April 30, 2014 View Web Version | Text Only Version

ACCA-SFL FOCUS
The Newsletter of the South Florida Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel
President's Message
Intentional Living
Kellee Cueto, President

Do you know Eve Wright? Eve Wright is Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the Miami Heat and the American Airlines Arena.  Eve is a member of ACCA-SFL.  And, on April 21, 2014, Eve's first book, Life at the Speed of Passion: Create a Life of Intention, Purpose and Integrity, hit the shelves.  Eve has said, "I don't think any of us wants to be in a situation where we just live based on what other people think we should be doing, or according to circumstances that happen to befall us. So, it's about the intention, your intentional and purposeful living.  And then, doing it with integrity, too.  There are a lot of ways to get to the finish line, but doing it in a way that really doesn't compromise your moral center or your personal dignity - I think it's all possible."

Eve's words hit home for me.  On December 31, 2013, our family welcomed a third child, Cooper Adrian, into the world.  When my first two children were born, I saw my family home-life dynamic change, but work stayed the same.  "Work-life balance" meant that I was satisfied at work AND home, and that one benefited from the other.  Now, with the addition of a third child, I am having to completely overhaul my definition of "work-life balance".  At present, balancing means juggling by minimizing the amount of stuff that falls through the cracks.  I am confident that this period is a just a phase until we discover our new balance.

I am often asked how I am able to "do it all", I respond that I don't.  Instead, I strive to be purposefully engaged whether meeting with colleagues at work, planning an event for ACCA-SFL, or lying on the floor cooing at my 4-month old during tummy time.  I believe that this commitment to being fully present is the kind of intentional living that leads to success at home and at work.  I recognize that I do not know it all (please, don't tell my husband and kids, I still have them fooled), so I am eager to read Eve's book for her experiences and insights.

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ACCA-SFL Chapter News
Upcoming Events

GOLF & SPA CLE CONFERENCE

WHEN: May 2, 2014 

WHERE: The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, FL 

REGISTRATION IS OPEN: Register by going to http://acca-sfl.cvent.com/biltmore.  All in-house counsel - members and non-members - are invited to register. 

 

PALM BEACH ACCA-SFL PROGRESSIVE DINNER

WHEN: June 4, 2014

WHERE: Boca Center Mall, Boca Raton, Florida

REGISTRATION:  to be announced

 

MIAMI-DADE ACCA-SFL PROGRESSIVE DINNER

WHEN: July 24, 2014

WHERE: Miami

REGISTRATION:  to be announced 

 

FIFTH ANNUAL CLE CONFERENCE

WHEN: September 19, 2014

WHERE: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, FL

REGISTRATION:  to be announced

 

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Exective Director Update

Dear Members,

I look forward to seeing many of you on May 2 at the ACCA-SFL Golf & Spa CLE Conference at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Continue to refer to the “Upcoming Events” section of the ACCA-SFL FOCUS for an up-to-date listing from where you can register for all of the programs that the ACCA-SFL has planned in the near future.

Please remember to let us know if you have any new ideas or if there are specific topics you would like us for ACCA-SFL CLE programs so that we can continue to meet your needs.  Email me at execdir@acca-sfl.com with any suggestions or questions you have. If you would like to become more involved in our many committees, also let us know!  We are always glad to have our members get more involved.

See you at our Spring events!

Debby Hanley

Executive Director, ACCA-SFL

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Member News
Please Welcome the Newest Members to ACCA-SFL!

Barbara Doutre, Commercial Counsel - Motorola Solutions, Inc - Fort Lauderdale

Rebecca Farmer, Assistant General Counsel - Office Depot, Inc - Boca Raton

Jacob C. Jackson, General Counsel - MerchantWorthy, Inc/Summer Merchant Processing, Inc - Pompano

Lucas R. Kurtz, Assistant General Counsel - Office Depot, Inc - Boca Raton

Jessica C. Mason, Assistant General Counsel - Office Depot, Inc - Boca Raton

Tanya Reed, Attorney - Office Depot, Inc - Boca Raton

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Community Events
ACCA-SFL Supports the 4th Annual Bridge to Justice Breakfast

ACCA-SFL is supporting the 4th Annual Bridge to Justice Breakfast, an event that highlights many programs and services of Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Coast-to-Coast Legal Aid.  The event this year has for than 600 attendees representing various business interests, private donors and attorneys.  This year's program will showcase the ways these agencies work to make free legal assistance, advice and counsel and pro se assistance available to veterans and their families.

The Guest Speaker will be Major Enteral William M. Matz, JR (Retired, US Army), a highly decorated veteran of the US Army who served in Korea and Vietnam as well as on the Pacific Fleet and in Panama.  Among his awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Cross, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Services Medal, Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman Badge.  He is a past President of the National Association for Uniformed Services with advocates in Congress for service members, veterans and their families.

WHEN & WHERE: Friday, June 6, 2014.  7:30-9:00 am at the Fort Lauderdale Renaissance.

 

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LEGAL SERVICES OF GREATER MIAMI hosts the Heart of Giving Celebration and Judicial Reception

The Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. invites you to join them at the 5th Annual "Heart of Giving" Celebration and Judicial Reception on May 8, 2014 between 6:00 and 9:00 PM.  They will present the 2014 Equal Justice Judicial Leadership Award to the following honorees:  US District Judge Patricia A. Seitz and Florida Third District Court of Appeal Judge Vance E. Salter.

The evening will include a silent auction of artwork, retail goods, vacations and more.  The title sponsors are Bruce and Jacquelyn Rogow.  Private Reception Special invited guests include: Judges of the United States District Court; Judges of the Third District Court of Appeal; Incoming Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, Florida Supreme Court; and Eugene K. Pettis, President of the Florida Bar. 

To register for the event or for further information visit the EVENT SITE or contact Marcia Rabinowitz at MRabinowitz@lsgmi.org.

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Sponsors
Sponsor Opportunities

If you are a Sponsor, we are glad to post your news, including events, CLE opportunities, and awards, here in the ACCA-SFL FOCUS.  Please email us at execdir@acca-sfl.com with your news, and we will post it in the next issue of the ACCA-SFL FOCUS.



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Feature Article
Miami Now Go-To Designation for International Arbitration
By Jose M. Ferrer and Joseph Mamounas

Miami: Crossroads of the Americas and, increasingly, Europe and Asia, host city for the 2014 International Council for Commercial Arbitration Congress, site of the Latin American headquarters for countless multinationals and the worldwide base of at least five Fortune 500 companies.

And now, home to only the second international arbitration court in the United States and one of a handful across the globe.

On Dec. 17, 2013, the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court announced the creation of an International Arbitration Court “designed exclusively to handle international commercial arbitration matters.” The court, a subdivision of Miami-Dade’s Complex Business Litigation court, will feature judges with specialized international arbitration expertise.

At first, the post will be filled by two judges, who will be trained by the University of Miami, in conjunction with the Miami International Arbitration Society.

What Disputes are Eligible for the IAC?

Two types of arbitration-related matters may be heard by Miami's IAC: (1) those falling within the Florida International Commercial Arbitration Act (Chapter 684, Florida Statutes) — which mirrors the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration enacted in seven U.S. states and more than 50 countries, or (2) those falling within the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C.§1).

To qualify under FICAA, a matter must meet either of two conditions:

First, the parties’ “places of business” must have been “in different countries” at the time they reached their arbitration agreement. Alternatively, the agreed-upon arbitration situs, or the place where a “substantial part of the obligations of the commercial relationship are to be performed or the place with which the subject matter of the dispute is most closely connected” must be “outside the country in which the parties have their places of business.”

In contrast, the FAA applies more broadly to contracts involving interstate commerce and, in those circumstances, controls over inconsistent state law. Although a federal statute, the FAA applies in state and federal courts and to contracts made pursuant to state law.

To ensure the international character of the matters brought before the IAC, the order creating the court specifically exempts FAA arbitrations “arising out of a relationship which is entirely between citizens of the United States.”

This limitation itself has three exceptions: (1) the parties’ relationship “involves property located abroad;” (2) “envisages performance or enforcement abroad;” or (3) “has some other reasonable relation with one or more foreign states.”

What Requests for Relief Could be Brought Before the IAC?

Apart from these criteria, the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, in establishing the IAC, did not limit the types of issues the court can hear. As a result, arbitrating parties should be able to bring before the IAC most requests for judicial assistance that are incidental to their arbitration agreement.

One of the most common of these requests is a petition to compel arbitration. Sometimes, despite having agreed in writing to arbitrate, one party may decide for any number of reasons to choose litigation over arbitration. If the other party objects, that party can ask the IAC to stay any pending litigation and compel arbitration.

Conversely, where one party has waived its right to arbitration, but later institutes an arbitration proceeding, the objecting party could petition the IAC to adjudicate the waiver and enjoin the first party from proceeding with the arbitration.

Often, there is a lag between the time arbitration is filed and the time the tribunal is constituted. The realities of litigation, however, can require quick action to prevent a party from dissipating assets or to compel the return of property. The FICAA empowers Florida courts to issue such interim measures “in relation to arbitration proceedings, irrespective of whether the arbitration proceedings are held in [Florida].”

Another important topic in international arbitration is the extent of discovery and, in particular, disclosures from third parties. Depending on how the parties have crafted their arbitration clause, these fact-gathering tools may be available in their arbitration.

And if the arbitration is seated in Florida, the FICAA expressly permits the arbitral tribunal or a party to seek “assistance in taking evidence” from Florida courts. The FAA, at Section 7, also provides means to obtain documents and testimony in arbitration.

Finally, an arbitration proceeding culminates with an award, which typically explains the tribunal’s findings and the relief it has decided to grant. The parties will then apply to a court for recognition and enforcement. Both the FICAA and the FAA address these issues and provide very limited grounds for rejecting an arbitral award.

Why Will the IAC Be Better?

Although Miami has in recent years seen a marked increase in the number of international arbitrations and related proceedings, few state court judges are familiar with this specialized area of the law. Designated judges will be better able to address the complex issues that arise in the international arbitration context. Overall, this will add consistency and predictability to the process.

Another key benefit of the IAC will be its efficiency. Having ready access to judges specially trained in the laws and procedure of international arbitration should substantially expedite the resolution of arbitration-related matters. This will allow the parties — and the tribunal — a greater opportunity to actually achieve the traditional goals of making dispute resolution through international arbitration quicker and less costly than litigation.

Other efficiencies (and strategic advantages) appear when one considers that under standard Florida practice, discovery and emergency matters are usually heard on short notice.

Ultimately, these advantages of the IAC inure to the substantial benefit of the end users of international arbitration, the parties.[12] In turn, the creation of the IAC will further increase Miami's attractiveness as a premier international arbitration venue, complete with world-class arbitrators, able counsel, and, now, the city’s very own international arbitration court. Miami’s star indeed is rising.

Jose Ferrer is a partner in Bilzin Sumberg's Miami office and head of the firm’s litigation team in matters abroad.

Joseph Mamounas is an associate in Bilzin Sumberg's litigation group in the firm's Miami office.
 

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Available Positions
Post Your Open Positions

Do you have an open position for an attorney, paralegal or legal secretary?  Submit a description of your open position to ideas@acca-sfl.com, and we will be gladly place a notice here in the ACCA-SFL FOCUS.

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In This Issue
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President's Message
Intentional Living
ACCA-SFL Chapter News
Upcoming Events
Exective Director Update
Member News
Please Welcome the Newest Members to ACCA-SFL!
Community Events
ACCA-SFL Supports the 4th Annual Bridge to Justice Breakfast
LEGAL SERVICES OF GREATER MIAMI hosts the Heart of Giving Celebration and Judicial Reception
Sponsors
Sponsor Opportunities
Feature Article
Miami Now Go-To Designation for International Arbitration
Available Positions
Post Your Open Positions
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2014 ACCA-SFL SPONSORS
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PLATINUM SPONSOR

Bilzin Sumberg

GOLD SPONSORS

Akerman, LLP

Fox Rothschild, LLP

Gunster

Jackson Lewis, LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP

SILVER SPONSORS

Coffey Burlington 

Fisher & Phillips, LLP

Fowler White Boggs

Jordan Lawrence

Katz Barron

Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP

Special Counsel, Inc

BRONZE SPONSORS 

Ford Harrison LLP

Practical Law

Robert Half Legal 


GOLF & SPA CONFERENCE SPONSOR 

 Littler Mendelson, PC 

GOLF & SPA HOSPITALITY SPONSOR

Coffey Burlington

GOLF & SPA FOURSOME  PLUS SPONSOR

Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP

Special Counsel, Inc.

Symantec 

GOLF & SPA FOURSOME SPONSOR 

Fox Rothschild, LLP 


PROGRESSIVE DINNER SPONSOR, PALM BEACH

Shraiberg, Ferrara & Landau, PA (Premier Sponsor)

Fox Rothschild, LLP 

PROGRESSIVE DINNER SPONSOR, MIAMI-DADE

Shook Hardy & Bacon, LLP (Premier Sponsor)

Arnstein & Lehr, LLP

Lipscomb, Eisenberg & Baker, PL

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•  Board of Directors
•  ACCA-SFL Website
•  ACCA-SFL LinkedIn
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