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Arbitration Conversation No. 42: Prof. Victoria Sahani of Arizona State University

by Victoria Sahani, Amy Schmitz

May 2021

In this episode of the Arbitration Conversation Amy interviews Prof. Victoria Shannon Sahani, Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and Director of the Faculty Inclusion Research for System Transformation (FIRST) University-wide Initiative at Arizona State University.  She has over a decade of experience in international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution.  Professor Sahani was appointed as a Member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR in 2020.


Victoria Sahani


Victoria Shannon Sahani is Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and Director of the Faculty Inclusion Research for System Transformation (FIRST) University-wide Initiative at Arizona State University. She has over a decade of experience in international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution. Professor Sahani was appointed as a Member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR in 2020. Professor Sahani was the recipient of Washington & Lee University's 2015 Law Alumni Faculty Fellowship Award for Teaching Excellence and the 2014 Lewis Prize for Excellence in Legal Scholarship given by the Francis Lewis Law Center at Washington and Lee University. In Fall 2017, she published the second edition of her co-authored book, Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration (with Lisa Bench Nieuwveld) (Wolters Kluwer 2017). She has published academic and professional articles on third-party funding in the UCLA Law Review, the Tulane Law Review, the Cardozo Law Review, the Tennessee Journal of Business Law, and theJournal of International Arbitration, as well as other journals. She has forthcoming and published book chapters on third-party funding in books published by Cambridge University Press, Brill / Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, and Wolters Kluwer.


Professor Sahani is a Member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR; Vice-Chair of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) Arbitration Committee's Rocky Mountain Regional Subcommittee; Vice-Chair of the Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA); a Member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and Co-Chair of the 2018 Midyear Meeting and Research Forum; a Member of the Editorial Board of theJournal of Legal Education published by the American Association of Law Schools (AALS); a Member of the Advisory Council of the Alliance for Responsible Consumer Legal Funding (ARC Legal Funding) in the United States; and a Member of the ICCA-Queen Mary Task Force on Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration. She has been invited to speak on third-party funding at dozens of venues worldwide, including the 2018 International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Biennial Congress. Furthermore, Oxford University Press invited her to participate in the invitation-only 2018 Investment Claims Summer Academy at Kellogg College, Oxford.


Prior to joining the legal academy, Professor Sahani served for five years as Deputy Director of Arbitration and ADR in North America for the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). In that capacity, she advised government attorneys, in-house counsel, and law firm attorneys on all phases of arbitration, mediation, and ADR, including negotiating and drafting dispute resolution clauses, selecting neutrals, and enforcing arbitral awards. She also simultaneously served as the Deputy Director of the Arbitration and ADR Committee of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which serves as the United States National Committee to the ICC, in nominating arbitrators, mediators, and experts for ICC Cases. 


Prior to joining the ICC, Professor Sahani served as an associate attorney with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in San Francisco, where she specialized in complex tax credit and municipal bond financing arrangements for affordable housing and community development real estate transactions, as well as matters involving American Indian tribes. As a result, she has experience in drafting, reviewing, and interpreting complex financing agreements. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she traveled to New Orleans in January 2006 to assist the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Fair Housing Project with two housing discrimination claims.


Professor Sahani participated in the inaugural 2003-2004 class of the Harvard University Management Fellowship Program, during which time she served as the External Relations Fellow in Harvard’s Office of Government, Community, and Public Affairs.


Professor Sahani earned her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and her law degree from Harvard Law School. She is an active member of the bar in New York and the District of Columbia.

Professor Amy Schmitz joined the University of Missouri School of Law and the Center for Dispute Resolution as the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor of Law in 2016. Previously she was a Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law for over 16 years. Prior to teaching, Professor Schmitz practiced law with large law firms in Seattle and Minneapolis, and served as a law clerk for the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.  Professor Schmitz teaches courses in Contracts, Lawyering, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), AI, Data Analytics and the Law, Arbitration, International Arbitration, and Consumer Law. She has been heavily involved in ODR teaching and research for a long time and is a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, as well as the Co-Chair of the ABA Technology Committee of the Dispute Resolution Section and the ODR Task Force.  She serves on the Association of American Law Schools Executive Committee on Commercial and Consumer Law, was an External Scientific Fellow of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg, and is a researcher with the ACT Project exploring AI and ODR. Professor Schmitz has published over 50 articles in law journals and books, and a book, The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection, with Colin Rule.

The views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc., or of reviewing editors.

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