Excerpt from the FLORIDA BAR ASSOCIATION International Law Section Gazette (JULY 2021)
James M. Meyer, ILS Chair
Harper Meyer Perez Hagen Albert Dribin & DeLuca LLP
Dear ILS Members,
Given what has transpired this past week in Cuba, I would like use my first message as Chair to briefly explain why I believe these recent events are so relevant to our Section, and how our Section can become more relevant by getting more involved with the issues which they present.
Since day one as an attorney, I was told of the importance of the International Law Section by Burton Landy, who was our first Chair when we were merely a Florida Bar Committee. Long before his contemporaries, Burt understood that Florida needed to take the lead in promoting the practice of international law.
Having attended the University of Havana, he also understood the critical nexus Cuba has with our legal community. At almost 93 years of age, he is still coming to the office on a regular basis and he has most certainly earned the right to say, “See, I told you so.”
Burt’s protégé and the Co-Founder of my firm, George “Rocky” Harper, was Chair of the ILS in the early 1990s. It was a lot of work back then but, rest assured, he had this young associate enthusiastically pitching-in to help him with some of the more laborious projects, including one of the first premier conferences of the Section held at the Intercontinental Hotel in 1991, which was somewhat pre-maturely called the “Post-Castro Cuba Conference.” I like to think of this event as a pre-cursor to what we all now know of as “i-Law.” Rocky, who was “más Cubano que la palma” had his “Post-Castro” moment when he outlived Fidel but he is unfortunately not here with us to witness and guide us through the important events of the past week. For that, we are at a great disadvantage.