The premiere moot court focused on international law issues – the William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot – has begun its annual
in Vienna, with the team from the University of Texas School of Law considered to be a particularly strong contender.
The purpose of the moot is to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes through its application to a concrete problem of a client and to train law leaders of tomorrow in methods of alternative dispute resolution. This year, the problem centers on a multi-party dispute stemming from a contract for more than $2 million worth of polo shirts produced by a subcontractor that was found to use child labor.
“This is a problem that stretches across multiple national jurisdictions and raises difficult substantive and procedural issues,” said Karl Bayer ’76, an Austin-based arbitrator who is coaching the UT team along with Energy Center Executive Director Melinda Taylor ’86 and Renee Kolar ’12, herself a recent Vis participant. “Our students have analyzed it thoroughly and have developed some powerful arguments.”
The UT team, which is being sponsored by the Energy Centre, has four members – Rebecca Bennie, Jonathan Schultz, Zachary Chittick, Brett Rosenthal. For months, the students have devoted their Wednesday nights and more than a few weekends to drafting their brief and sharpening their oral arguments.
In fact, as the competition approached, the students rehearsed before prominent international arbitration practitioners like Jim Loftis ’90, the head of the International Dispute Resolution practice at Vinson & Elkins and the chair of the Energy Center’s advisory board.
“UT fields a good team every year, but this year our team is truly exceptional,” Taylor said. “We have high expectations for them.”