The International Law Review hosted its annual symposium on February 10, 2012, with the topic of the day being the United States’ Impact on International Commercial Arbitration. Centered around controversial topics in International Arbitration, the event saw keynote addresses from Professor Margaret Moses of Loyola University Chicago, Lawrence Shaner of Jenner & Block, and Dean Philip McConnaughay of the Pennsylvania State University Dickenson School of Law. Professor Moses’ scholarly address discussed ethical issues facing international commercial arbitration and the profession in general. Next, Mr. Shaner’s keynote focused on other ethical issues that he sees from a practitioner perspective, particularly the independence of party chosen arbitrators. Dean McConnaughay’s lunch keynote primarily discussed the question of whether antitrust disputes should be fair game for international commercial arbitration, or whether antitrust should remain in national courts for adjudication.
Joining the keynote speakers were panelists from both academia and practice. Professor Ron Brand of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Professor Amy Schmitz from the University of Colorado School of Law, and Hugh Stevenson from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission discussed the positive aspects and potential drawbacks of the movement towards online dispute resolution in the international sphere. The afternoon panel consisted of Peter Ashford from Cripps Harries Hall LLP, a London law firm, Virginie Colaiuta of Pinsent Masons LLP, also in London, David Haigh of Burnet, Duckworth, & Palmer LLP in Calgary, Alberta, and Pedro Martinez-Fraga of DLA Piper out of Miami. That panel had a spirited debate, moderated by Teresa Frisbie, Director of the Dispute Resolution Program, regarding the impact and future of U.S. style discovery methods in international commercial arbitration, and whether the development of expanding discovery would be either a positive or negative as international commercial arbitration gains traction around the world.