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The International Law Section Gazette

Section News

ILS Chair's News & Notes

“When we fought, you had that eye of the tiger, man; the edge! And now you gotta get it back, and the way to get it back is to go back to the beginning.”

-Apollo Creed (Rocky lll)


Dear ILS Members, 

This past week, the movie industry, fans, friends, and family lost a legendary actor and great person in Carl Weathers (aka Apollo Creed, Action Jackson, Greef Karga, Chubbs, etc.)


I still remember watching Weathers in action for the first time as Apollo Creed in Rocky III. While I was a big Rocky fan, I identified more with Apollo - the motivator, the optimist, the true and loyal friend - who would go to great lengths to help his former rival, now best friend, The Champ (the Italian Stallion) become the best version of himself, who went on to defeat Clubber Lang (aka Mr. T) for the title!


While this Chair's message doesn't have much to do with international law, I hope it resonates with each of you as lawyers, advocates and champions for our important causes, cases, and clients. Whether it’s in the courtroom, the boardroom or the political arena, we can all benefit from our own Apollo Creed - someone who is by your side through thick and thin, tells it to you straight, and gives you a good old kick in the butt to help you get back your “eye of the tiger.”


While truly tragic, the timing of Weathers’ death during Black History Month couldn’t be more fitting. He played a pivotal and powerful role in the movie industry during an era when Black actors faced great injustice and discrimination. But his perseverance and success helped pave the way to inspire countless actors of all colors and creeds.

As we celebrate Black History Month, let’s reflect on the struggles and contributions of Black Americans in our country and around the world; but also take a moment to remember the life and legacy of Carl Weathers, may we be inspired and inspire others like Apollo Creed to embody the “eye of the tiger!”

Speaking of inspiration, iLaw2024 is less than TWO WEEKS AWAY on February 16 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami. You don’t want to miss out on what will be a historic International Law Conference with extraordinary panelists from all over the worlda fascinating AI Keynote and valuable networking receptions. I look forward to seeing everyone there! SPACE IS LIMITED, SO REGISTER TODAY!

iLaw2024 Registration:

God Bless, 

Richard Montes de Oca, Esq.

Florida Bar ILS Chair

[email protected]


Registration for iLaw2024 is Now Open!

The Florida Bar International Law Section's Flagship Conference is finally here! Click on this link to sign up for iLaw2024, the ILS Global Forum on International Law held at the JW Marriott Marquis on February 16, 2024, featuring opening and closing plenary sessions, a lunch keynote speaker, and three parallel tracks on international litigationinternational arbitration, and international business transactions with presenters from Miami, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., México, Brazil, Italy, BVI, Costa Rica, United Kingdom and beyond!


Special iLaw2024 rates are being offered for room reservations at the JW Marriott Marquis – don’t miss the opportunity to stay in one of Miami’s premier hotels. Click here to book!

To view and download the 2024 iLaw Program, please click here!


For any information, visit the Florida Bar International Law Section website at or email the iLaw2024 Co-Chairs,

Davide Macelloni ([email protected]) and Adrian Nuñez ([email protected]).

iLaw2024 Opening Plenary Panel on 2023 Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Trends: U.S. International and Cross-Border Rules, Compliance, Best Practices and Enforcement

Take a look at the Opening Plenary Session Panel for the iLaw2024, the ILS Global Forum on International Law happening at the JW Marriott Marquis on February 16, 2023.

This panel discussion aims to address the growing importance of cybersecurity and data privacy for individuals and organizations globally. Industry experts, technologists, and attorneys will come together to examine the changing international landscape in this field.

iLaw2024 Panel "The International General Counsel SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)" to be Moderated by ILS Chair Richard Montes de Oca

iLaw2024 Panel "Keep it Moving, Miami:

Challenges Facing International Transport Companies in a Shrinking World Economy"

iLaw2024 Panel "We Aren't in Kansas Anymore, Toto: Do's and Dont's of Doing Business in Latin America"

iLaw2024 Keynote Speaker, Ryan Abbott, to Speak on

"The New Digital Age: Artificial Intelligence and Legal Disruption"

Call for Volunteer Arbitrators for the 2024 Richard DeWitt Memorial Vis Pre-Moot

Call for volunteer arbitrators! The Florida Bar International Law Section is looking for volunteers to participate as arbitrators for the Richard DeWitt Memorial Vis Pre-Moot on Saturday, February 17, 2024. The Pre-Moot will host students from top law schools, both domestic and international, to present arguments before panels of volunteer arbitrators in preparation for the most recognized moot competition in the world, the Willem C. Vis Moot. Up to 7 hours of Florida CLE is available for all volunteers.

You can register by clicking here!

Volunteers may participate in person (preferred) or virtually (via Zoom). The Pre-Moot will be held at JAMS Resolution Center in Miami, 600 Brickell Ave., Suite 2600, Miami, Florida, the Saturday after the International Law Section's 2024 Flagship iLaw Conference. Volunteers may indicate their preference for morning or afternoon rounds (or both).

The Pre-Moot will begin at 8:15 a.m. and conclude at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Pedro Jedlicka ([email protected]) and Carolina Goncalves ([email protected]).

Save the Date for the 2024 Richard Dewitt Memorial Vis Pre-Moot!

ILS Chair, Richard Montes de Oca, Represents the Florida Bar ILS at Event Hosted by British Consul General, Rufus Drabble!

ILS Chair, Richard Montes de Oca, attended a special event hosted by the British Consul General, Rufus Drabble, as well as the British American Council Miami (BABC Miami), welcoming Lord Dominic Johnson, in furtherance of expanding the United Kingom-Florida Memorandum of Understanding to boost bilateral trade and investment!

Register for the February 6 Customs Bootcamp Hosted by Torres Trade Law!

Attorney Spotlight

On the Move: ILS Gazette Chair, Matt Akiba, Joins Barakat + Bossa!

ILS Executive Council Member and Chair of the ILS Gazette, Matt Akiba, joins Barakat + Bossa in Coral Gables! Matt focuses his practice on all aspects of business litigation, including breach of contract, partnership disputes, judicial dissolutions, fraud, and asset recovery.

Congratulations to ILS Member Jennifer Diaz on Receiving AV Preeminent Rating and for Hosting Live Webinar on FDA Compliance!

Diaz Trade Law President and ILS Member, Jennifer Diaz, received an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. The AV Preeminent distinction is given only to attorneys who are peer rated for the highest level of professional excellence. Jennifer received the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. 

Also, on January 24, Jennifer Diaz, along with Diaz Trade Law Of Counsel Rick D. Quinn hosted a live webinar: “Getting MoCRA Compliant.” Attendees learned what is required under the MoCRA law, how to comply with the new rules, and where to find the most important information for compliance. The webinar is now available on demand here

Join an ILS Committee Today!


Amicus Committee


Chair: Edward Mullins

[email protected]


Arbitration & Mediation Committee

Chair: Gary Birnberg

[email protected]

Asia Committee


Chairs: Neha Dagley | Fred Rocafort

[email protected]

[email protected]


CLE Initiatives Committee


Chair: Kristin Drecktrah Paz

[email protected]


Europe Committee


Chairs: Susanne Leone | Davide Macelloni

[email protected]

[email protected]


Foreign Legal Consultant Committee


Chair: Robert J. Becerra

[email protected]


iLaw Steering Committee


Chairs: Davide Macelloni | Adrian Nuñez

[email protected]

[email protected]


ILS Deskbook Committee


Chairs: Pamella Seay | Laura Reich | Clarissa Rodriguez

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]


ILS Gazette Committee


Chair: Matthew Akiba

[email protected]


Immigration Liaison Committee

Chair: Larry S. Rifkin

[email protected]

International Law Certification Committee


Chair: Robert Kossick

[email protected]


International Law Quarterly Committee


Chair: Jeff Hagen

[email protected]

International Litigation and Arbitration Certification Committee


Chair: Kristin Drecktrah Paz

[email protected]

International Tax Law Committee


Chair: Jeff Hagen

[email protected]


Law School Liaison Committee


Chairs: Prof. Manuel A. Gomez | Laura Reich

[email protected]

[email protected]


Legislative Committee


Chair: Carlos F. Osorio

 [email protected]


Lunch & Learn Committee


Chair: James Meyer

[email protected]

North America Committee


Chair: Nouvelle Gonzalo

[email protected]


Richard DeWit Memorial Vis Pre-Moot Committee


Chairs: Andres Sandoval | Priscila Bandeira

[email protected]

[email protected]


White Collar Crime Committee


Chair: Robert J. Becerra

[email protected]

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.

Turn in your membership application TODAY!

International Law Quarterly

Just Published: The International Law Quarterly - Fall 2023"Focus on BRICS"

The Fall 2023 Issue of the International Law Quarterly - Focus on BRICS is now available.

Click on the images above to download or please click here!

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 2022-2023, 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, Laura Reich at [email protected] or Vice Treasurer, Davide Macelloni at [email protected] for more details.

ILS Board Members and Officers

Chair: Richard Montes de Oca

Chair-Elect: Ana Barton

Secretary: Cristina Vicens Beard

Treasurer: Laura Reich

Vice-Treasurer: Davide Macelloni

Immediate Past Chair: Jacqueline Villalba

ILS Executive Council

Terms Expiring in 2024

Fabio Giallanza

Jeffrey S. Hagen

Davide Macelloni

Penelope Perez-Kelly

Yine Rodriguez-Perez

Terms Expiring 2025

Gary Birnberg

Phillip Buhler

Jennifer Diaz

Kristin Drecktrah Paz

Prof. Manuel A. Gomez

Omar K. Ibrahem

Adrian Nunez

Pamella A. Seay

Terms Expiring 2026

Matthew Akiba

Lauren Bengochea

Neha Dagley

Gary E. Davidson

Nouvelle Gonzalo

Susanne Leone

Jennifer Mosquera

To learn more about the ILS Executive Council Members, click here!

About the ILS Gazette

The ILS Gazette is a weekly publication of the Florida Bar International Law Section that informs members about upcoming programs, initiatives and resources.

If you have any questions about the Gazette or wish to include an announcement in future publications, please contact our ILS Gazette Editor, Matthew Akiba at [email protected].

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