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Fall 2012
5221 International Commercial Arbitration - SHEPPARD- 12636

Professor(s): Ben Sheppard (DIRECTOR/SUPERVISOR )

Credits: 2

Course Areas: International Law 
Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Time: 4:00p-6:00p  MLocation: 111  TU2

Course Outline: Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest. For international commercial transactions, international arbitration is the worst form of dispute resolution, except for all the rest. Supported by an international treaty signed by more than 140 nations, international arbitration has become the prevailing method of resolving international commercial disputes. And international transactions have become increasingly common in the global economy,the daily volume of international trade today across national borders exceeds the total volume of international trade through the end of the nineteenth century!

This is a comprehensive course covering all stages of the international arbitral process, from the drafting of the arbitration clause to the enforcement of the arbitral award. It should be of value both to students who plan to develop a transactional practice as well as those planning to become trial lawyers.

This will be a highly interactive course. In addition to relevant written material, the course will also feature videotaped scenes from mock arbitrations that the Institute for Transnational Arbitration generated at its Annual Arbitration Workshops. Consisting of mock scenarios, and performed by some of the world's leading international arbitrators and counsel, the videotapes vividly demonstrate the major phases of an international arbitration. Students will be assigned roles as counsel and as arbitrators and will either argue (in the case of counsel) or deliberate (in the case of arbitrators) various issues presented in the hypothetical scenarios.

The course will begin with preliminary considerations bearing on the selection of the international arbitral process. The course will then address the five stages of the international arbitral process:

Stage I. The making and enforcement of the arbitration agreement.

Stage II. The selection and appointment of the arbitral tribunal.

Stage III. Preliminary proceedings, including procedural orders and interim relief.

Stage IV. The evidentiary hearing on the merits.

Stage V. The making and enforcement of the arbitral award.


Ben H. Sheppard, Jr. is a Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center. Prior to his retirement, he was a partner at Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. in Houston, where he practiced from 1969-2005, and was co-chair of the firm's international dispute resolution practice.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus (pdf)

Course Notes:   

Prerequisites:  

First Day Assignments:
1. Coe, Chapter 1, Section 1.8

2. Coe, Chapter 2.

3. Coe, Chapter 3, Sections 3.1-3.8

4. Ben H. Sheppard, Jr., “Commercial Arbitration: An Overview of the Preliminary Stages of the Arbitral Process,” (hereafter, “An Overview”) Tab 12 of supplemental materials notebook, Section I.

5. The Xanadu Mock Scenario.

Final Exam Schedule: 12/17 6-8pm  111 TU2  117 TU2  

This course will have:
Exam:
Paper:

Satisfies Skills Course Requirement: No
Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement: No