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Spice: International Family Law in the Atlanta International Community

A couple of weeks ago Michael Manely and I had a pleasure of attending the Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation's event- a lecture and CLE by Professor Bermann. (Big shout out to Atlanta International Arbitration Society for organizing such a wonderful event. http://arbitrateatlanta.org)

Professor Bermann is one of the brightest stars in International Arbitration. He is a Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, as well as Professor of Law at Columbia University, and a Director of the Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration. He is also a Chief Reporter for ALI Restatement Third of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration. Despite having "The Third" in the title, a Restatement in the area of International Arbitration is a complete novelty. This is absolutely the cutting edge of international law.

ALI's decision to have a Restatement for International Arbitration reflects a booming trend of resolving conflicts through International Arbitrations and Mediations rather than being confined within the court system. That trend includes using International Mediation and Arbitration in the areas that historically involved court systems, for example, conflicts that are based on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abductions (1980) and international Custody cases in general. You know, The Manely Firm's neck of the woods.

As pretty much everyone knows, Atlanta has quickly become the epi-center of all things international in the south east, and that is no less true for international law or international family law. Ours is such a multi-cultural, multi-national community that we can't help but be embroiled in discussions, disagreements, disputes between people from different countries, even different continents. And each brings their own international flavor, custom, and even law to bear on the disputes ironed out or fought out in our fair city.

The Atlanta International Arbitration Society is at the center of it all, bringing its comprehensive magnifying glass to cultural and legal differences between vastly different cultures who inhabit the same world and share a common discussion, disagreement or dispute. This is how business is done around the globe in the 21st Century. And aren't you glad, and probably not surprised, that Atlanta is at the center of it all, yet again?

Similarly, the Manely Firm, P.C., as the only law firm in the South East that handles a large volume of cases involving International Family Law issues, is at the absolute cutting edge of international family law. If it is International Family Law, we are at the center of it And with our association with the Atlanta International Arbitration Society, is it any wonder that most of the world, when it has a family law dispute, passes through our doors?

The tie in to the Arbitration Society is a best case scenario for resolution of international family law issues. One of our most recent Hague Convention cases, adjudicated in the United States District Court, was a perfect case to have been resolved through mediation. Costs of mediation are much lower than expenses to adjudicate in a local court and to maneuver with the enforcement of the judgment afterwards in a foreign court. Also, very often the foreign party does not trust the national court, fearing potential nationalistic influence on judges or pressure from the local party. Unfortunately, in our most recent case, mediation was not on the table for the opposing party so the parties had to endure a trial, wasting time, emotions, and money all to arrive at a result that was fairly certain from the start of the case.

So, in Atlanta, like The Manely Firm,much of international law passes through our doors every day. You might not know it, but the Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Latvia and Cuba is flavoring your neighborhood all the time. Our waters run with their spice. Our soundtrack is filled with their tunes. Enjoy the music! It's international. It is us.

Dina Khismatulina

PS: If your custody or any other Family Law related issues have an international component, please give us a call - we offer free consultations. We will make sure that you know all options available to you and the latest, intricate trends in International Family Law so you can make a well informed decision.

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