By: Nora Boujida | Staff Member
On November 4, 2016, I attended a Continuing Legal Education panel entitled “Demystifying International Commercial Arbitration: Cross-Border Dispute Resolution” that took place at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association 2016 Convention in San Diego, California. The esteemed panel included three impressive individuals: Cedric Chao, Grant Kim, and Dorothy Siron. Mr. Chao is the head of DLA Piper’s International Arbitration Practice, a United States member of the ICC Arbitration Commission, and a Director of the American Arbitration Association. Mr. Kim is Of Counsel at Morrison Foerster, where he practices international arbitration, commercial litigation, and intellectual property litigation. Ms. Siron heads the litigation and dispute resolution practice in Hong Kong at Zhong Lun Law Firm.
The central purpose of this panel was to inform the audience about the importance of international commercial arbitration (“ICA”) and its distinction from domestic arbitration. Attending this panel was a great learning experience. The panelists began by discussing the emergence of commercial arbitration, crediting European civil law as the origin. The panelists then informed audience members that ICA is more akin to a hybrid and mixture of legal traditions. Specifically, each panelist stressed the importance of ICA: many companies with a global presence need to problem-solve or close deals with foreign nations. The panelists were in agreement that due to the world’s increasing globalization, cross-border interactions are blowing up and, thus, making ICA more and more important. Upon attending the panel event, I had no exposure to ICA. One interesting fact I learned about ICA is that there is no right of appeal. Thus, participants must beware – if an arbitrator does not like you, you are stuck. By the end of the panel, I received a basic understanding of the importance of ICA, a subsidiary field of law under the umbrella of commercial law. In sum, I particularly found this panel to be useful because I aspire to practice corporate law upon graduation. I look forward to applying what I have learned from this panel to my future career. More information on this panel can be found at NAPABA.org.