Fulbright & Jaworski, Houston
Why international arbitration?
How else could a lawyer do something that helps the international business community, requires significant strategic and analytical abilities, and is great fun?
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Tough question. Some of my most significant and enjoyable cases have involved applications for emergency relief. I served as counsel in one of the first ICDR article 37 applications ever made and as emergency arbitrator in one of the first applications, if not the first application, ever made under the AAA Optional Rules for Emergency Measures of Protection. These are terrific and highly effective dispute resolution mechanisms.
Who do you consider your mentor?
Mark Baker, John Bowman, Miguel Ángel Fernández-Ballesteros and Fernando Pombo.
Who else in the field do you admire?
Another tough question. The late Robert Briner was impressive inside and outside the hearing room.
What other career might you have chosen?
I am a die-hard lawyer. In another life, I might have done international transactions.
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Write, write, write. And then focus on your oral advocacy. Being a good writer will take you a long way in international arbitration.
Do you sit as an arbitrator?
Yes. My first case was an institutional appointment when I was 33.
What are the biggest challenges facing arbitration?
The need to preserve time and cost efficiency.
If you could change one thing about the system...?
The partisanship of certain investment arbitrators, who apply political analysis to legal questions.
What’s been your most memorable moment in a hearing?
I remember a witness 10 years ago turning to his lawyer during our team's cross-examination and asking, “Can you please stop them and get me out of here?”
What’s your favourite city to arbitrate in?
Washington, DC. Affordable prices, high-tech facilities and resources, and the charm of a not-huge city where one can actually walk from the hotel to the hearing venue.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
I was a huge fan of Madrid’s recently closed “La Corralada.” The gap may soon be filled by Berkeley’s Chez Panisse.