James M. Meyer

James M. Meyer

Dear ILS Members,

As practitioners of international law in the State of Florida, the importance of diversity is not debatable. It is what we do for a living. On a daily basis, we find ourselves spending the better part of our days harmonizing diverse legal systems, customs, practices, languages, dialects, and cultures. In fact, without such diversity, many of us would probably be doing personal injury or insurance defense work, “not that there is anything wrong with that” (Seinfeld reference).

Given the nature of our work, therefore, embracing diversity of race, religion, and gender should not be all that difficult. Moreover, for most of us, international travel is an occupational necessity, and as Mark Twain famously wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

So, who better to lead the diversity charge than the ILS. As you will see in the Gazette below, I am proud of our efforts to do just that. For starters, I encourage you to register for our Doing Business in India webinar on September 23 at 10:00 am (7:30 pm IST) to hear from our own Neha Dagley and fellow international practitioners on the ground in Mumbai and New Delhi.

The night before, on September 22 at 6:30 pm we will be combining forces with the Haitian Lawyers Association to enjoy a wonderful night at Glass & Vine to raise money for Haiti (please register now at the link below).

We have also already begun planning with the Caribbean Bar Association for a very special combined CLE/social event in November. Not to mention our retreat in Bimini, rescheduled for April, at which we will collaborate with our friends and colleagues from the Bahamas Bar Association.

Hopefully, as a result of these events and the corresponding efforts of all of you who attend, we can greatly improve our Section’s overall membership both in terms of numbers and content.

Whether you are sipping a rich Cuban cafecito, a delicious Masala chai tea or a fine Jamaican rum, please join me today in raising a glass in honor of the inherent diversity of our international law practice and our efforts to build on that diversity for a better, stronger, wiser and, quite frankly, more interesting International Law Section for years to come.

Very truly yours,

James M. Meyer