Category Archives: Arbitration Law

Annals of Consumer Law (Contracts of Adhesion Dept.)

After twenty or so years of reliable service the old fridge had started taking days off. We were not sympathetic.  The outages came without warning, and they did the food no favors. So out with the old and in with the new.

This morning, indeed about 45 minutes prior to the four-hour envelope in yesterday’s email, the delivery truck from Home Depot came bearing a shiny new fridge. They detached the rusty old fridge from its plumbing, carted it away, and attached the new one via the $17.98 “12′ Upgraded Braided Water Line ” which was a consequence of ticking the box asking for installation. Ten minutes after arrival, they and the old fridge were gone, leaving a warning to give the new machine several hours to cool, and even longer to start making ice.

It was not until this afternoon that we noticed that along with a users’ manual they had left this:

"By using ... you agree ... biding arbitration."I would be far more annoyed had stuff like this not been the hypo I gave my students years ago when teaching about so-called ‘clickwrap’ contract terms.  Now I try to be amused.

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Miami Law’s World-Class International Arbitration Law Program

I don’t think many people yet grasp just how good the University of Miami’s international arbitration law program is, both at the JD and LL.M level.

Consider that the lead international arbitration professor on our faculty, Jan Paulsson, was just rated the #2 international arbitrator in the world based on a peer reputation survey.

And if that wasn’t enough, the #1 international arbitrator in the world in that same survey, Albert Jan van den Berg, visits here every year as a regular Visiting International Professor. And the other regular and visiting professors in the program are quite eminent too.

Read more puffing here.

Admittedly, international arbitration is a relatively small field, which it can be tough to break in to. But it is growing. And we’re really, really good at it.

Posted in Arbitration Law, Law School | 2 Comments

Jan Paulsson Event This Afternoon

We're doing a big bash at 4:30pm this afternoon in the Lowe Art museum to celebrate Prof. Jan Paulsson's taking up of the Michael Klein chair. Jan is going to give a lecture on “Moral Hazard and Dispute Resolution” and then there will be a nice reception.

As one of the people who helped set up the Arbitration Center, and an active participant in recruiting Jan — who is a tremendous asset to the law school — I'm happy about this.

jpaulsson2.JPGThe University of Miami School of Law will host a celebration in honor of the appointment of Jan Paulsson as the Michael Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair. Paulsson, who joined the law school in the academic year 2009-10, is head of the public international law and international arbitration groups at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and has had his professional base in Paris for 30 years. He is currently the President of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal and the London Court of International Arbitration, and he was recently elected president of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) and vice president of the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration.

The event will take place Thursday, April 29, 2010, at the UM Lowe Art Museum. A dedication ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m. with a lecture followed by a reception.

In his post, Paulsson heads a newly established concentration in international arbitration at the University of Miami School of Law.

“Jan Paulsson is one of the world’s leading international arbitrators, and having him at Miami reflects our commitment to being the preeminent academic center for the subject,” said Dean Patricia D. White.

Paulsson has served as arbitrator in over 500 arbitrations in Europe, Asia, the United States and Africa. He has also appeared before a great variety of international tribunals, including the International Court of Justice and the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Paulsson holds an A.B. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Diplome d’études superieures spécialisées from the University of Paris. His recent books include Denial of Justice in International Arbitration, published by Cambridge University Press, and The Idea of Arbitration, to be published by Oxford University Press.

Michael R. Klein, JD ’66, established the Michael Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair in 2005. He is Chairman of the Board of CoStar Group, Inc., a public company he co-founded that provides 24/7 internet access to information about 70 billion square feet of commercial, retail, industrial and multi-family structures. Klein, who is involved in a wide array of organizations and activities, serves on the School of Law’s Visiting Committee and is a former trustee of the university. He was named as the first Alumnus in Residence by the UM Alumni Association and has been honored as the Distinguished Alumni Lecturer.

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Jan Paulsson to Join UM Law Faculty

Jan PaulssonI’m very pleased to announce a major appointment by the our law school: starting next year, international arbitration scholar and arbitrator extraordinaire (and repeat University of Miami Visiting Professor) Jan Paulsson, will join our faculty as the first holder of the new Michael Klein Chair in Law.

This is a big deal for us in several ways.

First, Jan is globalization personified: born a Swedish national, he grew up in Africa but attended high school in California, eventually wound up at Yale Law School. He has worked primarily in Paris, most recently as the head of the Paris-based arbitration practice of one of London’s (and Europe’s) leading law firms, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. He has extensive contacts and experience in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean (and for all I know the rest of the world too).

Second, Jan is arguably the leading arbitration advocate, and arbitrator, of his generation although Jan himself would be far too modest to claim any such thing. Multi-lingual, he is also an incredible multi-tasker, holding or having held many of the key jobs in the international arbitration world, including the Presidency of the London Court of International Arbitration and the World Bank Administrative Tribunal while moonlighting every few years as an on-the-spot arbitrator for the Olympic Games (someone has to be on tap to decide doping challenges). He has also written very extensively in the field, authoring two scholarly books and a slew of articles, as well as editing or contributing to the major practitioner works in his field. Indeed, I'm told that when he joins us Jan will be the most-cited member of the faculty.

Third, he’s coming to Miami to head up a new institute that will focus on international arbitration, with a particular focus on Latin America. I will have more to say about this in the future, but I think there's every reason to believe that under his leadership we should be able to build something world-class.

International arbitration is something of a poor stepchild in the US academy – we in the US are neither the primary users of it nor do we supply a particularly large share of the leading advocates (at least in private law), arbitrators, or scholars – although we do have a few domestic stars. But my sense is that US legal academics in particular do not have a visceral sense of the extent to which arbitration has come to play an essential role in the settlement of international commercial and financial disputes. (This may be because we have a reasonably functional domestic legal system or because historically so much of our trade was domestic.)

At UM we already have a healthy international arbitration curriculum, but bringing Jan Paulsson to Miami as the head of a new center will put us in the first rank of the US institutions focused on this increasingly important area of transnational law. Starting next year we will be offering an LL.M. concentration in arbitration as part of our comparative and international LL.M programs.

But to top it all, it turns out that Jan Paulsson is a very nice person – so when I say it's going to be a pleasure to have him on our faculty, that's no formality.

Formality can, however, be found below, where I quote the official announcement being issued by the law school today.

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Posted in Arbitration Law, Law School, U.Miami | 4 Comments

ICDR Miami

I'm at the ICDR's 6th Annual Miami International Arbitration Conference today, so I won't post much if anything.

One big change from when I was in practice: much more talk, and even a significant number of rules, about ethics. Other than that, lots of little changes….

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Notes on EU Center Arbitration Seminar

I attended a seminar downtown today on “European Union Law and U.S. Business: Front Line Issues of International Dispute Resolution” sponsored by the UM EU Center (with help from the UM law school), and Greenberg, Traurig.

It was an unusually high-quality event, but as arbitration law is something of a specialist taste, you’ll have to click “there’s more” to read my notes from it. (Unless of course you get the full feed, or followed a link to this post, in which case you get to enjoy the whole thing right now.) I’m interested in this stuff because back when I was in private practice, I worked in the London office of US law firm doing international arbitration, and have very occasionally since then acted as an arbitrator.

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