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The International Law Section Gazette
Section News
2019 Conference on International Law in Panama

Please join t he  Florida Bar International Law Section  for its  2019 Conference on International Law  that will be hosted by  Morgan & Morgan at the MMG Tower in Panama City, Republic of Panama.   

The Conference will kick-off  with a welcome dinner on May 30, 2019, and will continue on May 31, 2019 featuring panels on Comparative Tax Law, Comparative Maritime Law, Comparative Litigation and Arbitration, and Comparative Corporate Law. For more information, please contact Mrs. Gabriela Saavedra at gsaavedra@harpermeyer.comFor the Conference's agenda, click here.


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.

International Law Quarterly - Call for Articles

The editorial board of the International Law Quarterly is now requesting articles and proposals for the  Spring 2019 ILQ  to be released before (and highlighted at) The Florida Bar annual convention in June.  Although proposals will be considered on any relevant international topic, the Spring ILQ will focus on  "International Cross-Border Investing."   We hope to have articles on a variety of topics, such as tax implications of cross-border investments, ICSID issues and recent cases, energy/infrastructure projects, pre-immigration tax planning, Brexit impact in UK and EU, investment in Cuba, and much more.  But we need your help to make this edition of the ILQ a success.
Please send your article proposals to Ana Barton ( and Laura Reich ( as soon as possible. 
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.

Upcoming CLE Events

The Florida Bar International Law Section is proud to offer the following CLE events, which will be held in webinar form. The CLE webinars will include a wide variety of topics, including Key changes in EU General Data Protection, FIFA Transfer Rules and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the New Landscape of Data Protection and Privacy in Brazil. All past programs have a link to register for on demand and downloadable podcasts for the next 18 months. To get further information or to sign up click on the webinar links below:

Member News
MDO Partners Adds Associate Counsel, Priscila Bandeira

MDO PARTNERS announces the expansion of its global compliance and corporate law practices with the addition of Associate Counsel, Priscila Bandeira. 
Ms. Bandeira graduated with a L.L.M./J.D. joint degree from the University of Miami (UM) School of Law and is a member of the Florida Bar. She previously served as the firm's law clerk, and now joins the firm as an attorney. Ms. Bandeira will assist clients with corporate governance, corporate and international transactions, and compliance programs with emphasis on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
"I have learned immensely and have enjoyed doing a great amount of interesting work in my role as the firm's law clerk. I am thrilled to continue assisting clients with their corporate and compliance needs at MDO Partners and to expand my role at the firm."
"We are excited to have Priscila as an attorney on our team," said Managing Partner, Richard Montes de Oca.  Her legal, language and cultural experience, especially with Brazilian clients and interests is a tremendous value to MDO."
Bandeira is originally from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where she previously received a law degree from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. She is currently registered with the Brazilian Bar and has experience in Brazilian Corporate Law, International Commercial Arbitration, and International Investments and Contracts. Bandeira is an active member of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and is fluent in Portuguese and French, and conversational in Spanish.
Priscila Bandeira can be contacted at

Davide Macelloni Appointed to The Florida Bar Diversity and Inclusion Committee

On April 30, 2019, Davide Macelloni was appointed by The Florida Bar President-Elect John Stewart to serve on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the upcoming year.

The mission of the Committee is to increase diversity and inclusion in The Florida Bar so that the Bar will reflect the demographics of the state, to develop opportunities for community involvement, and to make leadership roles within the profession and The Florida Bar accessible to all attorneys, including those who are racially, ethnically and culturally diverse, women, members of the LGBTQ community and persons with disabilities.

Diaz Trade Law speaks at "CBP Compliance and Enforcement"

Jennifer Diaz, President of Diaz Trade Law

Denise Calle, Associate at Diaz Trade Law
On April 17, 2019,  Jennifer Diaz , President of Diaz Trade Law, and  Denise Calle, Associate at Diaz Trade Law, were speakers at "CBP Compliance and Enforcement," a seminar for compliance professional in partnership with the Organization of Women in International Trade - South Florida (OWIT South Florida). 

Joined by Elena Asturias, President of 305 Cargo Services, Inc., Jennifer Diaz and Denise Calle discussed how Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulates importation of products, the role of the importer versus the broker, best practices and how to avoid or respond to CBP enforcement actions.

Additional information is available at

From our Members
New Phase in US-Cuba Relations Adds New Layers of Complexity for Foreign Companies Doing Business in Cuba

By Arthur M. Freyre*

President Trump's decision to end the waiver of Helms-Burton's [1] Title III lawsuits has dramatically changed how foreign companies do business in Cuba. Individuals who have a claim or may have a potential claim against the Cuban government for stolen property can now file suit against foreign companies who are trafficking or trespassing on property they used to own but confiscated by Cuba without compensation. The waiver that has been in the law since the signing of the bill in 1996, ended on May 2nd and Title III will finally be implemented. This post provides a general overview on the Title III lawsuit process. Let's answer three basic questions: "Who are the plaintiffs?" "What is property?" and "What is the trafficking?"

Prior to discussing the three questions, counsels should note that pursuant to 22 U.S.C. §6082 (a)(8), the Attorney General was supposed to have prepared and published in the Federal Register a concise summary of the Act sixty days after the date of enactment. Now that the waiver has been lifted, we anticipate that the Attorney General will prepare and publish the Title III summary. Besides being familiar with the statute, attorneys filing or defending Title III lawsuits need to be aware of certain required actions (i.e. notice to parties and the wind down period) prior to the filing of the lawsuit.

The first question is "Who are the Plaintiffs?" Helms-Burton recognizes two groups of plaintiffs. The first group of plaintiffs is known as certified claimants. The second group of plaintiffs consists of individuals, or heirs of Cuban nationals, who are now U.S. citizens.  These are known as uncertified claimants.

Certified claimants are individuals or corporations who were U.S. citizens when their property in Cuba was confiscated by the Castro revolution after 1959. These individuals provided evidence to the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission showing that the Cuban government confiscated their land without compensation. The Commission issued a certified claim to the claimant based on the property's value. Prior to this implementation of Title III, certified claimants effectively had no access to federal court to file a lawsuit, except for a limited number of victims of terror with personal injury or wrongful death claims.

Uncertified claimants are persons whose families left Cuba after the 1959 communist takeover and whose property were also confiscated by the Cuban government. At the time of the taking, these property owners were not U.S. citizens, and were not eligible to present their matter before the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission when they arrived to the United States.  Subsequently, they or their sons or daughters became U.S. citizens.  Regarding this class of potential plaintiffs, Title III states that the federal courts may use the Commission as a special master to review the uncertified claim and make a finding on it's validity and it's value for the court to decide.

An additional question the courts may have to consider is the question of what is property? Pursuant to Title III, property is broadly defined to include intellectual property (i.e. trademarks, copyrights, patents, and so forth), real property (commercial and personal), and any item that may have a present, future, or contingent right, security, or other interest therein.

The third and final question is what is defines as trafficking? Trafficking in a confiscated property involves a person who knowingly and intentionally, and without authorization of any U.S. national who holds a claim to the property, engages in or benefits from a wide range of transactions in Cuba that include or relate to a confiscated property. There are several exceptions to the trafficking definition. It is important to discuss this matter with counsel.

One final point regarding trafficking, 22 USC § 6082(b) states the required minimum threshold for damages in federal court is $50,000 value of the property at the time of the confiscation. This amount is exclusive of interest, costs, and attorney fees.

Just because one believes that they might meet the minimal threshold of standing, there are other factors that one needs to consider. For instance, the Judicial Conference announced that there is an additional filing fee of $6,548.00 that one needs to pay the courts for the filing of a Title III action, Besides the filing fees, other costs may include service of process, and other fees and expenses we have not mentioned here regarding litigation.
In closing, companies doing business in Cuba should reassess their increased risk exposure during this time, as it may be significant. They need to make sure that they are not trafficking in stolen property. This was the case before May 2nd since there remains an economic embargo of Cuba. Counsel should read and understand Title III carefully and also review the economic sanctions regulations in conjunction with your Title III analysis. Failure to do this assessment may expose companies and individuals to potential lawsuits and liability. Reading and understanding Title III carefully is just as important for those who believe that they may have a Title III claim. Failure to comply with the notice provisions could lead to unnecessary expense and the dismissal of a Title III claim.

* Arthur M. Freyre, Esq., is an attorney at the Law Offices of Poblete Tamargo LLP. His practice area includes federal regulatory law and public policy. Mr. Freyre would like to thank Mr. Mauricio Tamargo, Esq., former Chairman of the Foreign Claim Settlement Commission and Mr. Jason Poblete, Esq., an expert in U.S. economic sanctions and export control laws, for their assistance and input in this blog post.  

[1] The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, 22 U.S.C. §§ 6021-6091.

Facebook to Pay Up to $5 Billion in Privacy Fines

By Richard Montes De Oca* and Priscila Bandeira**

On April 24, 2019, Facebook disclosed in its quarterly results that the company expects to pay between $3 and $5  Billion dollars in fines to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for data privacy violations. The amount is only an  estimate because investigations are still pending.

Facebook has been under investigation by the FTC for privacy violations in connection with the news that political  data firm, Cambridge Analytica, acquired data from up to 87 million Facebook users last year. In addition to the  issues surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook suffered a large data breach shortly after, which  exposed at least 50 million users.

In 2011, Facebook entered into a settlement agreement with the FTC requiring it to obtain user consent before  sharing their data and to improve its protection of consumer information. The recent Facebook privacy issues may  have violated such settlement agreement. In a press release on March 26, 2019, the FTC announced the  investigation, and the FTC Acting Director, Tom Pahl, stated that the FTC will seek enforcement action "against  companies that fail to honor their privacy promises." Pahl also said that "the FTC is firmly and fully committed to  using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers."

Facebook is also under investigation in Europe for alleged General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR")  violations and could be facing further legal challenges after the California Consumer Privacy Act becomes  effective on January 1, 2020.

With increasing privacy regulations, class actions and regulatory enforcement by the FTC and other regulators, it  is critical for companies to establish or enhance their Privacy and Data Protection Compliance Programs. MDO  Partners encourages companies to conduct cybersecurity risk assessments, adopt robust privacy policies,  enhance disclosure controls and adopt cyberattack investigation procedures to help mitigate the risks associated  with a cyberattacks and data breaches.

* 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. 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 .

Career Opportunities
Harper Meyer, LLP
Harper Meyer, LLP, a Downtown Miami international law firm, 20 plus years established, seeks a hard-working, tenacious litigation associate for its international commercial litigation and arbitration group. The supervising and mentoring partner will be Carlos F. Osorio, Head of Litigation.   
The job has a demanding level of Spanish.  Portuguese and other foreign languages are considered a plus.  Cases are all unique and clients are high-end from the United States to Chile and all over Europe.  Membership in good standing with the Florida Bar is required.  Please provide Curriculum Vitae and writing sample to Gabriela Saavedra at .

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.

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

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