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The International Law Section Gazette
Section News
ILS Chair's News & Notes
Dear ILS Members,

Just like elections do not result in democracy unless they are free and fair, trials do not offer justice if the judge and court have no realistic degree of independence and only answer to a ruthless dictator. Both of these sad facts will be unfortunately realized this week as a good friend of our International Law Section, Felix Maradiaga, faces a sham trial in Nicaragua, following eight months of cruel and unusual treatment already at the notorious Chipote prison. Following-up on my message in December, I must sadly report that Felix now joins 46 other political prisoners who will be criminally tried this week for nothing more than standing up for democracy. In fact, Felix’s only crime was declaring his candidacy for President in opposition to the authoritarian dictator Daniel Ortega. It is widely speculated that after Felix’s bogus conviction, along with the others, and the issuance of a ridiculously long sentences to be served under the most dangerous conditions imaginable will be used as leverage for Ortega and his cronies to try to negotiate less severe sanctions and condemnations from the United States and other economic and political powers within and beyond the region. Among the sanctions being proposed would be the removal of Nicaragua as a member of the US CAFTA-DR free trade agreement, which seems like an obvious and necessary reaction but merely as a first step in response to these atrocities.  

While we wait for the next chapter in this tragic and frustrating story, we should not allow this harsh lesson to go unheeded. Here in Florida and throughout the United States, we need to cherish and defend our rule of law, our free and fair elections, our independent judiciary and the constitutional checks and balances that help to prevent authoritarian rule. If he could, our good friend Felix would tell us that the alternative is wholly unacceptable. Please say a prayer that somehow, someday soon, he will be able to tell us again in person, as he has in the past, how important these principles and institutions really are and how we can best protect them.  

James M. Meyer
Winter 2022 ILQ
The International Law Quarterly - Winter 2022
The Winter 2022 Issue of the International Law Quarterly - Focus on Legal Globalization is now available. Click on the image above to download! For all previous issues of the International Law Quarterly, please follow this link.
Member Spotlights
Meet the 52 Florida Bar Board Certified Members
in International Law
Robert M. Kossick
Robert Kossick is a Board-Certified International Attorney, Licensed Customs Broker, and Certified Export Specialist whose practice focuses on the planning, compliance, enforcement, and security dimensions of U.S. import and export transactions. With over twenty years of professional experience, Robert brings seasoned, specialized, and multicultural know-how and perspective to the analysis and resolution of customs and trade issues.

As a member of Harris Bricken’s international trade law group, Robert helps clients optimize duties, demonstrate reasonable care, comply with PGA requirements, obtain export licenses and permits, protect intellectual property rights, achieve supply chain security, navigate import entry/liquidation and export clearance/verification processes, challenge administrative determinations, respond to agency inquiries and communications, and disclose violations. On enforcement matters, Robert works zealously to blunt the impact of penalty, seizure/forfeiture (merchandise and currency), and liquidated damages claims.

Before joining Harris Bricken, Robert practiced customs and trade law with a Fortune 50 corporation, worked as a foreign legal consultant in Mexico, served as a trade policy analyst under former U.S. Trade Representative William Brock, and provided trade consulting services for the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Robert holds a Ph.D. in International Trade and an LL.M. in Inter-American Law, writes and speaks on international trade matters, and is proficient in Spanish. When not engaged with clients on customs and trade issues, Robert enjoys reading, writing, preserving historic properties, gardening, skiing, hiking, brushing up on his Mandarin, and Airstreaming with his wife.

Why did you become Board Certified in International Law? I have never stayed still, intellectually. You see it in my academic trajectory. JD. LLM. PhD. Board Certification was a natural extension of that disposition. I saw it as a good challenge. Plus, I had the inspirational example of several Board-Certified international practitioners for whom I have great respect – Arturo Aballi, Jennifer Diaz, Peter Quinter come to mind immediately - in front of me. I thought it would be pretty cool to join their ranks.  

What are some benefits you received from being Board Certified? The number one benefit that comes from being Board Certified is having an objective means of distinguishing oneself and services from non-board-certified peers. And it is, in my experience, a credential that is picked up on - and that does resonate – with clients.  

Any best tips or advice to ILS Members preparing for the Certification Exam? Get – and use - the ILS’s current edition of the International Law Deskbook. When I went through the process, the ABA’s International Lawyer’s Deskbook was also useful. Study hard, especially those topics that don’t naturally fall within your practice area(s). Stay abreast of cutting-edge issues in the areas covered on the exam. And, most importantly, go to the exam site rested!  

To learn more about being Board Certified in International Law, visit or email Robert Kossick at [email protected].
Call for Volunteer Arbitrators:
2022 Richard DeWitt Memorial Vis Pre-Moot
The Florida Bar International Law Section will hold its 2022 Richard DeWitt Memorial Vis Pre-Moot on Saturday, February 19, 2022 from 8:45 AM to 5 PM EST in hybrid format for the first time and we need your support as a Volunteer Arbitrator. At least 14 law schools from around the globe will be participating. The ILS Vis Pre-Moot prepares law students from the largest law schools in Florida and beyond for the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna and Hong Kong. We hope you will join this important and exciting event as a Volunteer Arbitrator. CLE credits will be provided for this event for Florida practitioners (historically including certification credits, for civil trial, international law and international litigation & arbitration).
We need volunteers for all rounds, which are scheduled as follows:
Round 1 - 9:00 AM – 1030 AM
Round 2 - 10:45 AM – 12:30 PM
Round 3 - 1:30 PM – 3:15 PM
Round 4 - 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Pease click on the following link and indicate your availability and preferences: Sign up here!
New Date for iLaw 2022
Please save the NEW date for the International Law Section's flagship conference, which will take place on Friday, April 1, 2022 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Downtown Miami! More information to follow!
The ILS Participation Challenge
The ILS Executive Board invites all ILS Members to compete in the 1st Annual ILS Participation Challenge and win amazing prizes and, more importantly, bragging rights. Here is how it works:

  1. Download your ILS Participation Challenge “bingo” card using this LINK, or come pickup your “hard card” at our upcoming September 22, 2021 cocktail event with the Haitian Lawyers Association to benefit the Ayiti Community Trust (see the invitation in the Gazette below). You will note that you can also check-off a square by attending that same event.
  2. To win, you must be an ILS member. If you want to play but are not a member, then you have yet another compelling reason to join!
  3. Mark the tiles on the ILS Participation Challenge “bingo” card as you complete each activity or event marked on that tile.
  4. You may only mark one tile per event or activity and only during the period from June 30, 2021 until the June 2022 Executive Council Meeting.
  5. Bring your marked ILS Participation Challenge card to the June 2022 Executive Council meeting OR scan and submit your card to me by that date.
  6. Any ILS member to mark the most squares (regardless of their position on the card) will enter the competition in the form of a drawing to win the first place prize: free attendance for one (1) at the next ILS retreat (including hotel, meals and other VIP treatment).
  7. Any ILS member that covers the card with two diagonal lines, from corner to corner (in the form of an “X”) will enter the competition in the form of a drawing to win second place prize: one complimentary ticket for iLaw2023.
  8. Any ILS member that completes any 5 consecutive squares (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal) will enter the competition in the form of a drawing to win third place prize: dinner for two at il Gabbiano in Downtown Miami.
International Law Deskbook 2020

The International Law Section is proud to announce that its International Law Deskbook 2020 is now ready for shipping! Get yours today!

To purchase the International Deskbook 2020, please click HERE to log into your account on the Florida Bar's website. Once logged in, please click HERE to search for the International Deskbook 2020 by entering the course number 4039. You will then find the International Deskbook 2020 under "Course Materials."

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.

Upcoming Events
March 2, 2022
Please join the University of Miami School of Law's White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. Program and International Arbitration Institute on March 2, 2022, for the 2022 White & Case International Arbitration Lecture on "International Arbitration and EU Law: Still on a Collision Course?" featuring George A. Bermann. Starting at 6:00 p.m. at the University of Miami School of Law, the lecture, which will be conducted in hybrid form with the possibility for attendees to join via Zoom as well, will discuss the difficult coexistence between international arbitration and the European Union - two of the world's most robust international law regimes - which has recently seen hostility erupting to the the point that each of the two regimes regards the other as the prime threat to its authority. The contestation has been waged on several fronts and, while the termination of intra-EU bilateral investment agreement will mitigate them, mutual antagonism persists. Guests must pre-register to attend this event. To register, please follow this link.
Visit Our Sponsors
The 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 2019-2020, 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 contact our Treasurer, Ana Maria Barton at [email protected], or Vice Treasurer, Cristina Vicens Beard at [email protected] for more details.
The ILS Gazette

Editor: Davide Macelloni

Chair: James M. Meyer
Immediate Past Chair: Robert J. Becerra 
Chair-Elect: Jacqueline Villalba
Secretary: Richard Montes De Oca
Treasurer: Ana Barton
Vice-Treasurer: Cristina Vicens Beard

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