Undisputed Facts - Winter 2001

Newsletter of The Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association

Panel Membership Growing
Mediation Training
A New Way to Resolve International Business Disputes in Illinois
  I. Introduction
  II. Expansion of Global Commerce and the Growing Importance of Arbitration
  III. The Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association
  IV. Statutory Framework for Arbitration
    A. The New York Convention
    B. The Federal Arbitration Act and the Uniform Arbitration Act
  V. The Illinois Commercial Arbitration Act
    A. The UNCITRAL Model Arbitration Law
    B. Jurisdiction
    C. Judicial Involvement
    D. ICAA Procedures
    E. Tribunal Findings
  VI. Conclusion
  About the Authors
Upcoming ADR Events
Book Review: @Risk: Internet and E-commerce Insurance and Reinsurance Legal Issues
Model Arbitration Clause or Separate Arbitration Agreement

Panel Membership Growing

As of November 1, 2000 the number of CIDRA Panel neutrals and approved experts reached forty-five. The arbitrators and mediators who have met the standards for admission as CIDRA panel members include neutrals from Chicago as well as from the international community.

Mediation Training

The training committee, Jan Bohn, Jack Cooley, Joseph Stone and Teresa Frisbie, are planning a mediation training to take place in the spring. The training will address international aspects of mediation and will include both introductory and advanced courses. Anyone interested in these courses should contact Jan Bohn at 847-358-8856.

A New Way to Resolve International Business Disputes in Illinois

By Peter V. Baugher and Steven M. Austermiller

Arbitrations are increasing and are usually a better way to resolve international disputes than litigation in a foregin jurisdiction. The Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association provides our region with a new arbiration forum. It complements the enactment of the state's International Commercial Arbitration Act, a statutory framework facilitating international trade and dispute resolution in Illinois.

Read entire article here.

Meet a Cidra Neutral

This issue's spotlight is on Michael P. Avramovich. Michael is president of Avramovich & Streeter, P.C., where he practices commercial, corporate and international business law. His law firm works with affiliated law firms in Europe, Asia and South America. He is also an adjunct professor of International Business and Trade Law at the The John Marshall Law School, where he teaches Multinational Corporations Law and Foreign Investment Law. He graduated from North Park University in Chicago, and received his Juris Doctor from the John Marshall Law School, where he was a member of the John Marshall Law Review. He completed advanced legal education in International and Comparative Law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., from which he received a Masters of Law Degree. He also holds a Masters of Management from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and is a licensed C.P.A. Michael has lived and worked in Switzerland, Rome, London and Tokyo. He was a chief financial officer for a Fortune 500 company and has worked for a number of federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the SEC and the FTC. He is licensed to practice law in both Illinois and the District of Columbia. Michael is fluent in French and Italian.

Upcoming ADR Events

November 30 - December 1 and
December 4 - 6, 2000 in London
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators mediation training course
February 15-16, 2001 in Paris International Chamber of Commerce, Protecting intellectual property rights in the new millenium
March 9, 2001 in Mexico City International Bar Association Fourth Annual Arbitration Day
March 10, 2001 in Mexico City London Court of International Arbitration North American/ Latin American Councils' Symposium
April 6-7, 2001 in Brussels The UIA Forum of Mediation Centres
April 26-28, 2001 in Arlington, Virginia Third Annual American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution ADR Conference, Collaboration in the Capital: The Power of ADR.
September 5-7, 2001 in Accra, Ghana  London Court of International Arbitration Pan - African Council Fifth Conference

Book Review

A New Book on E-commerce and the Law: A Must-read for Every Future-thinking Lawyer and ADR Practitioner

A Review of @Risk: Internet and E-commerce Insurance and Reinsurance Legal Issues

Edited by Robert Hammesfahr
Blatt Hammesfahr & Eaton (now Cozen & O'Connor)
Reactions Publishing Group Ltd (2000)
Nestor House London EC4V 5EX
UK +44(0)207 779 8180 Fax: +44(0)207 779 8200 Website:www.reactionsnet.com

Reviewed by John W. Cooley
Judicial Dispute Resolution, Inc. (JDR)
Chicago, Illinois

I approach this assignment to write a review of @Risk: Internet and E-commerce Insurance and Reinsurance Legal Issues ("@Risk") (Reactions Publishing Group Ltd, 2000) with both the delight and enthusiasm of a small child who has discovered a new and shiny coin. To the child, the newly found item is not only delightful in its nature and appearance, but the item's prospects of future-use potential are exciting and horizon-expanding. So too, @Risk. Edited by Robert Hammesfahr of the Chicago Law Firm of Blatt Hammesfahr & Eaton (now Cozen & O'Connor) and written by the firm's lawyers, the book is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive guide to E-commerce insurance issues generally and to issues concerning the prosecution and defense of insurance and other types of legal claims arising out of use of the Internet by individuals and businesses in a commercial context. Of particular interest to mediators and arbitrators and lawyers who use ADR processes are Chapters 16 and 17 covering topics of litigation and alternative dispute resolution in relation to E-commerce. Chapter 17 is authored by Richard L. Blatt, a lawyer and ADR practitioner and a member of the Working Group of the Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association (CIDRA). Before discussing those chapters specifically, an overview of the entire book would be appropriate.

A review of the Table of Contents of the book gives a sobering glimpse of its exhaustive coverage of subject of E-commerce. The book has a total of 17 chapters. While the subject matter would seemingly be quite technical, the clear and direct writing style of the authors renders the content easily understandable by lawyers or lay persons with a basic working knowledge of computers, the Internet, and insurance. Chapters 1 and 2 are introductory in nature. Chapter 1 discusses basic defini-tions relating to the Internet and E-commerce and Reports of the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the emerging digital economy. Chapter 2 addresses electronic contracts, digital signatures, clickwrap agreements and other related topics. Chapter 4 covers Cyber-crime, including such topics as the Federal Computer Fraud Act, National Stolen Property Act, and the Fourth Amendment's applicability to the Internet. Chapter 5 discusses First Amendment issues (defamation, privacy violations, etc.) and Chapter 5 identifies and explains typical cyberloss risks (computer viruses, fraud online, spamming, products liability). Chapters 6, 7, and 8 address, respectively, topics of web-related intellectual property law, employment law issues, and E-commerce Y2K liability. Chapters 9 through 15 provide in depth coverage of several E-commerce insurance law coverage topics, including: first party property; commercial general liability; directors and officers liability; errors and omissions, media liability, and intellectual property; employment practices liability; fidelity, surety and crime insurance, and reinsurance.

One outstanding feature of this book is the liberal infusion of hypothetical cases and case analyses throughout many of its chapters. These numerous detailed and realistic scenarios provide thought-provoking grist for interactive discussion and analysis. This feature makes the book an ideal candidate for use as instructor's resource material or as a source of student roleplay information for seminars and educational courses on E-commerce and/or online dispute resolution.

Chapters (16 and 17) on litigation and ADR provide a comprehensive look at considerations to take into account when deciding whether to go to court with E-commerce disputes or to use some alternative to the court system. Chapter 16 covers such litigation issues as choice of forum, discovery, experts, damages, and trial strategy. Chapter 17 on ADR, describes the principal ADR processes and hybrids and discusses when it might be useful to employ each.

Finally, the book has eleven appendices containing a comprehensive collection of E-commerce related legislation and key court cases.

Truly, @Risk is a fine piece of authoring and legal craftsmanship that greatly simplifies and clearly communicates complex legal concepts concerning the Internet and E-commerce, and in my opinion, is a must-read for every future-thinking lawyer and ADR practitioner.

Model Arbitration Clause or Separate Arbitration Agreement

"Any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, or the breach, termination or invalidity thereof, shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association (CIDRA) Arbitration [and/or Mediation] rules as presently in force."

Parties may wish to consider adding a provision that:

a) number of arbitrators shall be . . . (one or three);

b) place of arbitration shall be . . . (town or country); and

c) language(s) to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be . . . (language or languages).