School of Law, Center for Dispute Resolution hold symposium

The event brought people from all over the world.

The MU School of Law and the MU Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution hosted a symposium Friday on the intersection of arbitration and litigation that featured speakers from around the world.

“Arbitration is a private dispute resolution mechanism whereby private individuals decide a dispute and render an award that resolves the issues between the parties,” associate professor of law S.I. Strong said. “In the international realm, arbitration is much better than litigation because the awards are much easier to resolve than court judgments.”

The symposium, titled “Border Skirmishes: The Intersection between Litigation and International Commercial Arbitration,” ran from 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the School of Law building and included eight speakers. Strong said she selected speakers who are experts in some aspect of international commercial arbitration or international litigation.

“My favorite part of this symposium is that we’re bringing together renowned experts to discuss ideas that actually need to be discussed,” law student Mel Myears said. “It’s an awesome experience to have so many brilliant minds in one place.”

The keynote speaker was Gary Born, from London. Born was chosen by his peers as the “World’s Best International Litigator” in a recent survey conducted by Legal Media Group. In his speech, Born gave his opinion on international commercial arbitration and litigation.

Victoria Shannon, who works with the International Chamber of Commerce, said Born’s speech was outstanding.

“I was very impressed by how thoroughly, concisely and clearly he addressed several complex interactions between litigation and arbitration processes in such a short amount of time,” Shannon said. “Gary Born is a leader in the field of international litigation and arbitration, and we were very fortunate to have him speak at the symposium."

Shannon also spoke at the symposium and explained various changes made to the rules of arbitration by her organization. Shannon said it is important to educate law students about arbitration because globalization is leading to an increase in the number of disputes with international aspects.

“Law students need to be prepared to employ a variety of means of resolving disputes that are outside of traditional litigation,” Shannon said. “Arbitration is one of the most widely used alternatives to litigation at this time.”

Strong said MU law students need to learn about arbitration to be able to provide good client service when they’re in practice.

“Even those students who will practice only in the U.S. or in Missouri need to know about international matters,” Strong said, “since the forces of globalization are bringing international disputes to all parts of the US.”

Myears is also Associate-Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Dispute Resolution published by the MU Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution. Myears said the speakers will write articles based on their presentations that will be published in the next issue of the journal in February.

Strong said the symposium created the foundation to build international understanding.

“We had people from all over the world exchanging ideas and building relationships that will last beyond the two-day event,” Strong said. “This will help enrich scholarship in the U.S. and elsewhere and improve the understanding of how arbitration does and should proceed.”

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