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Welcome from the Chair

Dear Fellow Section Members:

On behalf of the ABA Section of International Law, I am delighted to invite you to the 2010 Spring Meeting to be held at the Grand Hyatt in New York City from April 13-17, 2010. The biennial Spring Meeting in New York has emerged as one of the world’s most important gatherings of international lawyers.  Our 2008 meeting in New York attracted almost 1400 attendees from 49 countries.

This year’s offering promises to be even bigger, with over 70 programs.  We’ll be kicking things off on Tuesday, April 13th, with a full slate of programming, including a day-long series of “Fundamentals” programs on the nuts and bolts of handling cross-border matters.  Those sessions are organized in cooperation with the International Section of the New York State Bar Association and will qualify for “bridge the gap” CLE credit.  The day’s programming will be capped by our ever-popular “speed networking” event (you’re guaranteed to walk away with new friends and a fist full of business cards) and the opening reception at the Grand Hyatt. 

The programming shifts into high gear on Wednesday, April 14, with five concurrent sessions per time slot.  As always, we’ll be offering program tracks (twelve consecutive programs over the course of three days) dedicated exclusively to dispute resolution, business/transactional, corporate counsel, regulatory, and public international law/rule of law.  In addition, there will be a series of “mini-tracks” – a clustering of programs over the course of one or two days – on customs/trade law, antitrust, employment/human resources, and cross-border real estate.  Our single-day registration rates should be very attractive to practitioners in the fields covered by these mini-tracks. 

Building on the successful “Managing Partner Roundtable” at the Fall Meeting in Miami, we are presenting our first-ever full-day “Managing Partner Summit” on Wednesday, April 14.  Leaders of more than twenty law firms – representing not only some of the world’s largest multinationals, but also top regional and niche practice market leaders – will share their insights on a series of panels on the following topics:  “Law Firm Strategy after the Recession”, “Managing an International Law Firm -- The Opportunities & Challenges of Operating in Multiple Jurisdictions”, and “The Secrets of Attracting and Leading the Best People”.  Paradigms are changing in the legal industry, and these sessions will provide a fresh perspective on where things are headed.

A sampling of some of the programs of broader interest to all international lawyers includes:

  • Legal Process Outsourcing -- A Reality Check: [How] Has It Affected Your Practice?
  • The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Turns 30:  Much Accomplished and More to Come
  • Legal Issues in the Creation of a Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Are They and How Can They Be Resolved?
  • A New World Order for Corporate Governance?  Issues, Trends and the Creeping Role of Government in the Boardrooms of the World
  • Is "Buy American" Best for America?  The Rise of Protectionism and Its Effects. PPPs (Public Private Partnerships) in a Turbulent Market: Views from around the world
  • Global and Cross-Border Pro Bono Service:  Opportunities and Models for Feasible Participation
  • Harmonization of Law:  North America, Europe, and Latin America -- Developments and Future Prospects
  • Seventh Annual “What's New In International Commercial Dispute Resolution?”
  • Renewable Energy – Legal Framework Comparison: U.S. versus the Rest of the World
  • Executive Compensation in the Wake of the Financial Crisis:  What Next?
  • Libel Tourism:  Should the U.S. Be Exporting the First Amendment?

If getting a year’s worth of cutting edge CLE credit weren’t enough, attendees will enjoy unparalleled opportunities to network at such venues as Astor Hall in the New York Public Library (the term “breathtaking grandeur” is often used in describing the space), Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur (a quintessentially New York space overlooking Grand Central), and the historic Yale Club of New York

The Spring Meeting will also showcase an exhibition with the title, “Lawyers Without Rights”.  Mounted by the German Federal Bar, the exhibition features detailed and poignant accounts of the lives and fates of Jewish lawyers who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.  Extensive photographic material is used to present lively biographies of the subjects.  “Lawyers Without Rights” demonstrates what can happen when the rule of law is trampled by the state.

There will also be numerous opportunities to become more engaged in the activities of the Section.  Most of the Section’s 60 committees will be holding business meetings and a committee dinner at the Yale Club.  These sessions represent the ultimate networking opportunity – face time with your peers from around the world who share your area of interest.   Sitting across the table from your colleagues in a committee business meeting discussing upcoming plans for programs, publications, policy initiatives, and projects can be a great way to break the ice.  More importantly, committee involvement represents an opportunity to effect change in the legal sphere.  Most of the “big ABA’s” initiatives bubble up from the committee-level.   Getting involved in one or more committees gives you a chance to become part of the action.

Please note these important dates:

  • Early Bird Registration Deadline is March 8, 2010.   
  • Pre-Registration Final Deadline is March 31, 2010.
  • Grand Hyatt New York hotel room blockDeadline is March 23, 2010.  We’ve arranged a special nightly room rate of only $229 plus taxes.  The number of rooms available at this special rate is limited, so early booking is recommended.

We look forward to seeing you in New York City!

Glenn P. Hendrix
American Bar Association
Section of International Law


Milos Barutciski, 2010 Spring Meeting Co-Chair
Albert Garrofé, 2010 Spring Meeting Co-Chair
Lisa Ryan, 2010 Spring Meeting Co-Chair
Michael Byowitz, Chair, Sponsorship Committee
Russell Dombrow, Chair, Fundamentals

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