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ILS Legislative Committee Report of 3-14-12

Dear ILS members:
The ILS Legislative Committee is very pleased to report two recent accomplishments during the 2012 Florida Legislative Session that concluded on March 9, 2012:
(1) First, the passage of the ILS Sponsored “Glitch-Fix Bill” (SB 486/HB 917) which clarified existing ambiguities, redundancies and clerical errors in Fla. Stat. 48.193, 55.502, 684.0019, 684.0026, 685.101 and 685.102, which, in summary, dealt with Long Arm Statute issues, Choice of Law, Florida’s Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and Florida’s International Commercial Arbitration Act. The changes to these laws positively benefit all international litigators and reinforce Florida’s image as a leading jurisdiction for the practice of international law. See attached White Paper on the matter. The bill’s passage culminates two years of efforts and we are grateful for the support of our Senate and House sponsors, Sen. Diaz de la Portilla and Rep. Bileca. We thank them very much for their support in sponsoring our bill and getting fellow legislators to vote in favor of passage. We also thank our supporters in the business community, which included the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Florida, and the Florida International Bankers Association.

(2) Second, the defeat of this year’s iteration of the “Sharia Law” bill, SB 1360/HB 1209 (Sen. Hays and Rep. Metz sponsors). We wrote to you all several times in the last few weeks asking that you write Florida Senators to oppose this misguided and unconstitutional bill that sought to greatly limit the application of foreign law in family court actions. Had the bill succeeded, it would have set a dangerous precedent for further restrictions on the application of foreign law in all practice areas in Florida. We are again indebted Sen. Diaz de la Portilla for his role in this battle. The ILS, with the support of the Family Law Section, led an uphill battle against motivated bill sponsors who had managed to get the bill through the House and up for consideration on the Senate floor. It was not until the last day of the Legislative Session that we were able to succeed in blocking passage of the bill. We must remain vigilant because it is likely that the bill will return in 2013.
It is efforts like these that highlight the importance of having a strong ILS.
The ILS Legislative Committee
Eduardo Palmer (Chair), Richard Dewitt, Carlos Osorio, Regan Kruse, Omar Ibrahem, Todd Kocourek, Raquel Rodriguez, Phil Buhler, Brock McClane