Ciarb North America Branch’s First Annual Members’ Retreat

Steve CologneCiarb North America Branch (NAB) held its first Annual Ciarb NAB Members’ Retreat from Friday, 14 April to Sunday, 16 April 2023 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The Ciarb NAB Members’ Retreat started with a series of education sessions covering a broad selection of topics, all delivered by Ciarb Fellows and Members. Following a welcome address provided by David Sharp FCIArb, Chair Ciarb NAB, the educational programme started with a talk by Murray Smith KC C.Arb FCIArb on “Arbitrator Liability for Non-Disclosure of Conflicts Around the World”. Ann Ryan Robertson C.Arb FCIArb and Cecilia Flores Rueda FCIArb followed up with an “Overview of U.S./Mexico Arbitration”. John Burritt McArthur FCIArb gave the third educational session, covering “What’s So Hard Writing a Reasoned Award: Precautionary Lessons from the USA”. Tom Cunningham FCIArb then interviewed Daniel Fabio Jacob Nogueira on “Arbitration in Brazil”. Ciarb Trustee Amb. David Huebner C.Arb FCIArb CollArb stepped up to the podium to share his perspectives on “Future Challenges in Arbitration Practice and Threats to Business as Usual”. The morning’s sessions ended with a panel discussion led by Reynaldo Urtiaga MCIArb, Chair of Ciarb Mexico Chapter, and panelists Jose Antonio Rodriguez-Marquez C.Arb FCIArb, Sofia Gomez Ruano FCIArb and Rene de Liux FCIArb, speaking on “How to Conduct a Successful Arbitration in Mexico”. 

Ciarb NAB extends a special thank you to all the Fellows and Members who participated and made the conference such a success. Thanks also go to Norton Rose Fulbright, Benesch Friedlander, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Center for International Legal Education for arranging and processing CLE (continuing legal education) credit for many States.

Aside from the educational sessions, many delegates remarked on how much they enjoyed meeting and socialising with other Fellows and members. A big thank you to Tom Cunningham FCIArb and his wife, Jeanne, who proposed the Santa Fe location and did the heavy lifting to assemble the conference. Jeanne and Tom also graciously hosted a cocktail party at their lovely Santa Fe home. Thank you to John Garman FCIArb for an entertaining and enlightening keynote speech at the Friday opening night dinner. Thanks also to Ann Ryan Robertson C.Arb FCIArb for the Arbitration Jeopardy Contest on the Friday evening.

Also, at the conference, Ciarb NAB, Amb. David Huebner C.Arb FCIArb CollArb, Deputy Chair of Ciarb’s Board of Trustees, Americas, presented John Garman FCIArb with the Branch’s Fellow Emeritus award, recognising him for his long and distinguished record of service to the Branch. John served on Ciarb NAB’s Executive Board (2010-2018), twice as Branch Chair (2015-2017) and was responsible for organising and overseeing multiple NAB programs and conferences throughout the USA. He organized training programmes from 2011 to 2019 in multiple locations, including Boston, the Cayman Islands, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tijuana, Vancouver, and Washington DC. These courses provided immeasurable benefit to the Branch and its members. John had been awarded Ciarb NAB’s Fellow Emeritus award in 2021, but, owing to the pandemic, the presentation of the award was postponed to April 2023.

About the author:

Steve Cologne FCIArb is a Partner of Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP, San Diego’s oldest law firm. In 2023 he stood down from being the firm’s managing partner after six years to focus on his litigation practice and work as a panel arbitrator. Steve is also a panelist with the American Arbitration Association (AAA). As an attorney for over 30 years, Steve primarily represents businesses in complex litigation at the state and federal level. As an arbitrator, he focuses on complex commercial disputes, including employment, construction and professional liability. Steve is the editor of Ciarb North America Branch’s monthly newsletter. John provided a lively keynote address, highlighting some of the many programmes implemented by the North America Branch.

Current NAB Chair, David E. Sharp FCIArb (far right), was joined by 5 Past Ciarb NAB Chairs. From left to right are José Antonio Rodríguez-Márquez C.Arb FCIArb. (April 2002 - April 2004), Amb. (r.) David Huebner C.Arb FCIArb CollArb (April 2019 -May 2020), John Garman FCIArb (April 2015 -April 2017), Murray Smith KC C.Arb FCIArb. (April 2005 - April 2008), and Ann Ryan Robertson C.Arb FCIArb (April 2008 - April 2012).