View our profile on LinkedIn    Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter                                                    Friday June 7, 2019
The International Law Section Gazette
Section News
The ILS at the 2019 Florida Bar Annual Convention

Please join The Florida Bar International Law Section at the 69th Florida Bar Annual Convention, which will be held at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, 501 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432 from June 26-29, 2019. To RSVP to the ILS events, click HERE. Following is a complete schedule of the International Law Section program:

For The Florida Bar Annual Convention Page on The Florida Bar website, Click HERE.

Please do not forget to download the 2019 Annual Florida Convention Mobile App. It is available for Apple and Android mobile devices and tablets and will allow users to get an up-to-date schedule, create their own schedule, get important notices and hotel maps, see and post to the Activity Feed/Social Wall, use the hashtag #MyFloridaBar, and much more. 

ILS Executive Council Meeting on June 28, 2019

During The Florida Bar Annual Convention, the Florida Bar International Law Section will hold its Executive Council Meeting on Friday June 28, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. The Meeting will take place in the Grand Ballroom I of the Boca Raton Resort & Club, 501 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432.  Immediately thereafter, the International Law Section will host its Luncheon.
Great Success of the 2019 Conference on International Law in Panama

On May 31, the Florida Bar International Law Section held its 2019 Conference on International Law at Morgan & Morgan in Panama City, Republic of Panama.  

The Conference kicked-off with a welcome dinner on May 30, 2019, and continued on May 31, 2019 featuring panels on Comparative Tax Law, Comparative Maritime Law, Comparative Litigation and Arbitration, and Comparative Corporate Law. The ILS thanks all attendees and looks forward to the next edition.

ILS Chair Carlos F. Osorio and Treasurer James M. Meyer

The ALI Approves the Restatement of The U.S. Law of International Commercial and Investor-State Arbitration 

On May 20, 2019, the American Law Institute approved the Restatement of The U.S. Law of International Commercial and Investor-State Arbitration at its annual meeting in Washington D.C. Work for the Restatement began in 2007, and many esteemed members of The Florida Bar International Law Section were involved in the process, including Past-Chairs Ed Mullins and C. Ryan Reetz, and members José Astigarraga, Pedro Martinez-Fraga, and Joseph M. Matthews.

According to the press release by the American Law Institute, the Restatement "identifies the role of the courts over the life cycle of an arbitral proceeding, including enforcement of the arbitration agreement, the judicial role in arboreal proceedings, and post-award relief." The Restatement further addresses "the ways in which the basic principles governing U.S. court involvement in investor-State arbitration in some instances are different from those applicable to international commercial arbitration generally."

This is the first time that The American Law Institute has produced a Restatement on this area of the law.  With the approval of the Proposed Final Draft, the Reporters will now prepare the Institute's official text for publication. Until the official text is published, the Proposed Final Draft approved by ALI's Council and membership is the official position of ALI, and may be cited as such. For the full press release by the American Law Institute, click here.
The Florida Bar Board Certification Committee for International Litigation and Arbitration Administers Its Inaugural Test 

On May 17, 2019,  The Florida Bar Board Certification Committee for International Litigation and Arbitration administered its inaugural test.  

Those practitioners who have practiced in the area for 20 years and have had international litigation and arbitration as a substantial part of their practice are eligible for one more year to seek a waiver. The Committee encourages all those who meet the requirements for examination to apply for next year's examination. A review course will be provided for this administration. Initial applications will be available June 1, 2019. For the examination specifications, 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. For more information regarding membership with the ILS, click HERE.

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 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:

From Our Members
USCIS Holds Stakeholders' Meeting at the Miami Fie ld Office

By Patricia Castillo Flanagan*

On May 16, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") held a stakeholders meeting at the Miami Field Office. In attendance and in representation of USCIS Miami and Caribeean District were the Miami District Director, Linda Swacina; the Kendall Field Office Director, Kristian Parker; the Miami Field Office Director, Yeseira Diaz;  the Hialeah Field Office Director, Enid Stulz; the Oakland Park Field Office Director, Emigdio Martinez; Senior Adjudications Officer, Bruce Marmar; Community Relations Officers, Berta Cassidi and Roketa Mansfield. Michael Biggs ("Biggs"), who is one of the officers in charge of the implementation of the  Information Services Modernization Program (hereinafter "Infomode") was also in attendance via teleconference.  In attendance and in representation of the stakeholders were: members of American Immigration Lawyers Association South Florida ("AILA South Florida"), a representative for the Executive Office for Immigration Review ("EOIR"), Amanda St. Jean, representatives of multiple community and non-profit legal services organizations, and Patricia Castillo Flanagan representing the Florida Bar. 
During the meetings, USCIS discussed 28 questions that had been previously submitted by the stakeholders, and provided the attendees with responses to each question in writing. For a list of the responses, please click here.
During the stakeholders meetings questions 1-13 were discussed in further detail by Biggs. The rest of the questions were discussed by the Field Director officers and by District Director Swacina. Biggs explained the new Infomode system, which USCIS Miami began implementing in March. The system requires that USCIS customers schedule infopass appointments via the USCIS Contact Center 1-800 number and replaces the previous system, which allowed customers to make appointments using USCIS' website. Although appointment were not always immediately available, the process of making an appointment used to take a few minutes. More importantly, before Infomode, a customer with an emergency could just walk in to a USCIS Field Office with evidence of the emergency and obtain an advance parole document or an I-551 stamp.  Most people who had evidence of their emergency would be granted the service requested from USCIS within a matter of hours.
The new Infomode system - far from being more efficient than the old system - leaves a lot to be desired. Since the inception of the new Infomode in South Florida, members of the Florida Bar have complained of mainly four problems: 1) the long waiting time to reach a first tier customer service representative; 2) the even longer waiting time to actually speak with a USCIS officer (second tier representative); 3) how burdensome the system is for people who are in dire need of an I-551 stamps or advance parole; and 4) how it is almost impossible to obtain an appointment to fee in motions.  Unfortunately, Castillo Flanagan has to report that Biggs and the rest of the USCIS representatives expressed no concern with the way Infomode is working. Biggs repeatedly stated that the waiting time is only 20-30 minutes and suggested that if anybody had waited any longer, it is because that person called in a particular busy day at a particular busy time. Such approach highlights a clear disconnect between the way USCIS is trying to portray the effectiveness of  the Infomode system and the reality.
Castillo Flanagan told Biggs that the system was inefficient, particularly in addressing the needs of lawful permanent residents who might need an emergency appointment to obtain an I-551 stamp. For example, before the new system, if a lawful permanent resident learned that her son or daughter was dying in another country, that mother could go to a local office , which were normally open for emergency infopass appointments until about 3:30 in the afternoon and would have have obtained a I-551 on the same date. Conversely, with the new system, that same mother would have to spend about 2-3 hours on hold just to be able to speak to a representative. By then, the possibility to obtain a same day infopass appointment would be very slim, meaning that the mother would have to wait at least 24 more hours to obtain an infopass.
Biggs suggested that the changes were needed to create a consistent system throughout the nation. Castillo Flanagan response by claiming that USCIS cannot expect to create a consistent system for emergency as emergencies come in all kinds of shapes and at odd hours, and the number of USCIS customers needing services could vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another.
It is almost ironic that the word "Modernization" has been added to the new name for the infopass system. Clients went from being able to schedule an infopass appointment from the convenience of their cell phone at odd hours of the night or during the weekend, to having to call USCIS during restricted hours and wait for hundreds of minutes just to be able to speak to someone about possibly obtaining an appointment. Castillo Flanagan sincerely wishes that as these lines are published, the Infomode system is working more efficiently, but she unfortunately doubts that will be the case as the officers who direct and monitor the system are in either complete denial or just do not care about USCIS' customers' needs anymore.

*Patricia Castillo Flanagan is a Senior Associate at Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, P.A., where she practices in the areas of business and family-based immigration. She represents clients before USCIS with regard to non-immigrant visa applications, immigrant worker petitions,family based immigrant visa petitions and applications for naturalization.

Member News
Andrew J. Markus Appointed Republic of Bulgaria's Honorary Consul for Florida

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria has appointed Carlton Fields Shareholder Andrew J. Markus as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Bulgaria. His consular jurisdiction is the state of Florida, with the seat of the Consulate in Miami.
In his role as the Honorary Consul, Markus will promote trade and academic, cultural, business and professional exchange and arrange for official visits to Florida and from Florida to the Republic of Bulgaria. Markus will also coordinate with the Bulgarian community of Florida.

To read Carlton Fields' press-release, click here.

Peter Quinter Presents at the DR Logistics Mission and the International Trade Commissioners Association 

Peter Quinter and Sophie Labarge

Peter Quinter and attendees of the InTrade presentation
On June 3, 2019 Peter Quinter, Chair of GrayRobinson's U.S. Customs and International Trade Practice, presented at the DR Logistics Mission hosted by the Florida Foreign Trade Association at Port Everglades. Quinter's presentation provided an overview of the interaction between four key participants in facilitating trade - government, seaports and airports, logistics companies and customers.

On June 6, 2019 Peter Quinter presented for the International Trade Commissioners Association ("InTrade") on U.S. Customs Regulations. Quinter's presentation, which took place at the Canadian Trade offices in Miami, focused on a variety of topics, including customs valuation, Free Trade Agreement import requirements by Customs and Border Protection, country of origin marking requirements, tariff classifications, and U.S. President Trump's updated tariffs under Section 232 and Section 301. Quinter also touched on NAFTA and the proposed U.S. - Mexico - Canada Free Trade Agreement and the new OFAC requirements regarding trade and travel to Cuba. 

For additional information on GrayRobinson customs and international trade practice, please visit

Upcoming Events
June 11, 2019
Please  join Peter Quinter of GrayRobinson on June 11 for his speaking engagement at the Atlanta International Forwarders and Brokers Association ("AIFBA"). Joined by Officer Amy Moore of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Quinter will present on broker compliance audits and voluntary self-disclosures. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn, 1380 Virginia Ave., Atlanta, GA 30344. To register, please email

June 26-28, 2019

Please join the University of Miami School of Law for its Program on  Managing Compliance Across Borders , presented in collaboration with the University of St. Gallen Executive School of Management, Technology and Law. The three-day program will be held at the Donna E. Shalala Student Center, 1330 Miller Drive, Miami, FL 33146, and is an intensive and interactive executive-level program aimed at compliance, risk an audit management counsel and executives from firms and corporations, whether they work in companies, regulatory authorities, or professional firms. For the program schedule and a full list of speakers, click here. to RSVP, click here.

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.

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, James Meyer at  for more details.

  Become a Sponsor for the 2019-2020 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