Skip Navigation

News and Events

featured events

School of Law Hosts Transnational Forum Shopping Symposium

The School of Law, along with the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, will bring together prominent academics, legal practitioners, and business leaders to discuss three key issues in transnational litigation on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 8:30 a.m.

For more information and to register, please visit the event registration Web site.

Topics discussed include: (1) the future of Alien Tort Statute litigation after Kiobel, (2) the need for federal legislation governing the recognition of judgments rendered in foreign countries, and (3) global forum shopping. The symposium will close with a fourth panel focused on strategic business planning in light of the preceding topics.

The event will kick off with a breakfast keynote by Kathleen Sullivan, who successfully represented Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell) before the Supreme Court in Kiobel. Her discussion of the Kiobel decision and related developments in Alien Tort Statute litigation will serve as an introduction for the first panel: "The Future of Human Rights Litigation After Kiobel."  Panelists will address the implications for the Supreme Court's decision, including what kinds of U.S.-related "contacts" might be considered sufficient to allow future ATS claims in the United States, as well as the decision's effect on state common-law claims. Moderated by Daniel Fisher, senior editor at Forbes, the panel will include insights from Kathleen Sullivan, partner at Quinn, Emmanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan; John Bellinger, III, partner at Arnold & Porter and former State Department Legal Adviser; Roger Alford, professor at Notre Dame Law School and author of several articles on the ATS, including "Transnational Torts After Kiobel" (forthcoming).

The symposium's second panel is titled, "Tort Tourism: Responsible Enforcement of Foreign Judgments." Panelists will discuss how the current patchwork of state laws regarding recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments leads to legal and strategic challenges for multinational businesses. The discussion will focus on recent attempts to enforce abusive or fraudulent foreign judgments in the United States and the concurrent need for federal legislation to modernize and create uniformity in this area of law.

The panel features moderator John Bellinger, III, as well as Linda Silberman, professor, New York University School of Law and coreporter for the ABA's draft legislation on foreign judgment recognition; Ronald Brand, professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law; Stephen Burbank, professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School.

The luncheon keynote will be delivered by a high-profile figure known for his or her role in transnational litigation. Potential speakers include D.C. Circuit judges Sri Srinivasan and Brett Kavanaugh.

The third panel is titled, "Forum Shopping: A Global Business." This panel will focus on the increasing tendency of plaintiffs to bring lawsuits abroad that in previous years would have been filed in U.S. courts. Sometimes these foreign lawsuits are brought in tandem with litigation in the United States or in international tribunals. Key examples include litigation against Shell in both the United States (Kiobel) and the Netherlands, and litigation against Chevron in Ecuador accompanied by arbitration in The Hague and enforcement actions in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina. The panel also will address plaintiffs' responses to securities-related claims after the Supreme Court limited the extraterritorial reach of U.S. securities laws in Morrison.

Featured panelists include Richard Painter, professor, University of Minnesota School of Law; George Conway, partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Chris Whytock, professor, University of California Irvine School of Law; and moderator Trey Childress professor at Pepperdine School of Law.

The symposium's final panel is titled, "Business Planning: Doing Good While Doing Well." Panelists will address best practices for engaging in positive corporate citizenship worldwide. The panel will discuss the latest developments in corporate social responsibility and modern business practices for constructively engaging in developing nations, where the potential for international litigation is high.


This symposium has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) credit by the State Bar of California for 5.25 credit hours. Pepperdine University School of Law certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.

The US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) is the most effective and comprehensive campaign committed to improving the lawsuit climate in America and around the globe. ILR's mission is to restore balance, ensure justice, and maintain integrity within the civil legal system. We do this by creating broad awareness of the impact of litigation on society and by championing common sense legal reforms at the state, federal, and global levels. ILR's approach is highly aggressive and pragmatic, focused on achieving real change in real time while laying the groundwork for long-term legal reform. ILR's hallmarks are execution of cutting-edge strategies and a track record of visible success.

ILR is a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt, separately incorporated affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Waves of Service