Systems for judicial resolution of disputes are much different in foreign countries than they are in the United States, even in countries like England and Canada that have common law systems. U.S. lawyers doing cross-border business transactions appreciate that disputes in connection with transactions may be resolved in countries other than the United States. U.S. lawyers doing litigation in the U.S. will be asked by their clients doing business internationally to assist them in dealing with litigation in foreign countries. Thus, it is useful for U.S. lawyers to have an understanding of differences between the U.S. judicial system and systems in other areas of the commercial world. This course will review civil litigation systems and practices in selected countries (a European country, Mexico, China, India, and Dubai, U.A.E.) on particular issues that exemplify the most notable differences between the U.S. system and other systems, for example, (i) the “popularity” of civil litigation as a dispute resolution mechanism, (ii) the structure and basic functioning of the court system, (iii) how a claim is proved and disproved, (iv) the availability of in-country “discovery” for domestic and foreign litigation, (v) particular system idiosyncrasies (in some Latin American countries, for example, the criminal justice system is used to enhance resolution of civil disputes), and (vi) enforcement mechanisms for domestic and foreign judgments and arbitration awards. Students will be asked to evaluate the merits of the foreign systems compared to the U.S. system.
Course evaluation will be by exam. A limited number of students will be allowed to complete a paper to fulfill the capstone requirement in lieu of the exam.