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Charles Kotuby

Professor Ronald Brand has published the second edition of his book, International Business Transactions Fundamentals, with Kluwer Law International. It is designed primarily for use in a course on International Business Transactions, but is suitable as a desk reference on important basic issues raised on cross-border contractual relationships. Unlike some International Business Transactions casebooks which focus on WTO-related aspects of international trade regulation, this book draws extensively on private international law and the ways in which it can be used to structure cross-border commercial transactions. Coverage includes basic commercial law issues including price-delivery terms and letter of credit financing, dispute resolution issues and how to avoid them by proper planning at the transaction stage, the legal framework for import and export regulations planning, contracting with foreign sovereigns, compliance with anti-corruption legislation, legal relationships created by foreign investment, antitrust regulation and compliance, and a chapter on professional responsibility and the unique legal representation issues raised in cross-border transactions.

On March 22-23, 2019, the Center for International Legal Education (CILE) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law will host an international conference on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”). The conference is entitled “The CISG at Middle Age.” It will be held in the Teplitz Memorial Courtroom of the Barco Law Building.

The Accelerated Route to Fellowship Program is a designed for senior practitioners in the field of dispute resolution procedures. Fellowship is the highest grade of Institute membership and allows the use of the designation FCIArb.The program focuses on applicable laws and procedures for the conduct of efficient arbitration hearings in complex international cases. Satisfactory assessment of performance in role play exercises will permit the candidate to take the award writing examination for qualification as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, which will be administered as part of the program.

Registration and other details are available here.



Professor Ronald Brand has recently posted a paper titled “Recognition of Foreign Judgments in China: The Liu Case and the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative.” The posting includes an English translation of the first Chinese case to recognize and enforce a U.S. judgment, prepared by Yuting Xu. The combined paper and case translation are available here.

Pitt Law’s CILE will once more be co-sponsoring the Summer School in Transnational Commercial Agreements, Litigation, and Arbitration in Vicenza, Italy, beginning June 4 and ending June 8, 2018.

All classes will be in English, and as in prior years we expect to have the School approved for up to 24 hours of Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education credit (22 substantive and 2 ethics). The instructors include Isabella Bdoian (Whirpool Corp.- EMEA), Massimo Benedettelli (Univ. of Bari), Ronald A. Brand (Univ. of Pittsburgh), Serena Corongiu (Lawyer, Representative, AIGA and AIJA), Francesco Cortesi (Judge, Italian Supreme Court), Charles De Monaco (Fox Rothschild, Italy-America Chamber of Commerce), Aldo Frignani (Univ. of Turin), Chiara Giovannucci Orlandi (Univ. of Bologna), Paul Herrup (Department of Justice, USA), David Hickton (Univ. of Pittsburgh), Federica Iovene (Public Prosecutor, Court of Bolzano) Luigi Pavanello (PLLC, ABA International Law Commission), Fausto Pocar (Univ. of Milan, Judge at the International Court of Justice), Francesca Ragno (Univ. of Verona), Dawne Sepanski Hickton (Former CEO, RTI International Metals), Marco Torsello (Univ. of Verona), Matteo Winkler (Univ. HEC Paris).

The 1965 Hague Convention on Service of Process is one of the cornerstone treaties for international litigation. It provides a simple and effective process to provide due notice of a proceeding in one signatory state to a party in another, via a designated Central Authority in each signatory state. Nevertheless, one provision has vexed U.S. courts for decades. Article 10 provides that, notwithstanding the Central Authority procedures, and “[p]rovided the State of destination does not object, the present Convention shall not interfere with. . . the freedom to send judicial documents, by postal channels, directly to persons abroad.” By virtue of the fact that the provision says “send” and not the magic word “serve,” U.S. Courts have long disagreed over whether the Convention’s procedures preclude international service of process by mail.

Investment treaty claims arising out of judicial conduct—whether based on annulment of a contract for corruption or other irregularity or a fundamental jurisprudential shift—have been on the rise. To a foreign investor affected by such judicial measures, it is not always clear, however, what judicial measures can be subject to a claim under investment treaty law; which theory of liability is appropriate for a state’s liability arising out of judiciary’s conduct (or omissions); and which policy issues these different theories of liability raise.
This TDM special, thus, will be a unique, timely, and significant contribution to the current debate on investment treaty claims arising out of judicial measures. The special will explore the legal dimensions of judicial measures and potential theories for a state’s liability under investment treaty law, as well as the appropriate remedy for illegal judicial measures.

Last week, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne International, deciding the pleading threshold a party must establish for the purposes of the ‘expropriation exception’ under § 1605(a)(3) of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).

We’ve reported on the case already here and here, and at this stage, there is little more that can be said about the decision that has not already been reported by Amy Howe at SCOTUSBlog and Ted Folkman and Ira Ryk-Lakhman at Letters Blogatory.

Professor Donald Earl Childress III of Pepperdine University School of Law has just released on SSRN an article that will soon appear in the Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law. It is a contribution to a symposium on internationalizing the new Conflicts Restatement, and examines the impact that transnational cases have had on judicial decisions in the United States, and how the resolution of these cases by U.S. courts may be helpful to the drafters of the new Conflicts Restatement. It begins with the observation that recent transnational cases, regardless of whether they are treated separately by the new Conflicts Restatement, offer important insights into the current and evolving conflict-of-laws process in the United States. These cases also offer insight into the ways in which the new Conflicts Restatement’s focus on scope and priority should be developed. Part I explores how the presumption against extraterritoriality relates to the new Conflicts Restatement’s concern with scope and priority. Part II considers whether the new Conflicts Restatement should consider larger, regulatory conflicts in the transnational arena, and, if so, how to deal with them, especially in the context of the priority question. This contribution concludes with some points for further study that should be examined by the new Conflicts Restatement.