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Forum Selection

What Happens When Your Selected Arbitral Forum Is Unavailable?

Arbitration agreements often name a particular arbitral forum to conduct an arbitration, but what if, when a dispute arises, that arbitral forum no longer exists or is otherwise unavailable? In Inetianbor v. CashCall, Inc., 768 F.3d 1346, 1350 (11th Cir. 2014), the Eleventh Circuit held that "the failure of the chosen forum precludes arbitration whenever the choice of forum is an integral part of the agreement to arbitrate, rather than an ancillary logistical concern." This ruling reinforced Eleventh Circuit precedent and reflects the law in the majority of Circuit Courts that have considered the question. 

Mass. Gen. Law Chapter 93A -- One Benefit of Litigating in Massachusetts

As a foreign attorney representing a party whose business dispute is governed by Massachusetts law, you might want to learn about the rights available under the consumer protection statute in Massachusetts, M.G.L. c. 93A.  Massachusetts General Laws c. 93A, § 2 (a) makes unlawful any "[u]nfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce."  This prohibition is "extended to those engaged in trade or commerce in business transactions with others similarly engaged" by M.G.L. c. 93A, § 11. 

Is It Possible to Recover Attorney's Fees in a Business Dispute?

Your company has been wronged. A vendor failed to deliver as promised causing lost sales. A customer has failed to pay for services rendered. A construction contractor's shoddy workmanship resulted in leaks and damage in your company warehouse. The defendant will not pay up voluntarily, so your business has decided to engage a law firm to file a lawsuit to recover the damages. Can your company recover its attorney's fees and other litigation costs? 

Read (and Draft) That Forum Selection Clause Carefully!

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has ruled that a party to a business contract could file suit in Massachusetts even though the contract specified that "jurisdiction shall vest in the State of Illinois."  The Appeals Court held that the "jurisdiction shall vest" language is merely permissive and does not require that suit between the contracting parties be brought in Illinois. Boland v. George S. May International Company, No. 11-P-1300, slip op. (Mass.App.Ct. June 7, 2012). 

Dubai Forum Gains Global Momentum

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DFCI) is quietly emerging as a dispute resolution forum of choice international contracts involving companies based in the Middle East.  The DFCI's location in one of the fastest-growing areas of the Middle East makes it an attractive option for transnational companies doing business in the region.

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