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The International Law Section Gazette
Section News
Save the Date - 2019 Richard Dewitt Memorial Vis Pre-Moot

On February 23, 2019 at the offices of JAMS - 600 Brickell Ave. Suite 2600 Miami, FL, the ILS will again be hosting the Richard Dewitt Memorial Vis Pre-Moot to assist the law schools preparing teams for the  Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot  competition in Vienna. We look forward to participation from Florida's largest law schools.

Call for committee members: Vis Pre-Moot

Vis Pre-Moot Planning Committee is in search of additional members to help organize the event.  The Committee will meet periodically to tackle the various projects needed to successfully put on the moot including organizing the logistics of the competition, liaising with coaches and teams, planning the rounds, and engaging volunteer arbitrators.  If you would like to be part of the Committee, please email Adrian Nuñez at

Save the Date for iLaw 2019

Please join us for our annual flagship conference on Friday, February 22, 2019 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami. This year's conference will feature programming on hot issues in international litigation, arbitration, and business transactions. As in previous years, we have teamed up with the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) for the international arbitration track. We have limited rooms available, so reserve your room early! For more information please visit our website,, or contact this year's co-chairs, Jacqueline Villalba,; Kristin Drecktrah Paz,; or Cristina Vicens


From our Members

By Richard Montes de Oca*

On September 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the end of its long corruption probe against Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras), a Brazilian state-owned energy company. Petrobras agreed to pay a combined $853.2 million in penalties to resolve an investigation by the DOJ and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for violations to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), as well as an investigation by Brazilian authorities.

The corruption scandal was uncovered in 2014, when Brazilian prosecutors announced their investigation, called "Operation Car-Wash," into a corruption scheme involving construction companies, including Odebrecht S.A., which were overbilling Petrobras while paying bribes to high-level Petrobras' executives and to Brazilian politicians. Several high-level executives from Petrobras and the construction companies involved have been arrested by Brazilian authorities. 

Since then, U.S. authorities had been working in cooperation with the Brazilian authorities to prosecute Petrobras in the U.S. for violating the FCPA since Petrobras is also a U.S. publicly-traded company. Petrobras faced charges of bribery payments, failure to keep appropriate books and records, and failure to establish adequate internal controls. In its announcement, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department's Criminal Division said that: "[t]his case is just the most recent example of our ability to work with our foreign counterparts to investigate companies and other criminal actors whose conduct spans multiple international jurisdictions."

Petrobras entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the DOJ and the SEC, so once it pays the agreed criminal penalty, the U.S. authorities will not prosecute the company. The DOJ listed various factors in reaching its settlement with the company, including: the fact that Petrobras is a state-owned company, its full remediation after the scheme was uncovered, and its full cooperation with all authorities. Petrobras also agreed to continue cooperating with the DOJ in the prosecution of individuals for related bribery violations, as well as enhancing its compliance program.

With record-setting fines being levied in the billions of dollars, coupled with the DOJ and SEC's aggressive enforcement, it is more critical than ever for companies to evaluate their risk of FCPA violations and establish or improve their Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs to mitigate such risks. The attorneys and advisors at MDO Partners have extensive experience advising clients on the FCPA and effective Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs in over 30 countries.

*Richard Montes de Oca is the 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. For more information on MDO Partners, please visit
Upcoming Events
October 24-26, 2018
Join our partners of the New York State Bar International Section as it explores Montreal, Canada for its Seasonal Meeting in 2018! The meeting will be held October 24-26, 2018 at the InterContinental Hotel 360 Rue Saint Antoine Ouest Montréal, QC H2Y 3X4, Canada. Registration details are available in the event's brochure.

October 31, 2018

Please join us on Wednesday, O ctober 31st starting at 12pm , for lunch with Michael A. Dribin, partner in the Miami law firm Harper Meyer Perez Hagen O'Connor Albert & Dribin LLP. The event will be held at the offices  of  Fiduciary Trust  Company International  2 Alhambra Plaza, PH1A Coral Gables, Florida   33134.

Mr. Dribin obtained a B.A. degree from Northwestern University in 1972, a J.D. degree from Loyola University of Chicago in 1975 and a LL.M. degree in Taxation from the University of Miami in 1979.

Practicing since 1975, Mr. Dribin is a Board Certified Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyer since 1986; is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estates Counsel since 1990 (member, Fiduciary Litigation Committee); and is the Past Chair of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar. Mr. Dribin is an Estate Planning Advisor in the University of Miami Masters in Estate Planning program, an active member of the Probate and Guardianship Court Committee of the Dade County Bar Association, serves as the Dean of Florida Fellows Institute and Past President of the Estate Planning Council of Miami.

Mr. Dribin has been designated a "Florida Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics magazine for six consecutive years and as a Top 100 Attorney in Miami, Florida. Mr. Dribin has been recognized since 1993 in Best Lawyers in America, published by Woodward and White and designated since 2009 "Florida Legal Elite" in Florida Trend magazine by his peers. Mr. Dribin is a frequent lecturer on areas of probate, trust and guardianship laws and related areas of litigation, and in the area of estate planning.

Michael Dribin recently participated in the 37th Annual Attorney Trust Officer Conference in Palm Beach on August 24, 2018.  Mr. Dribin's participation included a panel discussion entitled "Drafting to Avoid the Administrator's Nightmare and the Litigator's Dream".

November 6-10, 2018
The ABA Section of International Law will hold its Conference on International Trade and Investments in Mexico City. To learn more, click here.

November 1-4, 2018
The Florida Department of State is pleased to announce the next Civil-Law Notary
examination will be administered November 4th in Tallahassee, Florida. The National
Association of Civil Law Notaries (NACLN) will conduct a training course and seminar
in Tallahassee to educate Florida Attorneys about the civil-law notary office in Florida
and worldwide, and to prepare candidates for the exam. The seminar begins November
1st and concludes November 4th with the administration of the examination.

Seminar attendees will earn CLE Credits (General - 25.0 hours, with 2.5 hours in Ethics)
and Certification Credits (Business Litigation - 25 hours; International Law - 25 hours;
and International Litigation & Arbitration - 25 hours). Any Florida Bar member may
register and attend the seminar, but attendees who choose to sit for the State examination
(optional) must have been previously approved by the Department of State for
appointment as a Civil-law Notary (application available online at

For more information, please refer to the examination announcement.

November 8-10, 2018
The International Association of Young Lawyers will hold a conference in San Diego on: Entrepreneurship and innovation: from early stages to the evolutionWith 70 miles of coastline and year-round amazing weather and serene ocean water, you can see why San Diego is the place to be. With hidden gems tucked into different neighbourhoods, you can explore San Diego's natural beauty, plentiful breweries, one-of-a-kind shops, cultural institutions, and attractions. Today, the city also gained a reputation as an innovative tech hub thanks to its top-notch universities and world-renowned research institutes. These are just a few of the reasons that make San Diego a perfect venue to speak about entrepreneurship and innovation.

The AIJA Seminar will address topics such as entrepreneurship legal issues, key challenges in setting up new businesses, use of intellectual property strategies to protect new assets, approaching investors, negotiation techniques between founders and investors, or licensing strategies. You will have the opportunity to meet with industry leaders, professionals and listen to the "real stories" of successful entrepreneurs who have made an impact in their industry.

For more information, please refer to the event's brochure.

November 9, 2018
Join the United States Council for International Business for a roundtable discussion on many topics of interest to the arbitration community, including: the function and activities of USCIB's Arbitration Committee, its Florida Subcommittee, the role of U.S. Court members to the ICC Court, an update on the U.S. members of the ICC Commission on Arbitration & ADR and the current work of the Commission, how USCIB's Nominations Committee nominates U.S. arbitrators for ICC cases, and the latest news from the ICC Court.

The event will be held on November 9, 2018, starting at 12pm, at the office of Baker McKenzie in Miami (1111 Brickell Ave #1700). Click   here   to register for this complimentary luncheon program.

November 26-27, 2018
The Asia Committee of the Florida Bar International Law Section has organized a 
U.S.-India Symposium on Law, Business and Investments.  The symposium will take place on November 26-27, 2018 in conjunction with the Indian National Bar Association's (INBA) annual conference at the Shangri-La Hotel in New Delhi.  The symposium proposes to bring participation from legal luminaries, senior government officials, and international law firms from across the globe. 

January 30, 2019
On January 30, 2019 the ILS will host an audio webinar titled H-1B Processing: Navigating Troubled Waters in  These Turbulent Times .   This audio webcast will offer a practical approach to the preparation of the H-1B visa petition taking into consideration USCIS regulations and current policy including adjudication trends at the Service Centers. For more information, please refer to the event's brochure. To register please visit this link.

Fall 2018 ILQ
International Law Quarterly (ILQ)
The  Fall 2018 ILQ -  Focus on Asia  is now available to view and download 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 2017-2018, 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, James Meyer at  for more details.

  Become a Sponsor for the 2018-2019 Cycle
The ILS Gazette

Editor: Fabio Giallanza

Chair: Carlos F. Osorio
Immediate Past Chair: Arnoldo B. Lacayo
Chair-Elect:  Clarissa Rodriguez
Secretary:  Robert J. Becerra
Treasurer: James Meyer