Exploring California's Reputation: From Wild West to Arbitration Destination

The article,"Exploring California's Reputation: From Wild West to Arbitration Destination" by LCA Senior Fellow Cedric Chao, was originally featured in the Daily Journal's The Resolution Issue in May 2024.

California is well positioned as an arbitration venue, particularly for US to Asia disputes, due to its geography, leading universities, experienced arbitrators, and capable judiciary.

1. California’s reputation and how to improve it. You have mentioned that California was, and in some quarter still is, viewed by the Europeans as the wild, wild West with out-of-control juries and courts, and insufficient appreciation for international arbitration. Later on, you add that nothing is forever, and geopolitical and global economic trends have a way of upending ones assumptions. In the past year, have you seen the erosion of some of those negative assumptions, how could California improve its reputation?

Answer: this is a complicated question, involving some real and some mostly imaginary issues. The most important “real“ issue, not unique to California, is the US court system, which features two uniquely risky characteristics as compared with foreign jurisdictions: juries and punitive damages.

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