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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Arbitration in the United States (Spring 2018)

Course Description

This course introduces students to the key aspects of the law and practice of (primarily) commercial arbitration. Arbitration has become a common alternative to civil litigation where there is a preexisting contractual relationship and a desire by the parties to control the dispute resolution process if disagreements arise in the course of that relationship.  Among other things, the course considers issues relating to the formation of arbitration agreements and their enforcement; the relationship between parties and arbitral institutions; the arbitration process, including the selection of arbitrators and the conduct of arbitral proceedings; and the relationship between arbitral proceedings and the courts. The consideration of these issues will illuminate the actual practice of commercial arbitration, arbitration procedure and strategy, and the practical benefits (and disadvantages) of arbitration.

Although most arbitration agreements are fully consensual and negotiated at arm’s length, some arbitrations are imposed by one party on the other (commonly in employment, consumer, health care and securities fields).  Policy issues surrounding the use and effectuation of imposed arbitration processes are explored.

The course is designed for 20-30 students so that discussions and exercises can be highly interactive.  Practical aspects of arbitration practice will be illuminated by written and oral exercises simulating various aspects of the arbitration process.  This course is designed to enhance students’ litigation and dispute resolution skills generally and to prepare students for tackling arbitration-related issues in legal practice.

Each student will be able to observe at least one full day of an actual commercial arbitration during the course of the term.  It may also be possible to observe other pre-hearing aspects of an arbitration (preliminary conference, motion proceeding).

There will be (weekly) written exercises and a final exam.  The final exam will be take-home, open book, generally short answers to hypothetical problems.  Performance in class, in the exercises and on the final exam will all be taken into account in determining the final grade.

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 3
  • Grading Options: Numerical Only
  • Schedule: T 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
  • Room Number: Room 2
  • Exam: Take-home, open-book exam
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: No
  • Participation: Required and considered in determining final grade