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The International Law Section Gazette
Section News
Meet the ILS Executive Board 2019-2020

Clarissa A. Rodriguez, Esq.
Reich Rodriguez, P.A.
9999 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 204
Miami, FL 33138

Robert J. Becerra, Esq.
Becerra Law, P.A.
1001 Brickell Bay Dr., Suite 1200
Miami, FL 33131

James M. Meyer, Esq.
Harper Meyer Perez Hagen Albert Dribin & DeLuca LLP
201 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 800
Miami, FL 33131

Rafael R. Ribeiro, Esq.
Hogan Lovells LLP
600 Brickell Ave., Suite 2700
Miami, FL 33131

International Law Section - Call for Committee Members

The International Law Section Foreign Legal Consultants Committee and Legislative Committee call for all Members to join their ranks for the 2019-2020 bar year. Join Today! 

For additional information, please email the ILS Chair Clarissa Rodriguez,, or ILS Chair-Elect Robert Becerra,

Save the Date - ILS Audio Webcasts 2019-2020

Save the date for the following ILS webcasts:

September 11, 2019: (3564) The Venezuela Sanctions: Staying Clear of Uncharted Mines (audio webcast) 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. by Aleksandar Dukic, Richard Montes De Oca, and Jacqueline Arango.

September 18, 2019: (3565) The RFE Dilemma: How to Strategize Your Response to RFEs for L and H Visas (audio webcast) 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM by Larry Rifkin, Elaine Weiss, Juan Carlos Freyre.

Available CLEs

During the Spring, the Florida Bar International Law Section proudly offered CLE webinars on a wide variety of topics, including H-1B Processing, Key Changes in EU General Data Protection Regulations, and FIFA Transfer Rules and the Court of Arbitration for Sports. All past programs have a link to register for on demand and downloadable podcasts for the next 18 months.

International Law Section - Call for Member News

The Executive Board of the International Law Section calls for all Members to share news about their professional achievements, endeavors, and successes to be published in the Gazette and on the International Law Section website. 

To share your professional achievements with the ILS Network, please submit all relevant information to Davide Macelloni, Editor of the ILS Gazette.

Join the International Law Section 

If you are reading the Gazette, chances are that you are a practitioner or a student with an interest in International Law , one of the most wide-ranging, exciting and challenging legal specialties. Everyone in our field knows how crucial it is to stay on top of diverse and evolving national legal regimes, and at the same time, the difficulty of keeping meticulously up-to-date on developments around the world.

The International Law Section (ILS) of The Florida Bar is here to help you, the practitioner, navigate both the everyday and big-picture challenges of our field. Our Section is your forum to share knowledge and best practices, and to meet and mingle with peers in professional collaborations that can only enhance your grasp of the specialty and your standing among clients and peers.

Let ILS membership assist you in developing a thriving international practice through peer network development that includes important shared learnings and reciprocal referrals of clients and casework.

If your practice transcends borders, join us in making this the authoritative, go-to forum for Florida and the gateway to the region for anyone practicing International Law.  Our Section is open to lawyers from other states and countries, full-time faculty at U.S. law schools, and full-time U.S. law students , all of whom may participate as associate members. For more information regarding membership with the ILS, click HERE.

Call for Info for the ILS Gazette "Member Spotlight"

The International Law Section Gazette calls for all Members to share their biographies and professional achievements to support its newly introduced "Members Spotlight" section. Featuring different members every week, the Member Spotlight aims to connect all members across the state of Florida and beyond, develop the ILS network, and encourage member participation to ILS events and initiatives. 

To be featured on "Member Spotlight" and share your information and professional successes with the ILS Network, please email  Davide Macelloni, Editor of the ILS Gazette.

Member Spotlight
ILS Chair - Clarissa A. Rodriguez

The  Chair of The  Florida Bar International Law Section,   Clarissa A. Rodriguez is a shareholder at Reich Rodriguez, P.A., and is Board Certified in International Law. Her practice focuses on complex business dispute resolution, international arbitration, and art law disputes. 

Clarissa represents businesses and individuals-based in the United States and abroad-in state and federal court as well as before various international tribunals.

A graduate of the University of Florida, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, Clarissa received her Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, and a Licenciatura en Derecho Civil from the Universidad de Barcelona, Faculdad de Derecho.

For more information, please visit

ILS Chair-Elect - Robert J. Becerra

The Chair-Elect of The Florida Bar International Law Section, Robert J. Becerra, is a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in International Law. 

Becerra concentrates his practice in the areas of litigation and arbitration, white collar criminal defense, grand jury investigations, corporate compliance and internal investigations, and administrative and judicial proceedings related to international trade matters. Becerra has extensive experience in handling international trade issues, including trademark infringement, cargo losses, errors and omissions by logistics providers, and disputes arising from import-export professionals.

For more information, please visit

ILS Secretary - James M. Meyer

A shareholder of Harper Meyer Perez Hagen Albert Dribin & DeLuca LLP and newly elected Secretary of The Florida Bar International Law Section, James M. Meyer concentrates his practice on the representation of U.S. and Latin American-based multinational corporations, financial  institutions manufacturers, franchisors, family offices and private high net-worth clients in general corporate matters, commercial leasing, financing, sales and acquisitions of capital equipment, including aircraft and yachts. His experience in such matters also extends throughout the Caribbean.

A graduate of Arizona State University, where he earned his B.A. magna cum laude, Meyer received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law.

For more information, please visit

ILS Treasurer - Rafael R. Ribeiro

Rafael R. Ribeiro, the newly appointed Treasurer of The Florida Bar International Law Section, is a partner at the Miami office of Hogan Lovells. 

Leveraging his experience abroad and his fluency in four languages, Ribeiro has significant experience conducting international internal investigations and representing client in cross-border disputes. Ribeiro is currently part of the senior team of Hogan Lovells lawyers conducting two of the largest anti-corruption investigations in Latin America, focusing on allegations of  corruption in the energy sector. 

A graduate of the New College of Florida, Ribeiro earned his Juris Doctor,  cum laude , from the University of Florida.

For more information, please visit 

Member News
Gilbert K. Squires Elected President of the  Dade County Bar Association

Gilbert K. Squires, managing member of Squires International Law, PLLC, was sowrn in as the 103rd President of the Dade County Bar Association.

An international arbitrator and litigator, Squires has extensive experience in international energy, oil and gas, power generation, and renewable energy.

For additional information, please visit 

From Our Members
Walmart to Pay $282 Million for FCPA Violations

By Richard Montes De Oca* and Priscila Bandeira**

On June 20, 2019, Walmart Inc. agreed to pay $282 million to settle a long-lasting probe for violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by failing to ensure its subsidiaries in Brazil, China, India and Mexico had adequate anti-corruption programs. The probe started by investigating a reported bribery scheme involving Walmart's subsidiaries in Mexico.
Walmart has been under extensive investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Mexican authorities since 2011 for violations of the FCPA taking place for over 10 years, from 2000 to 2011. In Mexico, Walmart's employees paid alleged bribes to government officials in order to obtain permits to build Walmart stores. Walmart was informed about the possible misconduct in Mexico by a special investigator and internal audit employees; however, the company refused to follow their recommendations.
In addition to the violations in Mexico, Walmart was also charged for bribes allegedly paid by the company's subsidiaries to government officials in Brazil, China and India.
It is important to highlight that the main charge by the DOJ and the SEC concerns Walmart's failure to have adequate anti-corruption controls in place, while its employees, including high level executives, allegedly knew about the bribes. Accordingly, the probe also pointed to Walmart's hiring of a contractor in Brazil despite clear "red flags", something that could have been avoided with an effective compliance program. The payment to the Brazilian contractor, who worked as an intermediary to obtain permits more quickly, was also falsely recorded as a payment to construction companies, further violating the FCPA's books and records provisions. It was not until 2011 that Walmart started to bolster its compliance program.
Since the commencement of the investigation, Walmart has fired its General Counsel in Mexico and spent over $870 million dollars in legal fees and global compliance upgrades.
During the probe, the DOJ did not officially comment on the penalty sought against Walmart, which first prompted some experts to estimate that the fine would be in the range of $600 million to $1 billion. However, Walmart disclosed in its SEC filings in 2018 that it would probably reach a settlement for approximately $283 million as a result of the various remedial measures taken by the company. Some of the remedial measures taken into account by the federal authorities were (i) the enhancement of Walmart's anti-corruption compliance program and internal accounting controls; (ii) hiring of global and local Compliance Officers; and (iii) according to the Non-Prosecution Agreement between the DOJ and Walmart, "conducting, across each of Walmart's markets, enhanced monthly and quarterly anti-corruption monitoring by dedicated Company Financial Controls and Continuous Improvement Teams (who monitor at store-level), with results tracked in a centralized, real-time automated monitoring system."
DOJ Criminal Division Chief Brian Benczkowski said in a statement, "In numerous instances, senior Walmart employees knew of failures of its anti-corruption-related internal controls involving foreign subsidiaries, and yet Walmart failed for years to implement sufficient controls comporting with U.S. criminal laws. As today's resolution shows, even the largest of U.S. companies operating abroad are bound by U.S. laws, and the Department of Justice will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute foreign corruption."
With increasingly aggressive enforcement efforts and record-setting fines by the DOJ and SEC, MDO Partners encourages companies to establish strong Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs to mitigate the risk of FCPA violations. In fact, recent reports reflect that nearly 500 enforcement actions were initiated and $4 billion in fines were levied by the DOJ and SEC in 2018, boosted in large part by foreign corruption cases. MDO Partners advises companies on global compliance programs; our attorneys and advisors have extensive experience advising clients on the FCPA and effective Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs in over 30 countries.
*Richard Montes De Oca is Managing Partner at MDO Partners, a boutique law firm that focuses on Corporate, International, and Real Estate Law, as well as Global Compliance and Business Ethics.

**Priscila Bandeira is a Global Compliance and Corporate Law Associate Counsel at MDO Partners, where she assists clients with corporate governance documentation, corporate formation, and international transactions. A graduate of the J.D./L.LM Joint Program at the University of Miami, Ms. Bandeira is also registered with the Brazilian Bar.

Upcoming Events
September 3-7, 2019
T he 57th International Young Lawyers' Congress of the  Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats - International Association of Young Lawyers  will take place in Rome, Italy. The event will be an opportunity to network and learn with a focus on "Sustainability and the Law. Planet. People. Future." For more information or to register, please  refer to th event's website .

September 22-27, 2019
The  International Bar Association invites all members to attend its 2019 annual conference, which will be held in  Seoul, South Korea , a thriving metropolis that mixes the traditional with the modern - from skyscrapers, high-tech subways, K-pop culture and K-beauty to Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets and a history going back 5,000 years. For more information or to register, please refer to the event's website .

Winter 2019 ILQ
International Law Quarterly: Winter 2019

The new issue of the International Law Quarterly - Focus on International Human Rights is now available. Click on the image below to download.

For all previous issues of the International Law Quarterly, please click here.

Visit our Sponsors                                             
ILS Thanks its Sponsors 

In light of what we accomplished this past year, we hope you will continue to support the Section as a sponsor. In 2018-2019, various firms, companies and suppliers sponsored the Section. 

We look forward to another year of innovative programs where we can advance international law and further promote our sponsors. To learn more, read the Section's sponsorship package. You can also c ontact our Treasurer, Rafael R. Ribeiro at  for more details.

  BECOME A SPONSOR  for the 2019-2020 Cycle!
The ILS Gazette

Chair: Clarissa A. Rodriguez
Immediate Past Chair: Carlos F. Osorio
Chair-Elect: Robert J. Becerra
Secretary: James M. Meyer
Treasurer: Rafael R. Ribeiro