seattle, November 2004

Professional Experience

  • October 1999 – November 2010 Of Counsel, Russ August & Kabat
    • A Los Angeles firm specializing in complex commercial litigation, business transactions, and the protection and exploitation of intellectual property. Employments have included the successful resolution of litigation by the Hawai’i Attorney General to remove and surcharge trustees of the Estate of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop (the Bishop Estate/Kamehameha Schools litigation) defense of extended arbitration proceedings arising from the death of, and paternity claims against, the estate of Larry Hillblom (the founder of DHL) and the defense of multi-party, multi- jurisdiction class action litigation challenging recruiting and employment practices in the garment industry in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianna Islands (Saipan).
  • January 1997 – September 1999 Of Counsel, Parker Milliken Clark O’Hara & Samuelian
    • Specializing in complex commercial litigation and arbitration. Pace Healthcare Management v. ASA (breach of joint venture agreement, trade secrets theft); Richie’s Electronic Supply v. ITC Electronics (antitrust); Extradition of Blaxland (extradition for alleged violation of Australian securities law); Kulperger v. Pacific Innovations (sexual harassment); Kaptein v. Los Angeles County, University of Southern California and Dr. Shaul Massry (sexual harassment, constructive discharge).
  • January 1988 – December 1996 Of Counsel, Lewis D’Amato Brisbois & Bisgaard
    • A 220 lawyer firm with offices throughout California specializing in a broad range of litigation, including the successful defense and prosecution of several professional negligence cases (HOH v. Lyon & Lyon; Self-Cleaning Environments v. Christie, Parker & Hale; Flores v. Marvin Mitchelson); a precedent-setting toxic tort case (Home Federal Savings Bank v. Rossmoor Corp., et al.); a major antitrust and unfair competition case (Pennsylvania Life Insurance Co. v. Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co.); and the successful prosecution of several cases involving enforcement of finder’s fee contracts (Kurinij v. Bear Stearns), antitrust and patent/trademark infringement (Phrobis v. Buck Knives), and trade secret misappropriation (Spectra Star v. ERO, Inc.). Commercial litigation engagements also included successful arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration involving allegedly defective ammunition provided to the United Arab Emirates by Swiss munitions broker Heckler & Koch, S.A., and federal litigation involving foreign sales of U.S. defense equipment by General Dynamics and Dr. Shaul Massry (sexual harassment, constructive discharge).
  • May 1984 – December 1987 Senior Partner, Finley Kumble Wagner Heine Unterberg Manley Meyerson & Casey
    • General commercial litigation including entertainment: Lynn Redgrave v. Universal Studios (“Housecalls”); Steenbergen v. MGM (“The Natural”); Saul Zaentz v. Polygram Records (“Amadeus”); Bob Evans (“Cotton Club”, “Two Jacks”); securities (Universal Savings Bank v. Unity); banking (In re Conservatorship of Universal Savings Bank; Baadi v. Imperial Savings Bank); construction defects; regulatory and administrative proceedings (California Energy Commission v. Bonneville Power Administration); and hostile acquisition litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery (Garrett and Stater Bros. v. Brown). Member – Finley, Kumble litigation committee.
  • June 1969 – April 1984 Partner, McCutchen Black Verleger & Shea
    • A prominent Los Angeles law firm specializing in complex litigation and business transactions. Major engagements included antitrust (Purex v. Procter & Gamble and Clorox), products liability (McDaniel v. Porsche; Barkan & Upjohn), entertainment law (Marlon Brando v. Salkind (“Superman”); Marlon Brando v. Zoetrope Studios (“Apocalypse Now”), insurance coverage (Garey v. Connecticut Mutual); defended NFL in 1973 Superbowl “blackout” litigation; also, admiralty, and environmental litigation (Santa Barbara Oil Spill; McColl dump site; asbestos litigation; and NPDES Guidelines litigation against the EPA on behalf of the petroleum industry. Clients: American Petroleum Institute, Ford, U.S. Gypsum, RSR Corp.); and extensive regulatory and other administrative proceedings (Los Angeles Air Pollution Control District, California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, California Water Resources Board,
      Alaska Department of Environmental Affairs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Energy Resources Commission, Federal Trade Commission) on behalf of trade associations (American Petroleum Institute, Western Oil & Gas Association, American Hot Dip Galvanizers, Association of Urethane Manufacturers) and individual clients (Ford, Union Oil, Alyeska Pipeline, Mobile, Exxon, Arcata Graphics, Continental Can).


  • California Bar Association
  • International Law Section
  • American Bar Association
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • International Student Center at UCLA: Board Member, 1973-present; President, 1979-1986
  • Jonathan Club: Member, 1969-present; Board of Directors, 1985-1988
  • Military Women in Need: Advisory Board, 2006-2008
  • Los Angeles Heart & Lung Foundation: Trustee, 1989-present; Grants Committee, 2000-present
  • Valley Forge Military Academy: Trustee, 2005-2007; Board of Visitors, 1999-2001, 2005
  • Cambodian Children’s Fund: Sponsor, 2007-present
  • Recipient, Los Angeles Superior Court award to Court mediators, arbitrators and evaluators for “Outstanding Volunteer Contributions 2006.”
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: CV – Peer ranking “at the highest level of professional excellence” for lawyers admitted for 10 years or more.
  • Pepperdine School of Law, 2008. Recipient of the McKibbon Award for Teaching Excellence.


Lecture member at seminars conducted by the Practicing Law Institute and CEEB continuing education audio-visual programs regarding developments in environmental law.

Representative Publications:

  • Natural Resources Lawyer
  • American Petroleum Institute Manual on Compliance with Coastal Zone Management Act
  • California Law of Unfair Competition, Unfair Competition Committee of the ABA Antitrust Section
  • “Honolulu: Geneva of the Pacific?” Mealey’s International Arbitration Reports, November 2006
  • Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Journal, vol. 2, p. 189, 2007
  • “What HR Professionals Should Know About Alternative Dispute Resolution,” Society for Human Resources Managers, Hawaii Chapter Newsletter, July 2006
  • “Communication and Conflict: Managing Verbal Aggression in Mediation,”, April 2003.


  • Pepperdine School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Fellow (2001-2002), LL.M (2006)
  • Cornell Law School, J.D. (1969)
  • Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, B.A. (1961)
  • Valley Forge Military Academy, Valedictorian (1957)


  • State of California (1970)
  • United States Supreme Court (1983); the Fifth (1983), Eight (1995), and Ninth (1972)
  • Circuit United States Courts of Appeal; the United States District Courts for the Central (1970), Southern (1989) and Northern (1973) Districts of California.
  • Pro hac vice admissions in the Eastern District of Missouri (1994), the Eastern District of New York (1987), the District of the Northern Marianna Islands (1999), the Delaware Court of Chancery (1986), the Hawaii Family and Probate Courts (1996, 1999), and the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama (2001).

Academic Engagements

  • UCLA Graduate School of Management MBA, Executive MBA, and Executive Seminar programs.
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Pepperdine Law School, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, and Seaver College.
  • Business Law Instructor, University of Phoenix MBA Program (Legal and Regulatory Environment of Business; Legal Issues in the Workplace [Employment and Labor Law], Risk Management.
  • Guest Lecturer, Hawaii International Dispute Resolution Group (International Commercial Dispute Resolution Lecture).
  • Guest Lecturer, Berger International Legal Studies Program, Cornell University Law School, 2006, 2007.

Military Service

  • Captain, United States Army Artillery (Ret.)
  • 82nd Airborne Division (1964-66)
  • 98th Training Division (Reserve)
  • 12th Special Forces (Reserve)

Representative Cases