Lance Armstrong's defense against the persistent doping allegations leveled against him, and the athlete's subsequent refusal to participate in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's prosecution of several doping-related charges against him, dominated sports headlines this summer. Interestingly, Armstrong's battle against the USADA also cast a spotlight on oft-cited concerns about due process in arbitration.
It was recently revealed that the United States government has been launching cyberattacks on Iran's nuclear enrichment program's computer systems for years, with the purpose of delaying and obstructing the development of what U.S. intelligence believes are nuclear weapons. These attacks, launched with the help of computer experts in Israel, were mostly contained to nuclear facilities. However, in the summer of 2010, one of the "worms" developed by the U.S. and Israel - nicknamed "Stuxnet" - broke through the network and began infecting computers on the worldwide Internet, leading to calls for increased regulation of cyberattacks.
It is not uncommon for litigants in proceedings pending outside of Massachusetts to need documents or testimony from witnesses who reside in Massachusetts. Even when the witness is willing to provide the requested information voluntarily, it is wise to serve a subpoena to minimize the delay if the witness changes his mind and decides not to cooperate. Indeed, even a "friendly" subpoena carries the threat of contempt sanctions for noncompliance and therefore serves as a powerful deterrent if the witness gets cold feet. A subpoena also has the advantage of preventing the witness from appearing predisposed to provide evidence favorable to the requesting party as may be the case if the evidence is voluntarily provided.
In a harshly worded per curiam decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the broad reach of the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA") and restated that the FAA "reflects an emphatic federal policy in favor of arbitral dispute resolution." The FAA is the federal statute that regulates the relationship between the judicial process and arbitration.
Arbitration clauses in international contracts have become increasingly common. Many global companies include arbitration provisions in their standard, pre-printed documents, such as estimates, purchase orders, and invoices. Are these arbitration clauses effective in international commerce? The answer, surprisingly, is "probably not."
On the last week of the current term, the Supreme Court announced its decision in the watershed case of Arizona v. United States, granting the Obama administration a partial victory over the state of Arizona and its efforts to expand the enforcement of undocumented immigration.