ILS Chair’s News & Notes

Dear ILS Members,
The last day of the month is here, occurring this year on a Friday, which we know as the Day of Gazette.
In gazetting today, I want to discuss the holiday known around the world as May Day, which occurs tomorrow, May 1. May Day is a celebration with a long and varied history, dating back millennia. Throughout the years, there have been many different events and festivities worldwide, most with the express purpose of welcoming in a change of season (spring in the Northern Hemisphere). A popular tradition of May Day involves the Maypole. Here is what one looks like:
While the exact origins of the Maypole remain unknown, the annual traditions surrounding it can be traced back to medieval times, and some are still celebrated today. Villagers would enter the woods to find a Maypole that was set up for the day in small towns (or sometimes permanently in larger cities). (Query: is this a Maypole in New York?)
The day’s festivities involved merriment, as people would dance around the pole clad with colorful streamers and ribbons. The Maypole never really took root in America, where May Day celebrations were discouraged by the Puritans, who overall were not very big on festivals. But other forms of celebrations did find their way to the New World. During the 19th and 20th centuries, May Basket Day was celebrated across the country, where baskets were created with flowers, candies and other treats and hung on the doors of friends, neighbors and loved ones on May 1. I like the idea of the Maypole myself, and plan to add it to my Festivus Pole for holiday celebrations.
In this issue of the Gazette, the ILS continues to highlight board certified international lawyers. This time, we also add a feature highlighting not only those Florida Bar Board Certified in International Law, but also in International Litigation & Arbitration. Our first member to be highlighted for his board certification in International Litigation & Arbitration is Edward “Ed” Mullins, a Past-Chair of the ILS and partner with ILS Regional Sponsor Reed Smith. Ed was the inaugural chair of the Board Certification Committee for International Litigation & Arbitration. It took 10 years to finally get this area of board certification approved by the Bar, and it was due to lawyers like Ed. He knows his board certification gives him “instant credibility with clients, other lawyers, and the publications as being someone who is an expert..” Ed is also a great fan of “Godfather” analogies.
We also highlight Josh Markus for his board certification in International Law. Josh is chair of Carlton Fields’ international practice. He is a Past-Chair of the ILS. Josh is also the honorary consul of Bulgaria for Florida. Josh was part of the formative group to establish the board certification for international law. Josh knows that board certification is a “credential that allows me to establish bona fides to those who do not know what I can do.” Josh suggests prospective candidates for board certification should “buy and use the International Law Deskbook published by the International Law Section.”
The ILS strongly encourages members to become Florida Bar Board Certified in either International Law or International Litigation & Arbitration. Show your clients that you are objectively an expert in your practice! You can also get discounts on your Professional Liability Insurance.
Let’s also remember the month of May is “World Trade Month”. In support of World Trade Month, ILS member Jennifer Diaz will be hosting a number of webinars, information below.
Please check out our updated sponsor list at the bottom of the Gazette. If your firm isn’t on it, then it should be! Contact me at for our great ILS sponsorship opportunities and benefits.
I also look forward to more member news and short features from you that we can highlight in our Gazette. The Gazette is here to work for our members.
Happy May Day and World Trade Month!
Sincerely yours,
Robert J. Becerra