Cultural Differences in Advocacy in International Arbitration - Chapter 1 - The Art of Advocacy in International Arbitration - 2nd Edition
Jan Paulsson is co-head of the firm’s international arbitration and public international law groups. He holds degrees from Harvard, Yale and the University of Paris. He has acted as counsel or arbitrator in hundreds of international arbitrations. He has conducted cases under the ICC, UNCITRAL, ICSID, LCIA, and AAA Rules, as well as before the International Court of Justice.
Originally from The Art of Advocacy in International Arbitration - 2nd Edition
If you want to observe a real clash of cultures, one might be tempted to say, it is hard to find more sound and fury than what emerges when rival French lawyers appear on both sides, or rival Londoners on both sides, or Cairenes or New Yorkers! For then, it often seems, the combatants leave no prisoners, and urge vehemently that starkly different procedural arrangements be adopted, each camp insisting all the while that what they seek is but the normal course of well-ordered events. Their opponents, of course, are the ones attempting to mislead the tribunal with self-serving requests that make a mockery of due process!
How can this be, when both lawyers are members of the same bar association or law society? The answer is that on any given day one set of lawyers embodies the culture of claimants, while the opponent represents the culture of respondents. Here is the real clash, it may seem: the "justice delayed, justice denied" school vs. the "nothing's settled until it's settled right" school.
Confirmation of this observation seems to be provided, by the way of contrast, in the polite diffidence often exhibited when opposing counsel truly come from different cultures, as each side outdoes the other in proffering well-mannered, tentative suggestions, full of solicitous understanding for the other side, as though all feel it incumbent to act as goodwill ambassador attesting to the decency and urbanity of their own legal community.