International Commercial Arbitration Sets Up Shop in California
By Wayne Nitti
Last year, Governor Brown signed a game-changing amendment to the California International Arbitration and Conciliation Act, which now permits non-Californian and foreign attorneys to represent parties in international commercial arbitrations and dispute resolutions within the borders of California. This legislation was welcome news not only for attorneys, but for the thousands of companies doing business in California and abroad. The impact on the business community cannot be overstated:
[C]ompanies . . . now have more leverage when negotiating contracts with foreign firms. . . . They [are] able to insert into those contracts provisions that state any arbitration should happen in California or use the potential for such a provision as leverage in negotiations.
The practice of international commercial arbitration is steadily growing in the state, which has lagged behind other arbitration hubs in the U.S. and abroad, due in part to the perceived judicial bias against non-resident attorneys. In 1998, the Supreme Court of California ruled that out-of-state attorneys could not work on or collect fees for international commercial arbitration within the state, essentially hog-tying companies into spending additional capital arbitrating elsewhere. This amendment was a long-overdue rebuke to that decision and positions California – which now boasts the fifth largest economy in the world after surging past the United Kingdom in 2017 – to become a prominent player in the global ADR arena.
International commercial arbitration differs significantly from consumer, domestic commercial, and employment arbitration. The practice requires a working knowledge of complex rules and procedures. Not only are attorneys required to master this procedural framework, but they must keep abreast of applicable international treaties and conventions. In this complex practice area, Case Anywhere’s customized alternative dispute resolution software simplifies the ADR process.
Streamlining cases from initiation to conclusion, our tailored arbitration hub connects neutrals and case managers with claimant and respondent counsel for secure document sharing and private communication. Our software organizes all documents in easy-to-access file structures, eliminating the need for arbitrators and attorneys to amass and keep track of their own voluminous case files. And our message board can reduce the logistical headaches sometimes associated with arbitration. At the same time, we have implemented a proactive, comprehensive approach to safeguarding our client’s data, access, and privacy. This approach is rooted in national standards and industry accepted best practices and covers all aspects of our business – our Company; our data center partner; and our end user.
This change in California law will eventually provide a financial and professional boon for law firms and other organizations specializing in global arbitration and mediation, making it easier to institute ADR proceedings within the borders of the Golden State. If your practice represents corporations doing business around the globe, contact us to learn more about how our secure technology can simplify your next international arbitration.