FedArb, a nation-wide provider of arbitration, mediation, and other services, notes that on July 18, 2018, Governor Brown signed into law SB 766, which allows non-California attorneys to appear in international arbitrations conducted in the State of California. As the Legislative Analyst explains:
This bill would permit an individual who is not admitted to practice law in California but who is a member in good standing of a recognized legal profession in the United States or a foreign jurisdiction and is subject to effective regulation and discipline by a duly constituted professional body or public authority to provide legal services in an international commercial arbitration or related proceeding, as specified.
We extend our congratulations and thanks to California’s Supreme Court Chief Justice for having appointed a committee to draft and support this important change in the state’s arbitration practice. Daniel Kolkey, Esq. of Gibson Dunn chaired the committee and former federal district judge, Abraham D. Sofaer, Chairman of FedArb, served as a committee member.
This Bill removes an artificial barrier that resulted in many California based companies having to travel to places like Singapore, London and Hong Kong to arbitrate their disputes. “Allowing international practitioners to represent their client’s interests in California arbitrations will help Silicon Valley companies arbitrate their rights in California,” said Kennen Hagen President and CEO of FedArb.