Conference to focus on selling goods to foreign markets

Issue September/October 2016

International business transactions will be the focus of the Center for Business Law's fifth annual conference on commercial law at New England Law | Boston.

"Selling Goods into Foreign Markets: Choice of Law, Risks of Sales through Intermediaries, Human Rights, and Challenges of Modern Payment Systems" will be the main topics addressed by leading practitioners and scholars. The event will be free and open to the public.

The conference will take place on Thursday, October 6, 2016, 12:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m., in New England Law | Boston's Cherry Room and will be co-sponsored by the law school's Center for International Law and Policy, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and the Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest.

"This conference should be of interest to anyone whose practice or academic interest involves the international sale of goods," said Professor Gary Monserud, the conference organizer. "We anticipate a good number of practitioners in attendance, and questions and comments from the audience have greatly enriched the panel discussions in prior years."

The first panel discussion will address issues arising under the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods; legal issues that can arise when selling through intermediaries into foreign markets; and the arbitration of private disputes arising from international sales. Panelists who plan to attend are Professor William P. Johnson, director, Center for International and Comparative Law, and the Summer Law Program in Madrid, of the Saint Louis University School of Law; Philip D. O'Neill, Jr., Esq., who has taught arbitration at Boston University School of Law and Harvard Law School; and Professor Michael P. Van Alstine, co-director, International and Comparative Law Program of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Dean and Professor Emeritus Peter J. McGovern of John Marshall Law School will moderate the discussion.

John F. Sherman, III, Esq., is general counsel and senior advisor to Shift, an independent, nonprofit center for business and human rights practice. He is also a senior program fellow at the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, and is chair of the International Bar Association's business and human rights working group. Sherman played a key role in developing the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which have far reaching implications for international and commercial lawyers. Professor Lisa J. Laplante, director of New England Law's Center for International Law and Policy, will guide the discussion in this area.

The second panel will address current challenges with payment systems and will feature Professor Sarah Jane Hughes of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Professor Stephen Michael McJohn of Suffolk University Law School; and Lorcan Tiernan, a business lawyer from Dublin. Stephen Y. Chow, Esq., partner, with Burns & Levinson LLP, and a commissioner representing Massachusetts on the Uniform Law Commission, will serve as moderator.