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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

International Arbitration Competition (Fall 2019)

  • Course Number: LAW-825
  • Class Number: 03579
  • Instructor: John Garman

Course Description

Co-taught with Professor Sean Galliher; seang@skechers.com

Arbitration has become the preferred method of settling disputes in international business transactions. This is due to the fact that neither party is typically prepared to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of the other party. It is also explained by the fact that commercial arbitration is a speedy and smooth, as well as relatively inexpensive, way of resolving disputes. The general purpose of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of international commercial arbitration, and to prepare a team for participation in an International Arbitration Competition to take place in Hong Kong.

The course will cover some basic aspects of international commercial arbitration including an Introduction and overview, choice of law, the selection of arbitrators and their role, the proceedings before the arbitrators and enforcement and challenge of arbitral awards.  It will include a focus on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as well as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).

A very exciting aspect of this course is to prepare a USC Gould Law School team for participation in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. This is a highly prestigious international moot court competition that is held annually in Vienna, Austria  and Hong Kong.  This moot attracts law school teams from all around the world.  The object of the Vis Arbitral Moot is to foster study in the areas of international commercial and arbitration laws and encourage the resolution of business disputes by arbitration. The problem for the moot is always based on an international sales transaction subjected to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 1980 (also referred to as the United Nations or the Vienna Sales Convention, or CISG) and also involves procedural issues of arbitration. The moot consists of submitting written memoranda prior to the moot on designated dates for both sides of the dispute (Claimant and Respondent) and an oral arguments phase of the moot that are held in Vienna and Hong Kong. Memorandum for Claimant is due in December 2019 and Memorandum for Respondent is due in January 2020.

In order to provide a practical context for consideration of arbitration law and policy, students will work with the problem for the Vis International Arbitration Moot that will become available the first week in October 2019. After reviewing the Vis problem, students will catalogue the major issues presented. Students will work through all of the arbitration procedure issues as a class, using the contributions of each student to build the arguments and analysis for each side in the Vis problem.

This class will be limited to six students. Students desiring to enroll in this course will be required to submit a cover letter and Curriculum Vitae (CV) to Professor John W. Garman by June 30, 2019. Telephone interviews will then be conducted with all applicants for enrollment in this class. The six students selected for this class will be selected based upon their cover letter, CV and the telephone interview.

All selected students will be required to enroll in both the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters.

The USC Gould Law School Vis team for 2019-2020 will be comprised of the six selected students who will participate in the 2020 Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Hong Kong. The law school will provide airfare and hotel expenses for the student team members.

The USC Gould Law School Vis team for 2019-2020 will also participate in the University of San Diego VICAM pre-moot in San Diego, CA in February 2020, the exact date to be determined. The law school will provide hotel expenses for the student team members.

Students will be required to draft a Claimant’s memorandum for the Vis problem that will be due in December 2019 and a Respondent’s memorandum for the Vis problem that will be due in January 2020, the exact dates to be determined. As such, students will be required to work on the Respondent’s memorandum over the winter break between the Fall semester 2019 and the Spring semester 2020.

 

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 2
  • Grading Options: CR/D/F Only
  • Exam: None
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: Yes
  • Participation: Required
  • Enrollment Limitation: 6 students