15th Annual Conference on Arbitration and Mediation Focuses on International Commerce


On November 20, Fordham Law School’s Conflict Resolution and ADR Program and the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics will welcome participants to its 15th annual conference on international arbitration and mediation (CIAM). The daylong conference is the final event of this year’s New York Arbitration Week, which, due to the pandemic, is taking place entirely online. 

In addition to the virtual format, the organizers have made some tweaks to the annual conference, trimming the event to two engaging panels and one keynote address. Professor George A. Bermann, Gellhorn Professor of Law and Jean Monnet Professor in European Union Law at Columbia Law School, will give the keynote, in which he will discuss international arbitration and EU law.

Conference co-chairs Edna Sussman and Benno Kimmelman

In lieu of a typical discussion, the second panel will take the form of a mock Supreme Court argument that will examine the role of 28 U.S.C. § 1782 in international commercial arbitration. The statute permits courts to order discovery “for use in a proceeding in a foreign or international tribunal,” but different federal circuits have disagreed on its applicability in private commercial arbitration.

The stellar panel of judges for the mock trial includes Paul D. Clement, partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and former Solicitor General of the United States; Nicole A. Saharsky, partner at Mayer Brown LLP and former assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States; and Fordham Law Associate Professor Pamela Bookman. 

Benno Kimmelman, partner at Sidley Austin LLP, has co-chaired CIAM together with Edna Sussman, Fordham Law’s distinguished ADR practitioner in residence, for the past four years. He estimated that well over 300 attendees from around the globe were registered for each of the program segments. Participants range from students, law professors, and arbitration and mediation practitioners to lay people interested in alternate forms of dispute resolution.

“We’re very pleased—notwithstanding everything that’s gone on this past year—that since January we’ve been able to work on planning this and turning what would have been an in-person event into a virtual event,” Kimmelman said. “We think it’s going to be a meaningful experience for everyone who participates.”


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