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International Law

Mar. 3, 2023

California International Arbitration Week – A hot ticket, high value, and free

See more on California International Arbitration Week – A hot ticket, high value, and free

CIAW is set to take place March 13-17, with nearly all of the events in Downtown Los Angeles (and the events can also be watched online).

Giorgio Sassine

Associate, Musick, Peeler & Garrett

California is becoming one of the leading seats for international commercial arbitration, which is the preferred method of resolving international business disputes. As globalization pushes California's goods and services to every corner of the globe, lawyers and businesses in California need to understand the benefits of international arbitration. Making California competitive with other major jurisdictions (such as New York, Paris, Singapore, and London) as the seat for an international arbitration is important to California's economy and helps increase California's international trade, including its export markets. Efforts to promote California as the seat of international arbitrations continue to gain strength.

To that end, the California Lawyers Association (CLA), in collaboration with California Arbitration, Inc. (CalArb), is holding its Second Annual week-long conference dedicated to international arbitration in California, aptly titled "California International Arbitration Week" (CIAW). CalArb is a non-profit organization recently formed by leading California international arbitration practitioners to be a voice for international arbitration in California.

CIAW is set to take place March 13-17, with nearly all of the events in Downtown Los Angeles (and the events can also be watched online). CIAW is free to attend and offers more than 24 hours of MCLE credits, including 1.25 hours of legal ethics, 1.25 hours of elimination of bias, and 1.25 hours of competence issues. While the inaugural 2022 CIAW had more than 1,250 registrants from 80 different countries (a staggering figure for an inaugural conference), the Second Annual CIAW is sure to be even more successful.

Other columns in the Daily Journal this week between Feb. 27 - March 3 have described individual sessions and events of CIAW. But the full richness and educational opportunity of CIAW may best be appreciated by a fuller description of the scope of the conference.

On Monday, March 13, CIAW will begin with a keynote speech from California's Lieutenant Governor, Eleni Kounalakis, who was recently designated as Gov. Gavin Newsom's top representative to advance California's economic interests abroad. This first day of discussions will include a panel of prominent female attorneys from California, who will be exploring the current trends in diversity statistics that reflect the rising role of women in arbitration. The day will also include panel discussions related to innovations in Latin American international arbitrations, renewable energy and international arbitration's role in aiding energy transition, and arbitrating international patent disputes. These events are must-sees, as they will tackle some of the leading legal issues as California moves to an entirely renewable energy grid, the importance of understanding the legal and cultural differences in arbitrating disputes with Latin American companies, and the pros and cons of arbitrating high-stakes international patent disputes. The Monday sessions will be at both the JAMS offices at 555 South 5th Street and at the AON Building, with a networking reception hosted by the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB) International and LimNexus LLP.

On Tuesday, March 14, the law firms of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP and Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP will host the American Arbitration Association's International Centre of Dispute Resolution branch (AAA-ICDR) for an entire day of events at the Bank of America Plaza Auditorium. The day will include panel discussions tailored to receiving California's newest CLE requirements, and will include a debate on ethics, inclusion, mental health, elimination of bias, competence and other hot-topic issues in international arbitration. These debates will be embedded into discussions related to controversial international arbitration topics, such as arbitrability, third-party funding, award publication, arbitrator disclosures, institutional vs. ad hoc proceedings, and tribunal-appointed experts. The day will also feature a discussion from some of California's leading corporate counsel, including from Fluor, Pattern Energy, Chevron, and Shinko Electric, who will analyze dispute resolution in key industries in California and abroad.

On Wednesday, March 15, the law firms of White & Case LLP and King & Spalding LLP will open their doors to many more high-profile and interesting discussions. Starting at 9:00 a.m., the first panel discussion will be on Ukraine and reparations, and the panel will include Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi, who is as Advisor to the Office of the President of Ukraine and is a member of the President's working group on development of an international reparations mechanism for Ukraine. The panel will address the United Nations' General Assembly's recent passage of an historic resolution calling for Russia to pay war reparations to Ukraine and establishing an international mechanism to compensate Ukrainians for their damages, as well as a register to document evidence and claims. The day will also feature talks on the future of international arbitration in California, best practices for drafting dispute resolution clauses in technology-related contracts, innovative strategies for effective oral advocacy in arbitration, opportunities and new trends in the U.S. to Asia-Pacific practice, and a thought-provoking discussion on how to resolve cross-border Web 3.0 disputes. The day will end with a networking reception at King & Spalding LLP.

Thursday, March 16, will feature the Seventh Annual University of Southern California-JAMS Symposium, which this year is being done in partnership with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and will be at USC Gould School of Law Musick Law Building at University Park campus. The day will begin with a keynote speech from Allen & Overy's Co-Head of India's Practice Group, who will provide an analysis of anti-suit injunctions and how courts and tribunals have dealt with some of the thorny issues related to them. The Symposium's panel discussions will then include one of the hottest issues in international arbitration - subpoenas and third-party evidence and how recent Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court decisions have affected them. The day will also feature further thought-provoking discussions from AECOM, Boeing, Viasat, and Taro Ishida International corporate counsel and another panel related to disputes in the life sciences. The Symposium will also include a networking reception at USC.

On the final day of CIAW, the law firms of Squire Patton Boggs and Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP will host discussions on the importance of having arbitration-savvy corporate counsel, rethinking document disclosure in international arbitration, and overcoming resistance to innovation in international arbitration. The day of events will also feature a young practitioner joint program on the present and future realities of technology-related disputes, and will include a discussion addressing three main issues: (1) the kinds of problems faced by tech companies, which may give rise to potential disputes; (2) the perceived preference of tech companies for litigation, as opposed to arbitration, and arbitration's potential advantages, including enhanced confidentiality and more limited discovery; and (3) the increasing use by tech companies of investment treaty arbitration to address issues related to market access and data protection.

To view the entire week long CIAW agenda and to register, at no cost, search for "California International Arbitration Week" in any search engine or go to: ​ You can attend either in person in Los Angeles or virtually.

In addition, before the week of CIAW, the Daily Journal is holding a Webinar, California International Arbitration: Coming of Age, on March 8 at noon, to expand your knowledge of an area which should be known by all California practitioners. You can register for the Webinar by searching for or at


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