November 28, 2017 Articles

International Commercial Mediation: Brief Update on Developments in Enforceability

By Erin Gleason Alvarez

Your client has a contract for services with a business located outside the United States. Although the relationship between the parties is long-standing, your client has expressed dissatisfaction with service quality over the last year. Repeated appeals for improvement have been rebuffed, and the client is now aggravated and losing sales as a result of the decline in service.

The contract includes an arbitration clause, but your client fears that initiating an action would cause irreparable harm to the relationship. Your client would like the partnership to continue if possible and fears that an adversarial process would tarnish any possibilities for improved relations. You would like to suggest mediation but fear that without an international convention to support the enforceability of any settlement achieved, these efforts might be futile. What might happen if you need to go outside the United States to try to enforce the settlement?

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