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New Chair’s Remarks – June 2006

Francesca Russo-Di Staulo

ILS Chair (2006-2007)

NEW CHAIR’S REMARKS-JUNE 2006 (Boca Raton Resort & Club)


Dear Executive Council Members, and fellow executive committee members, thank you. I want to thank each and every one of you for granting me the honor and privilege of serving as Chair of the International Law Section for this upcoming year.


When I think of the long line of accomplished, dedicated and dynamic men and women who have preceded me and have already served as Section Chairs, I am truly humbled for having the opportunity to follow in their footsteps. I will work hard to follow their example by making a lasting contribution to the Section that will serve the next Chair and all Section members well in the future.


Naturally, the job of Chair cannot be accomplished alone. As John Rooney, my predecessor will tell you, each and every one of you, all executive committee members, executive council members and committee chairs, especially, are integral components that must work together, side by side, if we wish to achieve the ultimate goal of raising the stature and prestige of this Section to that of a world class organization. To do so, we need to work closely together to make it a reality.


We, as a Section have already taken some significant steps toward this goal. To name just a few examples:


1. Under Lucius Smejda’s leadership, we saw tremendous strides in bringing real structure and organization to the Section and we unveiled the new and improved ILS website.


2. Under John Rooney’s leadership, we were able to finalize the revisions to this Section’s bylaws so that they would be more in accord with the new face of the Section and better reflect the Section’s mandate and goals. John also led the effort in streamlining the Committees of the Section for improved accountability.


During my year as Chair of this Section, my goal is to continue the tireless, talented efforts of my predecessors and help the Section take additional concrete steps toward the achievement of our combined goal which is continue to raise the profile and stature of this Section:


1. One of the first significant and concrete steps begins with the Section’s Annual Retreat which will take place in early December, at the Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne. The Annual Retreat is traditionally the Section’s major “brainstorming session.” I call upon each of you to commit to not only attending the Retreat but to actually come prepared to discuss concrete ideas, including ideas for new seminars that may be held this upcoming year; as well as ideas for further strengthening and increasing the profile and role of the Section in the overall landscape of International Law;


2. This year, I plan to not only hold regular, monthly meetings of the Executive Committee but I plan to personally contact each Committee Chair in advance of the monthly meetings to be held, to touch base with them and discuss the goals of their Committees, the specific steps/activities they plan to take this year to accomplish their Committee’s goals and to check-in with them on a regular, monthly basis on the progress of those activities. These periodic exchanges will be followed by brief e-mails that will constitute mini interim Committee reports that will be discussed at the monthly Executive Committee meetings. The idea is to breathe new real life into the Committees, increase accountability and encourage the Committees to have their own regular meetings whether on the phone or in-person so that by the end of the year, we can point to specific, concrete steps each Committee has taken toward the achieving of our ultimate goal.


3. This past year, we, as a Section, took an important step toward increasing the profile of this Section, when under John Rooney’s Chairmanship, we sent Brock McClane, as a representative of this Section to attend the very 1st World Bar Leaders’ Conference, in London, England, May 24-26th. Significantly, This Section was the only section of the Florida Bar to send a representative and represent Florida at this event. As is outlined in Brock McClane’s report, this World Conference attracted Bar Leaders from. such countries as, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, to name just a few. Attendance at these types of events are important steps toward increasing the overall profile of this Section and where we can show Bars from other countries just what our Section I all about, what we have accomplished and what we plan to accomplish. This upcoming year, I plan to attend the next Bar Leader’s Conference, and represent this Section, as a continual effort to further increase the profile of this Section;


4. This coming year, I plan to not only continue to increase the ties and relationships that this Section already has with foreign Bars such as the Canadian Bar and the Barelona Bar, but also to establish new ones. For example, I would like to see this Section enter into an agreement with the Genovese Bar of Italy, to name but one example;


5. This coming year, I hope you will all work with me and the CLE Committee in bringing to this Section Class-A seminars and presentations that will not only serve to increase the profile of the Section but that will result in positive revenues for the Section.

a. Thanks to Elke Roff, we were able to end this past year and kick-off this year with a great seminar entitled: An Overview on International Transactions, which took place this morning from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 12:30 a.m. This seminar is an important first concrete step in improving participation in the area of Transactional Law. The goal is to further increase participation in this branch of the Section and to raise its profile to the level of recognition that the International Litigation and Arbitration Committee already enjoys.

b. This upcoming year, the International Chamber of Commerce will be holding its Fourth Annual Conference on International Commercial Arbitration in Latin America, which will take place in Miami, from November 5-7, 2006. This year again the Section has been invited to act a promotional supporter of this event. We have already received a proposal for consideration.

c. I encourage all of you to give serious thought to additional seminar ideas for this upcoming year.


6. As a continuing goal of this Section, I want to see a significant increase in the Section membership as well as an increase in attendance at Section events;


7. In addition, in the interest of increasing accountability, visibility and ensuring concrete results for this upcoming year, I encourage each of you to contact me whether by phone, or e-mail with not only your ideas but also to discuss any complaints or issues you may have and that might otherwise constitute an impediment or obstacle to achieving specific goals.


These are just a few brief thoughts. Once again, thank you for your confidence and trust.


As Chair, I am pleased to introduce the first 2006 Issue of the International Law Quarterly.



Francesca Russo-Di Staulo

Kluger Peretz Kaplan and Berlin Pl.

201 S. Biscayne Blvd., Fl. 17

Miami, FL 33131-4325

(305) 379-9000  Fax: (305) 379-3428