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Scholarship Profile: Jonathan Cohen

Published: January 16th, 2001

Category: News

Assistant Professor Jonathan R. Cohen has been at the forefront of exploring the potential of “apology” in legal disputes, both within academia and beyond. His article, “Advising Clients to Apologize,” 72 Southern California Law Review 1009-1069 (1999), received a 1999 CPR Award for Excellence in Dispute Resolution, and initiated national discussion on this subject. Citing Professor Cohen’s research, California passed an “Apology Bill” last summer excluding apologetic expressions of sympathy from admissibility as evidence. Several other states, including Florida, now are considering similar measures. Cohen is widely quoted in the general and legal press for his views, and has authored such articles as: “Apology and Organizations: Exploring an Example from Medical Practice,” 27 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1447-1482 (2000); “Apologizing for Errors: Ethical Corporate Conduct Can Also Be Good for Business,” Dispute Resolution Magazine (Summer 2000), “Encouraging Apology Improves Lawyering and Dispute Resolution,” Alternatives to the High Costs of Litigation (October 2000). Since arriving at UF, Cohen has also written articles on legal semiotics, negotiation ethics and human cloning. Most of his teaching focuses on negotiation and dispute resolution, and this spring he is offering a new seminar on “Reconciliation.” Before coming to the law school, Cohen clerked for Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, worked in private law practice, and studied and taught negotiation and dispute resolution as a Hewlett Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation. He received his A.B., J.D., and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard.

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