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

In last week’s Gazette, I had the great pleasure of announcing our new collaboration with the Haitian Lawyers Association for a cocktail party and fundraiser next month to benefit the Ayiti Community Trust. Less than 24 hours later, tragedy struck in the form of a horrific Earthquake which has taken thousands of precious lives and injured and left homeless countless others.  

The Founder of Ayiti Community Trust and Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami, Dr. Guerda Nicolas, with whom we had been planning just days earlier, was at ground zero on the southwestern peninsula when and where the earthquake hit hardest.  Thankfully, Dr. Nicolas was able to remove herself and her elderly family members from their home without being physically harmed in a significant way. She has remained on site this entire week, well beyond her intended departure date, to offer grief and trauma counseling to the other survivors in that community.

Meanwhile, our colleagues in the Haitian Lawyers Association (HLA) sprung into action by holding its own very successful virtual Earthquake Relief event last night, at which they raised a significant amount of money. I was also glad to see that several members of the ILS’s Executive Council participated and donated. After seeing the HLA in action, I am now even more proud, if that is possible, that they have agreed to co-sponsor an event with us. On top of all that, several members of the Haitian Lawyers Association have also agreed to write a variety of articles for our upcoming and very special issue of the International Law Quarterly. In sum, they are a very impressive group with whom ILS will greatly benefit from working with now and hopefully for a long time in the future.  

So, now more than ever, please register on the link below for our cocktail event with the Haitian Lawyers Association at Glass & Vine on September 22nd to benefit Ayiti Community Trust and the people of Haiti in a meaningful way. There will be a silent auction, a live auction, delicious hors d’oeuvres and one free drink ticket for everyone who attends, not to mention an extra drink ticket for anyone who brings a guest.  

In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers and actions continue to go out to our extended Caribbean family in Haiti, tonight and for so long as it takes for a full recovery.  

Very truly yours,

James M. Meyer
Member Spotlights
Meet the 50 Florida Bar Board Certified Members in International Law

Francis M. Boyer
Francis M. Boyer, Esq., is a member of the Bars of Florida (Federal District of North, Middle and South Florida), and the District of Columbia (Washington, DC).

He is one of the few attorneys in Florida who is Board Certified by the Florida Bar as an Expert in International Law. Because Florida is the ONLY state in the nation that offers a specialty certification in International Law, he is also one of only 50 in the entire United States as of August 20, 2021. Mr. Boyer was chosen as the winner in the following category – International Law – Attorney of the Year in Florida – 2015 by Global Law Experts. Global Law Experts judges attorneys based on client testimonials, key cases, legal rankings, overall reputation, publication contributions, speaking engagements and the performance and standing of teams and individual lawyers.
Why did you become Board Certified in International Law? I sought to become board certified when I became eligible. I wanted to test myself against the exam. Having started international law on my own, and out of Jacksonville it was important for me to feel how good I knew my area of practice. The board exam allows for this kind of self-measurement. I also wanted to be as good as I could be.
What are some benefits you received from being Board Certified? It is difficult to ascertain the benefits you receive once board certified. The public does not really understand it but other lawyers, both inside the state and outside the state will give it weight. You are more likely to receive a referral since a board certification shortcuts the question as to whom to send a case to. I also believe the logo is a nice addition and certainly promotion of the board certification over time will become more common. I also believe that the profession may specialize even more where ultimately a large portion of our Florida Bar members will be certified.
Any best tips or advice to ILS Members preparing for the Certification Exam? There is no tips to study. When I took the exam we only had a list of topics and each of us had to pull information of each and study on our own. Needless to say, now the candidate will be blessed with a short, concise deskbook that serves as the basis for the exam.
To learn more about being Board Certified in International Law, visit or email Francis at
ILS Retreat in the Bahamas
Dear ILS Members:

We are in full planning mode for the ILS Retreat, which will take place October 8-10, 2021 in Bimini, Bahamas. To be better able to coordinate logistics, we would appreciate if you could help us by completing this VERY SHORT (2 question) survey:

Thank you in advance. We can't wait to see you all in the Bahamas in a few months!


The ILS Board
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.
iLaw2022: Call for Proposals and Steering Committee Members
Save the Date for iLaw! The ILS's flagship event, the iLaw2022 Conference, will take place on Friday, February 18, 2022, at the JW Marriott Marquis in Downtown Miami. Trust us, you will not want to miss it this year!

The planning for iLaw2022 has started - Get involved! If you have an idea for a topic to be featured at next year's iLaw, please send us a proposal including (i) the title of the proposed panel, (ii) a short description of the topic, and (iii) proposed panelists and moderator. We are also looking for steering committee members. The first steering committee meeting will be in September. If you have a topic proposal or if you would like to get involved with the planning of the iLaw2022, please send an e-mail to Cristina Vicens at
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
September 22, 2021
Please join the Florida Bar International Law Section and the Haitian Lawyers Association on September 22, 2021, for "Cocktail Night for a Cause," benefiting the Ayiti Community Trust. The event will be at Glass and Vine, 2820 McFarlane Road, Miami, Florida 33133 starting at 6:30 p.m. To register for the event, click here or on the image above!
On the Move
Ana Portal Joins Akerman LLP
Ana Portal has joined Akerman's Miami office. Ana focuses her practice on international business transactions, complex litigation matters, and international arbitration. Ana has experience in drafting statements of claim and responses and counterclaims for international commercial arbitration matters under the ICC, ICDR, and AAA institutional rules. Ana also has experience handling matters regarding the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Exceptions Act, U.S. statutes of limitations for recognition and enforcement of international and commercial arbitral awards, international service of process, contracts, and choice of law issues. For more information, please follow this link.
William O. Diab joins Berger Singerman LLP
William Omar Diab has joined Berger Singerman's Dispute Resolution Team and Construction Law Practice. William's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and construction litigation in state, federal, and appellate courts, as well as institutional arbitration. William represents institutional clients and investors in business frauds, partnership disputes, and breaches of fiduciary duties. William also represents developers, design professionals and general contractors in claims for construction defects and delays, design professional liability, government bid protests, and appeals. A member of The Florida Bar and The New York Bar, William is fluent in Arabic. For more information, please follow this link.
Spring ILQ
The International Law Quarterly - Spring 2021
The Spring 2021 Issue of the International Law Quarterly - Shifts in International Law Under the Biden Administration is now available. Click on the image above to download! For all previous issues of the International Law Quarterly, 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, or Vice Treasurer, Cristina Vicens Beard at for more details.
BECOME A SPONSOR for the 2021-2022 Cycle!
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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