On Thursday August 22, 2013 a group of Miami-based attorneys launched the Venezuelan American National Bar Association (VENAMBAR). The reception, which attracted more than 150 attendees and featured Honorable Judge Federico Moreno as a keynote speaker marked a promising beginning for the organization. The main goal of VENAMBAR is to connect Venezuelan-American lawyers with each other, with in house counsel, and to liaise with lawyers and members of the business community both in Venezuela and the United States. Professor Manuel Gomez is one the founders of VENAMBAR and is also a member of its Foreign Attorneys Committee. Professor Gomez was featured in an interview about the organization in a recent edition of the Daily Business Review and the South Florida Business Journal.
Professor Manuel Gomez’s latest article on the enforcement of the $18.2 billion judgment against Chevron in Latin America has caught the attention of several prominent blogs such as Lawrence Solum’s Legal Theory Blog, conflictsoflaws.net, and Letters Blogatory, which named it “Paper of the Day” in its August 23rd edition. The article titled “The Global Chase: Seeking the Recognition and Enforcement of the Lago Agrio Judgment Outside of Ecuador”, which is currently available on SSRN, is scheduled to appear in the next issue of the Stanford Journal of Complex Litigation.
Professors Jerry Markham and Charles Pouncy were both recently cited by the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia in Bloomberg L.P. V. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, — F.Supp.2d —-, 2013 WL 2458283 (D.D.C.) [Civil Action No. 13–523(BAH) (June 7, 2013)] in a case involving the CFTC’s ability to regulate the clearing of certain derivative trades (financial swaps).
Professor M.C. Mirow has published an article, Pre-Constitutional Law and Constitutions: Spanish Colonial Law and the Constitution of Cádiz, 12 Washington University Global Studies Law Review 313-337 (2013). The work studies the different ways that laws in existence at the time of drafting constitutions are used in the constitutional process and in the constitutional text itself. The study makes particular use of derecho indiano, the Spanish colonial law applied in the Americas, as it provided a common base of legal knowledge about the Americas, a ready source for answers to specific legal questions, and a rhetorical tool in justifying the historical validity of the Spanish Constitution of 1812. This constitution was the first constitution to govern the territory now known as Florida, and last year Mirow published a translation and commentary on it entitled Florida’s First Constitution, the Constitution of Cádiz.
Professor Elizabeth Price Foley was recently published in the New York Post discussing the New York City’s “Stop-and-Frisk” policy. Read Op-Ed
Professor Gabilondo’s essay on Miami appears in Cuba’s Temas
Professor Jose Gabilondo was one of five academics from FIU invited to write for a special issue on Cubans in Miami put out in June by Catalejo, the blog operated by Temas. Published in Havana, Catalejo and Temas are prominent fora for debates among Cuban and Cuban-American academics and intellectuals about culture, ideology, and society. His essay – Miami – entre lo crudo y lo cocido´´ (´Miami – between the raw and the cooked´) examines the different ways in which Cubans react to nativism and ethnic backlash in Miami.
‘Sometimes it seems that Miami is still fighting the Cold War, so it’s exciting and encouraging to be part of expanding intellectual exchange with colleagues on the island.’
FIU’s Colleges of Education and Law host Math & Civics Summer Academy at Miami Northwestern High School
Sponsored by a small grant from the Miami Foundation, the Algebra Project (AP) and the Colleges of Education & Law operated a six-week Math & Civics summer academy for upcoming tenth grade students at Miami Northwestern High School.
Monday through Thursday, students at Miami Northwestern engaged in learning mathematics by working with Dr. Bob Moses, President of the Algebra Project, and Rose Pierre, graduate of the College of Education’s math education Master’s program, along with six Young People’s Project (YPP) college math literacy workers.
The high school students were also coached in group process by the college’s Urban Education graduate student, Danielle McLaughlin. College of Education professors, Maria Lovett and Joan Wynne, and FIU graduate, Gina Greenidge, also participated in visits to homes and other efforts to recruit new students into the newly forming 9th grade AP cohort program.
In addition as a part of that program, students, sponsored by Michelle Mason, Sr. Associate Dean of the College of Law (COL), came to the COL each Friday and learned the rudiments of Civic Engagement.
On their first Friday, Law Professor and former Judge Phyllis Kotey, engaged students in conversations about the Constitution and immersed students in Moot Court trials where students studied a case involving Fourth Amendment rights, alternated playing the roles of Judge, Prosecutor, and Defense Attorney and argued those positions.
The following week, students came again to the COL, and led by Global Learning Coordinator, Eric Feldman, learned the principles of democratic dialogue. During the day’s opening discussion, Feldman invited students to exchange ideas about the current media outlets available to them to discuss civic issues: social media, for example, and whether these formats foster thoughtful and productive conversation about public problems. Students learned how personal values influence civic participation, and engaged in activities exploring how their own values influence their decisions. Using an abridged version of a National Issues Forum, the students also participated in “deliberative dialogues,” developed by the Kettering Foundation.
In July, students, led by the Young People’s Project college math literacy workers, participated in team building activities and conversations about the work of the Algebra Project and its roots in the leadership model of the Southern Freedom Movement.
They also engaged in leadership development and team building activities led by Franklin McCune and his lead team from the Center for Leadership & Service. Through rigorous activities involving mental and physical challenges, students learned to work together as a team to creatively develop strategies for racing against time to complete tasks.
Students will continue throughout the summer and school year to engage in professional development activities to grow as an academic team, as leaders in civic action and as teachers of mathematics to younger children in Liberty City. This program has created a broad coalition of partners interested in broadening the opportunities for academic growth of disenfranchised youth: The Algebra Project; FIU Colleges of Education & Law; Miami Northwestern High School; FIU Office of Engagement; FIU Office of Global Learning; FIU Student Affairs and the Young People’s Project.
Article originally published by FIU College of Education. Read more.
Professor Fingerhut represents Whistleblower in Baseball Steroid Scandal. The Miami Herald reported on the story in a recent article. Click to read Miami Herald Article
Kristin Drecktrah is an associate attorney at Gomm & Smith, P.A., a law firm located in Miami specializing in international investment, cross-border transactions, and international dispute resolution. Kristin received her J.D. degree from FIU College of Law in 2011.
Kristin Drecktrah ’11 published in ABA Journal’s Section of International Law and participates in arbitration at the World Bank
What sparked your interest in International Law?
Long before deciding to pursue a law degree, I was certain that my career would be linked to international relations. In high school and college, I focused on courses and activities with an international component. I completed a graduate program in translation and interpreting, lived in Portugal and Mexico, and became fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. By the time I applied to law school, I knew I wanted a career in international law, even if I wasn’t quite sure what that meant.
You were recently published in the ABA Journal’s Section of International Law. What led to that opportunity?
Like many other students, I joined the ABA when I began law school. Because of my life experiences and interests, I gravitated toward the Section of International Law. I have joined a few committees within that section over the years, including the International Energy and Natural Resources Committee. I discovered that the Section of International Law’s Year-In-Review provided a publishing opportunity that fit my research on energy developments in Brazil. I co-authored the publication with Mauricio Gomm and Quinn Smith, partners at Gomm & Smith. Virtually all of our firm’s work has some international aspect, and a large part of our work deals with Brazil. Energy regulation and dispute resolution are hot issues in Brazil, and we are constantly looking for ways to be part of the dialogue, including finding opportunities to publish.
You also recently participated in an arbitration at the World Bank. How did you become involved?
It was an opportunity to participate in an investor-state arbitration hearing at the World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in the matter of Flughafen Zürich AG v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Diego Gosis, of counsel at Gomm & Smith, is counsel for the Republic along with our firm in Miami and a firm in Argentina. The weeklong hearing was entirely in Spanish before a panel of three arbitrators, each from different countries. I found strength in my U.S. legal training to assist in preparing our fact and expert witnesses for cross-examination. In law school, I had competed in the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Competition, which simulates an ICSID arbitration. That experience provided the base of substantive knowledge that helped me dive into this real-life ICSID hearing. The interests at stake, the unrestricted scope of applicable law, and the complex damages calculations are a few reasons why I find this type of work to be the most fascinating and challenging intellectual exercise.
How did your experience at FIU Law prepare you for your career?
FIU was the best decision I could have made. Even the least internationally oriented course was outward-looking in some way. Professor Gomez’s International Commercial Arbitration course sparked my interest in international arbitration. His guidance led me to compete in the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition and the FDI Competition. Professor Mirow’s Legal History course provided a broad understanding of the development of the common law system in England and then in the United States, and it showed how the common law mirrors in some respects and differs in others from the legal systems of other countries in Europe and Latin America. In International Trade Law and Policy, Professor Esquirol illustrated many of the critical issues in international trade and investment and the methods to resolve them, from imposing trade barriers to submitting claims before a dispute settlement body.
What advice do you have for students interested in a similar career path?
I found that FIU has an incredibly talented faculty with diverse expertise in international law. Students should get to know these professors, since they are the ones that can help socialize them with the field. Also, memberships in local, national, and international groups can help put students in touch with like-minded peers and practitioners. On the most basic level, groups show students what kind of opportunities in international law exist. In law school, I attended meetings hosted by the Miami International Arbitration Society and the Florida Bar’s International Law Section. Those events gave me a chance to get to know local practitioners, including the people who would later hire me to be their associate. International law is a relatively niche field and at a local level, its players comprise a small community. Interested students have the ability to get involved and meet the people who can help them jump start their career. And while learning in the classroom is necessary to have a successful career, paving a unique path by following one’s interests and gaining exposure is satisfying and invaluable.
Professor Roman selected to receive Haywood Burns/Shanara Gilbert Award
Professor Ediberto Roman has been selected to receive the Haywood Burns / Shanara Gilbert Award at the 2013 Northeast People of Color Conference. This award recognizes professors and activists who “have demonstrated a sustained commitment to the advancement of the legal, social, and economic position of People of Color in our society”. To read more about the award click here.