New book on arbitration by Professor Won Kidane, Georgia Law LLM alum

Pleased to announce the publication of a book by our alumnus, Won L. Kidane (left), an Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law in Washington state.

The Culture of International Arbitration has just been released by Oxford University Press. It’s the 4th book by Kidane, who earned his Georgia Law LL.M. degree in 1997; in 2001, he earned a J.D. degree from the University of Illinois. He was a 2014 Fulbright Scholar in Ethiopia, where he’d completed his initial legal studies in 1993. Kidane practiced at two Washington, D.C., law firms and taught at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law before joining the faculty at Seattle, where he teaches international arbitration and immigration law.

Here’s a description of his new book:

Although international arbitration has emerged as a credible means of resolution of transnational disputes involving parties from diverse cultures, the effects of culture on the accuracy, efficiency, fairness, and legitimacy of international arbitration is a surprisingly neglected topic within the existing literature. The Culture of International Arbitration fills that gap by providing an in-depth study of the role of culture in modern day arbitral proceedings. It contains a detailed analysis of how cultural miscommunication affects the accuracy, efficiency, fairness, and legitimacy in both commercial and investment arbitration when the arbitrators and the parties, their counsel and witnesses come from diverse legal traditions and cultures. The book provides a comprehensive definition of culture, and methodically documents and examines the epistemology of determining facts in various legal traditions and how the mixing of traditions influences the outcome. By so doing, the book demonstrates the acute need for increasing cultural diversity among arbitrators and counsel while securing appropriate levels of cultural competence. To provide an accurate picture, Kidane conducted interviews with leading international jurists from diverse legal traditions with first-hand experience of the complicating effects of culture in legal proceedings. Given the insights and information on the rules and expectations of the various legal traditions and their convergence in modern day international arbitration practice, this book challenges assumptions and can offer a unique and useful perspective to all practitioners, academics, policy makers, students of international arbitration.

Georgia Law welcomes LLM-linked partnership with Fulbright in Hungary

sonjajokaybpest2016cropA new partnership between the University of Georgia School of Law and the Hungarian-American Fulbright Commission will provide exceptional scholarship opportunities for qualified Hungarian law graduates who wish to pursue a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree.

Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge and Dr. Károly Jókay, Executive Director of the Hungarian-American Fulbright Commission, signed the agreement. It follows meetings among representatives of both institutions, including the October 2016 meeting in Budapest between Jókay, depicted above at right, and Georgia Law Professor Sonja R. West (prior posts).

Administered by the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center, the Georgia Law LL.M. degree has deep historical ties in Europe, as well as an active network of graduates there. This Fulbright partnership promises to enhance intercultural exchange not only for foreign-trained lawyers who come to Athens to earn their LL.M., but also for the J.D. students with whom they interact, inside and outside the classroom (prior posts).

The Fulbright Program – established in 1946 under legislation introduced by J. William Fulbright, then a freshman U.S. Senator from Arkansas – funds international educational and cultural exchanges for students and scholars. It is administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department in more than 150 countries.

We look forward to welcoming Hungarian students and strengthening our connection to both Central Europe and the Fulbright Program.

1st Amendment Professorship to Sonja West, globally noted media law expert

cropsonja_lawrencefulbrighthu13oct16Very pleased to note the appointment of Georgia Law Professor Sonja R. West, an internationally recognized expert in media law,  the inaugural holder of the Otis Brumby Distinguished Professorship in First Amendment Law. News of the position, which is shared by the law school and the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, came in a university press release issued just before the holiday break.

Of her appointment, Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said:

“Sonja is a distinguished scholar in media law, and it is fitting that she be named to this professorship, which is devoted specifically to teaching and research about the First Amendment.”

As noted in a previous Exchange of Notes post, last October West represented Georgia Law in Budapest, Hungary, where she:

► Spoke on “Improving Press Coverage of the Courts through Communication” at the European Judicial Conference on Courts and Communication.

► Met with Budapest-based alums and representatives from the Hungarian-American Fulbright Commission, with whom she discussed Georgia Law’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree.  West’s at that meeting the photo above; to her immediate left is Dr. Jessica Lawrence, who earned her J.D. from Georgia Law and now is a Lecturer at Budapest’s Central European University. Surrounding them are Fulbright representatives: at far left, Krisztina Kováts, and to the right of West, Dr. Károly Jókay, Körtvélyesi Zsolt, and Molnár Gábor.

► Visited the law faculty at Pázmány Péter Catholic University. In fact, West has accepted an invitation to return to that Budapest university in June, to take part in a Free Speech/Media Law Discussion Forum.

Professor West heads east: Upcoming media law lecture in Budapest

west-profileAmong the many University of Georgia School of Law professors whose work crosses national borders is Sonja R. West (right). In fact, Professor West will be traveling very soon to Hungary, to speak on Thursday, October 13, at the European Judicial Conference on Courts and Communication in Budapest, organized by Bíróság, Hungary’s National Office for the Judiciary.

Her talk, entitled “Improving Press Coverage of the Courts through Communication,” will examine various issues of failed communication between the press and the courts, as well as possible solutions.

It’s a topic well within her expertise. Professor West teaches courses in constitutional law, media law, and the Supreme Court at Georgia Law. Starting this spring, she will also teach media law at the university’s Grady College of Journalism, where she recently received a joint appointment. Her work on has been published in the reviews of Harvard, UCLA, Michigan law schools, among others. In recognition of her scholarship, the National Communication Association just awarded her its 2016 Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression.

She’s also has written for media outlets like Slate. Her other accomplishments include service as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and work as journalist in Illinois, Iowa, and Washington, D.C.

In addition to taking part in the judicial conference, Professor West plans to meet with Budapest-based alums of Georgia Law, and also with representatives from the Hungarian-American Fulbright Commission and faculty from the law faculty at Pázmány Péter Catholic University.