As the business world contin- ues its increasing globalization, lawyers, and federal practition- ers in particular, have worked to keep pace with the concur- rently increasing international- ity of client needs. However, the difficulty of creating legal certainty in formal agreements between international parties remains particularly challeng- ing. While various contractual mechanisms may provide such certainty, choice-of-court claus- es have emerged as a relatively simple means of establishing jurisdictional predictability in cross-border contracts. Choice- of-court clauses establish the specific legal jurisdiction where any subsequent disputes relat- ed to the operative contract will be resolved. Critically, this al- lows contract parties to negoti- ate and agree upon what they mutually believe to be the most appropriate governing legal fo- rum, or the “designated court.” However, extreme caution is needed when using or relying on choice-of- court clauses in con- tracts involving poten- tial European Union (“EU”) interests or parties. The reason for the troubling ineffec- tiveness of such juris- dictional clauses in EU contracts is root- ed in the concept of lis pendens. Latin for “suit pending,” lis pendens is a pillar of the EU legal order and establishes the general conflicts of law rule that a member court seised first has jurisdic- tion over a matter, to the immediate and total exclusion of all other EU member The “Italian Torpedo”: Sinking Choice-of-Court Agreements in Dangerous European UnionWaters By Bradley J. Raboin* S Spring/Summer 2018 Newsletter Date Spring/Summer 2018 FBA/OC UPCOMING EVENTS: xAnnual Civil Practice Seminar May 8, 2018 xYLD Brown Bag Lunch with the Hon. James V. Selna May 9, 2018 xPro Bono Lunch June 5, 2018 xBench and Bar Lunch with the Hon. John D. Early June 13, 2018 xBench and Bar Lunch with the Hon. Cormac J. Carney July 12, 2018 For more details and to register for events visit IN THIS ISSUE: The “Italian Torpedo”: Sinking EU Choice-of- Court Agreements 1 From the Editor 2 President’s Message 3 Supreme Court Slants in Favor of the First Amendment 5 FBA/OC Honors Don Martens with Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler Award 6 Behind the Bench: an Inside Look 10 Constitution Day 14 The Newsletter of the Federal Bar Association/Orange County Chapter