On Friday, November 22, Fordham Law School will host its 14th annual Conference on International Arbitration and Mediation, “Key Issues in International Commercial and Treaty Arbitration: 2019.” This year, the conference is one of the culminating events of the inaugural New York Arbitration Week, which brings together arbitration advocates and academics from the global community. The conference is organized by Edna Sussman, Fordham’s Distinguished ADR Practitioner in Residence, and Louis B. Kimmelman, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP.
Scheduling the events in the same week has raised awareness and attendance for Fordham’s conference. Kimmelman reports that over 300 attendees have registered—a record high.
Fordham’s Conflict Resolution and ADR Program and Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics co-present the conference, which is a strictly academic affair.
“The conference is not affiliated with any arbitral institution or organization—it is a purely independent conference,” Kimmelman says. That independence gives the organizers freedom to facilitate more engaged and substantive conversations. “We try to identify the most interesting, controversial, and important topics as we see them each year, and we ask speakers to engage in panel discussions on the topics.”
This year’s event will focus on contract interpretation in international disputes, expert witness conferencing (which will be conducted as a mock examination), and economic issues that arise in international arbitration. One of the panels will include leaders from some of the major global arbitral institutions for a discussion of the most current issues in alternative dispute resolution.
Kimmelman is optimistic about the reach of the Fordham conference and its potential for continued growth, especially as the use of arbitration and other ADR practices generally continue to grow internationally. “The conference attracts a very interesting and diverse group of people—practitioners, arbitrators, professors, students,” he remarks. “We’ve always felt good about the fact that we reach a large segment of the arbitration community at all levels of experience.”