Lawrence W. Newman has been a partner in the New York office of Baker & McKenzie since 1971, when, together with the late Professor Henry deVries, he founded the litigation department in that office. He is the author/editor of 4 works on international litigation/arbitration.
Michael Burrows, Formerly, Of Counsel, Baker & McKenzie, New York.
At a recent seminar concerning the subject of this article, one of our partners told about the following case. In one of the outer reaches of Canada, a young man was being tried for stealing a horse. The facts of the case against him were strong but he was considered a nice young man and was from a very prominent family. The jury verdict was that the man was not guilty but should return the horse. The judge ruled that this was an improper, inconsistent verdict and sent the jury back into deliberations. This time the jury said that the young man was not guilty and that he could keep the horse.
Though apocryphal, the story reveals what might be one of the most common forms of “corruption” in the litigation system. Home court advantages exist in varying degrees around the world. But there are numerous other ways that corruption and international dispute resolution can overlap and this article looks at a few of them.