Message from the Chair

Introducing Incoming ILS Gazette Editor

Fabio Giallanza, associate attorney, Salcedo Attorneys at Law P.A.

Beginning next week, Fabio Giallanza will take over as Editor of the weekly ILS Gazette. Fabio is an associate attorney with Salcedo Attorneys at Law P.A. in Miami. A native of Rome, he holds degrees from both civil and common law jurisdictions. Please direct future news and events items of interest to the Section to Fabio at Welcome, Fabio!

ILS Annual Conference Name Contest

Attention section members!

The ILS’s annual international litigation, arbitration, and business transactions conference needs a NEW name and we need your help! In the past, the conference has been referred to as ILAC (Int’l Litigation and Arbitration Conference) and ILAT (Int’l Litigation, Arbitration and Business Transactions Conference), among other names.

We are looking for new ideas and short, memorable words that creatively identify our Section’s flagship event. As such, the ILS Annual Conference Name Contest has begun! Over the next few weeks we will be accepting naming ideas at the following email – Please include “ILS Conference Name Contest” in the subject line of your email. The winning idea and its author will be announced at our Section’s Retreat in September. If your idea is selected as the winning name, you will receive a prize at the retreat. Submissions will be accepted until August 12, 2016. So get to work, put on your thinking caps and send us your ideas!

International Litigation and Arbitration Certification Goes to Florida Supreme Court

Final approval for a new certification area in International Litigation and Arbitration has been given by the Bar Board of Governors. The board, at its May meeting, unanimously approved the recommendation of the Program Evaluation Committee to create the new area, which had been proposed by the International Law Section. Read more from The Florida Bar News here.

ILS Chair Eduardo Palmer Signs Cooperation Agreement With Madrid Bar Association at Congress in Madrid

madrird_agreementPictured, right, ILS Chair, Eduardo Palmer, and right, Sonia Gumpert, President Madrid Bar Association, signing a cooperation agreement between the ILS and the Madrid Bar Association. The agreement was signed at the historic Ateneo Theater in Madrid as part of the opening ceremony for the VIII Annual Congress of the Madrid Bar Association. The respective bar leaders are pictured wearing the formal toga worn by attorneys during court proceedings in most civil law jurisdictions. ILS Chair Eduardo Palmer indicated that “this agreement is part of our continuing efforts to serve as a bridge for lawyers in Europe to use Florida as a gateway to carry out business activities throughout the Americas.” A copy of the agreement is attached here and posted on the ILS website.

International Law Board Certification Applications for Lawyers

Recertification Applicants:
If you were originally certified in 2001, 2006 or 2011. All requirements for recertification are to be completed by May 31, 2016 unless you file a recertification extension request. Applications must be postmarked by June 15, 2016.

Initial Applicants:
The filing period for initial applications opens July 1, 2016 and applications must be postmarked by August 31, 2016.

Applications for initial board certification and recertification will be available on the International Law Certification website by
April 1, 2016.

The Shanghai Bar Association and the International Law Section Signed a Memorandum of Understanding

shanghai_barThe Shanghai Bar Association and the International Law Section signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Miami that will begin a relationship between the two bars fostering the mutual education, exchange of attorneys, and legal comparative study of the two systems of law. The Chinese delegation was headed by David Yu, right, president of the Shanghai Bar, who made the trip to Miami with five other Chinese attorneys to sign the agreement. “This historic agreement will usher in an age of cooperation between the lawyers of Shanghai and Florida, one that will not only improve Florida attorneys’ understanding of Chinese law, but also make Florida the state for China to do business in when dealing with the Western Hemisphere,” said Eduardo Palmer, left, chair of the International Law Section. The agreement was the culmination of two years of negotiations by Florida attorney Mark Weiner. Weiner attended the East China Institute of Political Science and Law in Shanghai and has assisted the Shanghai government implement other public projects between the Shanghai government and the state of Florida. The ILS will host young lawyers from Shanghai, as will Shanghai firms of lawyers from Florida. The two bars will organize seminars to further the learning of each others laws and procedures. Delegations also will be visiting each others law firms to further the cooperation and education of both members of their respective bars.

ILS Aids in Filing Amicus Brief with Florida Supreme Court

On behalf of the International Law Section, Larry Rifkin, Ed Mullins, and Jacqueline Villalba assisted in the preparation of an Amicus Brief filed with the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of O.I.C.L., a minor unaccompanied alien. The Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision in O.I.C.L. v. Department of Children and Families, No. 4D15-53, 2015 WL 4461164 (Fla. 4th DCA) (July 22, 2015) concerns the International Law Section because, among other issues, it seeks to restrict unaccompanied minors’ access to the courts by denying petitions for adjudication of dependency simply on the basis of whether the child lives with a relative, without further inquiry. The term “unaccompanied minor” is defined as a child who is under the age of 18, has no lawful immigration stat­us in the United States, and has no parent or legal guardian in the United States that can provide care for the child. In most cases, an unaccompanied minor’s only form of relief from deportation is Special Immigrant Juvenile Status which requires, among other things, that a state juvenile court issue an Order of Dependency. In O.I.C.L., the Court failed to issue an Order of Dependency solely because the minor was living with a relative. The Brief urged the Florida Supreme Court to quash the Fourth District Court of Appeals’ decision on legal and humanitarian grounds.

Michael Higer

Please consider Michael J. Higer for President-Elect of The Florida Bar

Michael Higer

Michael Higer

Please consider supporting my friend and colleague, Michael J. Higer, in his candidacy for President-Elect of The Florida Bar.

Michael is an experienced litigator and trial lawyer who has devoted his practice to commercial litigation and civil trial work involving a wide variety of matters. The Best Lawyers in America®, Florida Trend magazine’s Florida Legal Elite™ and Florida Super Lawyers have all repeatedly recognized Michael in his practice areas. Michael is widely regarded as one of the architects of the business courts established in Florida. The Florida Bar, Business Law Section recognized him as its Outstanding Member in 2005, and he is a former Chair of that Section.

Additionally, Michael has served on the Board of Governors for over 7 years. He is a former Chair of the Business Law Section and other major committees of The Bar, including the Budget Committee, the Program Evaluation Committee and the Disciplinary Review Committee. Michael presently serves on the Strategic Planning Committee and the Executive Committee of The Bar. In addition to the foregoing accomplishments, Michael is an exceptional person who deserves the opportunity to further his contributions to the Florida Bar as its future President.

Please join me in supporting Michael by signing and returning the Nominating Petition, attached here, to Kristin Drecktrah Paz ( as soon as possible (early next week if possible) as the window for qualifying is just about to open.

Thank you for your time and consideration.