Down and Dirty in the Global Village: Jack Webb's Guide to International Commercial Litigation

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



As observers of law and life note, there are at least as many contradictions as consistencies. On the one hand, similarly to Clifford Geertz's observation about knowledge, all law can be seen as local. On the other hand, economies and cultures are becoming increasingly global. Can law be far behind? The synthesized view on these two seemingly contradicting approaches to law is that both are true to a large degree. Law and dispute resolution are increasingly international in scope, but the actual means by which one disputes (and prevails or dodges judgment enforcement) remains local in large degree. Comparatively few lawyers may have an “international law practice” (although the number undoubtedly increases every day), but many lawyers will be involved in some significant transnational litigation during their careers.

As a consequence, the legal profession increasingly pays attention to transnational disputing and enforcement of commercial rights, with a corresponding increase in the number of useful books on the subject. Litigation International Commercial Disputes, by Lawrence W. Newman and David Zaslowsky, is part of what might be termed the first wave of this trend. Written by practitioners and for practitioners, it provides a comprehensive overview of the transnational disputing process. Although the book is literally jammed with information (right down to the small type in footnotes–bring your reading glasses), it is designed as an overview and template rather than a highly detailed multivolume treatise.

Publication Citation

6 J. Trans. L. 367 (1997) (Book Review).

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