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Advice To The Prospective Litigant

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Chapter Summary

Once an international legal dispute arises, the parties must decide whether the dispute should be resolved by litigation or an alternate form of dispute resolution, such as fact-finding, mediation, or arbitration. The procedural variations between the common law and civil law systems are considerable and should be carefully outlined and explained to the client before a decision is made where to litigate the dispute. Where foreign states, agencies, or instrumentalities are named as defendants in U.S. litigation, the attorney should be familiar with the jurisdictional prerequisites of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. An attorney needs to advise clients of the many pitfalls and problems which exist in the area of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The enforceability of arbitral awards has been greatly facilitated by the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards which has over 100 signatories including the United States.

Keywords: arbitral awards; civil law legal systems; foreign judgments; foreign sovereign immunities act; Jurisdiction; U.S. litigation



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