Practical Aspects of Global DisputesClass Term:
Spring Term 2020-2021Catalog Number:
2 (0 Contact, 0 Field)Graduation Requirements:
International / Comparative
General Enrollment CourseFull Year Course:
All class assignments will involve a single, intricate and simulated case. Every two weeks, the students will receive a detailed “case development” notice concerning some new facet of the case. After inclass discussion of the relevant legal issues, the students will be divided into teams and tasked with preparing written and oral presentations—it may be a strategy session with a corporate general counsel or foreign attorney general, a pleading to a federal or foreign court, or an arbitration memorial. Students will be graded on their written and oral coursework, with the majority of the grade based on their “stand up” experience before a varied audience.
The focus of the course is on practical skills and strategic considerations that arise in the management and resolution of global disputes. The course will take students through a hypothetical dispute based upon realistic scenarios so that they can master the practical and strategic problems present when a multinational company becomes embroiled in a dispute with a foreign sovereign entity. The lectures will cover all of the substantive and procedural aspects of suing a foreign sovereign or sovereign entity in a U.S. court (like the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act and the Act of State Doctrine). The course will also address the practical considerations of litigating in foreign courts, and the tools available for litigators to coordinate parallel U.S. and foreign litigation (like transnational discovery and antisuit injunctions). It will then explore commercial and treaty-based arbitration against foreign state-owned entities and states themselves, which may be pursued alternatively or in addition to U.S. and foreign litigation. As most disputes are ultimately mediated and settled, the course addresses the different ways by which the parties can reach a negotiated solution. Finally, the course reviews the issues surrounding asset attachment and recognition of judgment and arbitral awards against foreign sovereigns. Illustrating the practical and theoretical interplay among these scenarios, the focus will be on the strategic options presented at various junctures, as well as a focus on advocacy skills required across the domestic, foreign, and arbitral fora.