The Florida Bar International Law Section Retreat (ILS Retreat) was held on Friday, January 19, 2007 at the Four Seasons Hotel, in Miami, Florida from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The following constitutes a summary of some of the most popular recommendations and/or ideas discussed at the ILS Retreat. In order to properly focus our attention and ensure that the most favorable ideas are put into action, we ask that you take a few minutes to review the below list and let us know which idea or ideas you most recommend. You may reply via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Alternatively, please feel free to use the polling features that have been set up on the ILS Website.
1. Creation of Short Term New Ad Hoc Committee to Celebrate the Sections 25th Anniversary: Since this year will be the Sections 25th Anniversary, the ILS Executive Committee as well as those in attendance at the ILS Retreat agreed it would be a good idea to create a short term ad hoc committee to celebrate the Sections 25 years. This Committee would be in charge of among other things, commissioning a working group to write a detailed history of the Section (i.e. professional writer was one of the suggestions); organizing special glitzy events to commemorate the former Chairs and the Sections accomplishments (i.e. black tie dinner). This may serve as a unique and excellent promotional tool for recruiting new members to the Section and for highlighting the great work of the Section, Section Members, its Chairs and its creators.
2. Increasing Membership:
a. Membership Committee should organize a traveling road show where Committee members visit select law firms that practice International Law in order to talk about the Section and the benefits of Membership in the Section, in an effort to sign up new members.
b. This Committee could put together programs with the Young Lawyers Division in order to attract young lawyers to the Section.
c. Create a Membership directory for Section members that will be accessible to Section members for among other things, referring business to one another. The directory would include name, contact information, description of the attorneys areas of practice (perhaps even highlights on some big noteworthy case), and city/jurisdictions in which the attorney practices. The information would be classified and properly organized to make it user friendly and available on the ILS Website. The idea is increase the Sections potential for making it a networking forum. This then would be an added benefit of membership that could serve to attract new members as well as encourage inactive members to become more active in the Section.
3. Creation of a Young Lawyers Committee Within the Section: This Committee would be responsible for working with and coordinating events and programs with the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division. Ex: organizing of and holding Practicing with Professionalism type seminar, etc
4. Strengthen/Increase/Improve Existing Ties with Foreign Bars and Creation of New Relationships with Foreign Bars: The Section currently has agreements of cooperation and understanding with the Canadian Bar, Quebec Bar, Russian Bar, the Barcelona Bar, the Inter-American Bar, OECS Bar Association and So Paolo Bar. The Liaison Committee should make it a goal to select a prestigious foreign Bar every year and have the Section enter into an agreement with that Bar. The Liaison Committee can work with the other appropriate Committees within the Section to hold programs and host events such as exchange programs in order to make active use of the agreement and maintain an active relationship with the designated foreign Bars. This is a critical tool for increasing the stature and role of the Section to that of a world class organization.
5. Increase/Improve/Strengthen Ties with Other sections of the Florida Bar: Select members of the Section (the Liaison Committee can work with the Membership Committee for example) should make it a goal to attend other Section events to, among other things:
a. learn about what other Sections are doing and if and how we can implement some of the ideas from other Sections into our own Section and how (if appropriate) we can work with other Sections on select projects;
b. recruit new members from those other Sections.
6. Increase Ties with Civic Organizations/Industry Groups: Some of those suggested include the:
a. U.S. Department of Commerce;
b. German Chamber of Commerce;
c. American Chamber of Commerce of Latin America;
d. Latin Chamber of Commerce;
e. the Florida Real Estate Board.
7. ILS Website:
a. Explore the possibility of creating a two-way list serve that would allow members to communicate with one another; respond to inquiries; post questions and answers, etc
b. post samples of contracts;
c. increase research links;
d. publish the agreements that the Section has with other Foreign Bars;
e. set-up useful links to foreign counsel and foreign bars;
f. publish a complete directory of all section members and their areas of practice per jurisdiction.
8. Creation of a mentoring program to assist new lawyers in the field of international law.
9. Creation of an Internship Program Within the Section to Assist with Placing New Attorneys and helping them to transition into the practice of international law in Florida. This may be especially useful for foreign attorneys relocating permanently to Florida.
The Executive Committee
Francesca Russo-Di Staulo, ILS Chair;
Edward Davis, Jr. Chair-Elect,
Brock McClane, Secretary,
Francisco Corrales, Treasurer,
John Rooney, Immediate Past Chair