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This Month in the Section

White Paper on the Hague Convention Choice of Court Agreement
Asset Freezing Order Uniform Act
Task Force - ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20
Opposition to bans on the use of foreign or international law in state courts
Letters to state bar associations on data protection and use of foreign law ABA resolutions

Upcoming Section Programs
Section Events Calendar
Mexico City, June 14-16
Boston, MA, June 15-16
Moscow, Russia, September 21
The 13th Annual LIVE from the SEC, October 2
2012 Fall Meeting Registration Now Open
SAVE THE DATE! Brussels, Belgium, November 11-13
SAVE THE DATE! London, United Kingdom, November 29
Now accepting Program Proposals for the 2013 Spring Meeting

Highlighting our International Partners
Inter-American Bar Association (IABA)
German Bar Association (DAV)

Upcoming Committee Programs
Join a Committee!
Commitee Homepages

International Family Law Desk Book
International Law News
The International Lawyer

Rule of Law Activities
Partnership with the World Bank’s Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development
Program Support Fund
J-1 Visas for Visiting International Lawyers

Michael E. Burke

Dear Colleagues,

Under the terrific leadership of Adam Farlow, the Section’s Programs Officer, the leaders of our 60+ Committees, and Curry Wilson, the Section’s Meeting Planner, Committee-specific programming is expanding rapidly. We’re better able to provide our members with cutting-edge, practical and ethics programs of interest to working international lawyers.  These programs continue to develop the world’s finest international lawyers, equipped to anticipate and solve real-world problems.  The Section’s programs increasingly reflect the full spectrum of international law issues, including key developments in public and private international law, as well as professional ethics, and issues related to the evolution of legal practice.  Joining a Committee and volunteering for that Committee’s Steering Group are the only two steps required to get active in planning a Committee program or any other Committee activity.

Recently, our Russia/Eurasia Committee coordinated the Section’s presence at the International Legal Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Gene Burd moderated the Section’s programming, including a panel on business disputes involving state actors. Our International Family Law and Private Clients Committee, along with the ABA Section on Family Law, hosted a terrific day-and-a-half program on International Families – Money, Children and Long Term Planning. Melissa Kucinski was the driving force behind that program.

Looking ahead, there is still time to register for our program in Mexico City, Legal Challenges and Opportunities of Mexico’s Increasing Global Integration: Finance, Investment, Trade and Competition Law, on June 14-16 at the JW Marriott Mexico City.  The event showcases opportunities for international practitioners in connection with global integration of Mexico’s economy, predicted as seventh largest in the world by 2025. Specific programs will focus on secured lending, competition law, real estate law, NAFTA, distressed mergers & acquisitions and environment/energy law. The conference also will afford participants time for debate and dialogue with leading experts and ample networking opportunities.

Also on June 15-16, the Section and AIJA are presenting a joint seminar on international employment law issues in Boston, MA at the Omni Parker House Hotel. The seminar will address recent developments and hot issues relating to public and private law impacting the international employment market. Click here for more information.

I hope to see you at the annual Section Retreat – this year in Chicago at the Union League Club on August 1 and 2, just before the start of the ABA Annual Meeting.  If you haven’t been before, I really recommend participating in the Retreat – it is a great opportunity to make new and renew old acquaintances, and to learn more about getting involved in the Section.  The Section’s programming at the ABA Annual Meeting starts on August 2nd and includes Presidential Showcase programs on “Nuremberg – Revisited, Global Diversity and Human Trafficking.  We are also honored to have Justice Ruth Ginsburg speaking on “Comparative Constitutional Law: North America and the Middle East.”

Michael E. Burke


Reminder: Send items for “member news” to Steven Richman (smrichman@duanemorris.com), Communications Officer, using “SIL Member News” in the email subject line, for inclusion in upcoming issues.

Sergio Karas, Vice Chair of the Canada Committee, was quoted in the Globe and Mail Editorial last week on the important debate on the future of immigration in Canada (the newspaper did a week-long series on different aspects of the issue).

He was also quoted in an interesting story in the National Post.


Identifying and influencing public policy issues important to international law, global business, and international institutions is a key Section goal. We engage in regular review and recommendation of policy issues, such as proposing model laws, commenting on private international law treaties, and regularly interact with government officials to improve the practice of private international law.  The Section is a leader in the development and execution of policy on key international law issues, and our Committees are a primary engine of Section policy development.  For more information on developing policy, visit: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/international_law/policy.html.

Recently, the Section has been involved in the following policy activities:

The U.S. Department of State has drafted a White Paper on the Hague Convention Choice of Court Agreement which they have asked the Section along with the Judicial Conference/State Chief Justices and the ULC representatives to review.  If the White Paper is accepted by stakeholders, then the Executive Branch would move forward in the Congress on the basis set out in the White Paper.

The Section is proud that its “Mareva Injunction” initiative, more formally known as the Asset Freezing Order Uniform Act, enjoyed a successful first reading with the Uniform Law Commission, which continues its work to draft a model law based on the Section’s policy initiative.  It is on the agenda for final reading at the Uniform Law Commission Annual meeting in Nashville in July 2012, and the Section leadership is optimistic that this model law will be considered by the Uniform Law Commission for enactment at its annual meeting in 2012.  If so, this marks the second such model or uniform law that initiated with the Section, the prior one being one signing affidavits from outside the jurisdiction.  The Section is also pursuing a proposal for a model or uniform law on interim relief, and remains active in this avenue of policy.

The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 was created by then-ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm to perform a thorough review of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the U.S. system of lawyer regulation in the context of advances in technology and global legal practice developments. Mike Burke created a task force that Steven Richman chairs, which reviews and provides comments on the Commission's proposed recommendations and reports. The Task Force would like additional input from Section members on the Commission's August 2012 proposals:

  • Confidentiality When Using Technology
  • Using Technology for Marketing
  • Outsourcing
  • Mobility

Please view the summary of the proposals online and submit your comments to Christina Heid at introl@americanbar.org by June 8, 2012.

The Section is particularly pleased that the policy developed by the Section in opposition to bans on the use of foreign or international law in state courts has contributed to positive results in state legislatures. Letters regarding the recently approved policies were also sent to the Conference of Chief Justices of States, National Center for State Courts, and National Governors Association.

The Section sent letters to the Executive Director, President, and International Law Section Chair of all U.S. state bar associations as well as the Conference of Chief Justices of States, National Center for State Courts, and National Governors Association regarding the recently approved data protection and use of foreign law ABA resolutions.


The Section develops and provides cost-effective, cutting-edge, timely programs with world class speakers and materials on issues that enhance members’ professional skills including professional ethics.  Our Committees are the engine driving program development. For more information about the Section’s programming calendar and information on how to develop a program, click here.

Upcoming Programs

Mexico City, June 14-16, 2012Legal Challenges and Opportunities of Mexico’s Increasing Global Integration: Finance, Investment, Trade and Competition Law” - For more information and to register, click here.

Boston, MA, June 15-16, 2012Hot Issues in International Employment” – For more information and to register, click here.

Moscow, Russia, September 21, 2012 “The 4th Annual Conference on the Resolution of CIS-Related Business Disputes” – For more information and to register, click here.

The 13th Annual LIVE from the SEC, October 2, 2012  For more information and to register, click here.

Registration for the 2012 Fall Meeting in Miami October 16-20 is now open.

SAVE THE DATE! Brussels, Belgium, November 11-13, 2012 “Collective Redress” presented by the International Human Rights Committee More information and registration will be available soon.

SAVE THE DATE! London, United Kingdom, November 29, 2012 “Capital Markets in the 21st Century” More information and registration available soon.

From May 16 until June 25 we will be accepting program proposals for the Section’s 2013 Spring Meeting, which will take place from April 23 – 27, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC.


Inter-American Bar Association (IABA)
The Inter-American Bar Association (IABA) will hold its 48th Annual Conference in Isla Margarita, Venezuela June 5 – 9.  The conference will focus on the challenges of democracy in the Americas and information and communications technology and access to justice. For more information, click here.

German Bar Association (DAV)

The German Bar Association, Deutscher Anwaltverein (DAV), will hold its Annual Conference in Munich June 14 – 16.  The Section will be represented by Dixon Miller, the Section’s Deputy Liaison Officer. For more information, please contact daa@anwaltakademie.de.


Upcoming Committee Programs
Registration for the following Committee programs will be available on the Section website under the Events and CLE tab. To submit a non-CLE program proposal, please click here.

Thursday May 31, 2012, “Cross Border Case Management”
An in person program in Shanghai, China presented by the China Committee in cooperation with the Shanghai Bar Association.

Tuesday June 5th, 2012, “Vodaphone and Beyond: Changes to India’s Tax Regime for Structuring a Transaction”
A non-CLE teleconference presented by the India Committee.

Tuesday July 10th, 2012, “Recent Development in CBP’s Penalties Branch”
A non-CLE teleconference and in person program presented by the Customs Law Committee.

Join a Committee!
Membership in our committees is free, and it is never too early to get involved and start making contacts. Join a committee today!


The Section provides high-quality, timely, and practical publications on key international law issues, and our Committees are empowered to develop high-quality, timely, and practical publications. For more information about the Section’s publications activities, click here.

International Family Law Desk Book
By Ann Lacquer Destin

International family law has emerged as an important subject in its own right and has become part of the everyday work of family court judges and family law practitioners across the country presenting a myriad of puzzles along the way.  This book takes a broad approach to the subject, bringing together the law applicable to a wide range of cross-border family issues. Designed to serve as a compact and useful resource and reference tool, the chapters that follow address marriage, divorce, the financial aspects of divorce, parentage and parental rights, custody and child abduction litigation, child support and intercountry adoption. Each chapter builds on the foundation established by treaties and uniform acts, and incorporates case law, the Restatements, and important secondary sources whenever possible. Included are extensive discussions of the international treaties that have come to form the basis for reciprocal relationships between the United States and more than 85 other nations, but it focuses on the law applied to these transnational family issues in the United States. Although written primarily for U.S. practitioners, it will hopefully also be of use to foreign lawyers and judges with an interest in understanding the U.S. system.

Co-published with the ABA Family Law Section

February 2012   7x10   300 pages   Product Code:  5210215
$119.95 -- regular price; $99.95 -- International Law and Family Law Section member price

To order or for more information, click here.

International Law News

Fall Issue Deadline: June 27, 2012
Theme: Information Privacy and Security (including Wiki law)

Winter Issue Deadline: October 22, 2012
Theme: International Anti-Bribery Compliance and Investigation

International Law News (ILN) publishes high-quality submissions on topics in our field. ILN editors are especially interested in articles related to each issue’s theme. Submissions must follow the “ILN Author Guidelines” to be considered. The guidelines are posted here. For guidance or to submit an article, please contact ILN@americanbar.org. Ideas for future themes and articles are welcome.

The International Lawyer
The latest edition of The International Lawyer is now online. To view a copy of volume 45:4 please click here (must be a member of the Section to access).

Individual articles from the Year in Review 2010 are now online. To view a copy of your Committee’s submission to the YIR, please click here (must be a member of the Section to access).


The Section actively promotes the global acceptance and just implementation of the rule of law.  The Section, through ABA policy mechanisms and the Section’s rule of law activities, promotes and defends the rule of law around the world, including, but not limited to, defending the independence of the profession and the judiciary around the world. The Section is an active participant in the Association’s Center for Human Rights and related entities, and continues to support the ABA-UNDP International Legal Resource Center. The Section’s rule of law activities include technical legal assistance, pro bono legal services, legal services for the poor, capacity building, and other governance and human development activities. Committees are a primary engine of the Section’s rule of law activities. For more information about the Section’s rule of law activities, click here.

Partnership with the World Bank’s Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development
The Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development (“GFLJD”) aims at facilitating the identification, discussion, production, and sharing of innovative and customized legal and institutional tools to address global, regional or national development challenges. It seeks to: (1) promote a better understanding of the role of law and justice in the development process, through structured South-South and North-South dialogues amongst relevant stakeholders and a research agenda that will facilitate and support the co-generation of knowledge; (2) strengthen and better integrate legal and judicial institutions in the development process, through the carrying out of relevant  capacity building initiatives; and (3) provide access to  an open repository of knowledge. The GFLJD will set measurable, sustainable goals for itself in these areas, and evaluate its progress.

The Section is an Intellectual Partner providing in-kind contributions on a number of thematic topics. The topics will be coordinated through thematic working groups on these overarching themes:

  • Justice Reform/Rule of Law Reform
  • Private Sector Development and Finance
  • Environmental Law & Natural Resources
  • Governance and Anti-Corruption (GAC)
  • Inclusion and Equity for Vulnerable Groups

If you are interested in contributing to any of these abovementioned themes, please contact us at introl@americanbar.org.  For more information on GFLJD, please review this PowerPoint presentation.

Program Support Fund
The Section’s Rule of Law Activities are supported by the Section Support Fund under the ABA Fund for Justice and Education, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (donate online). The Section Support Fund is used for activities that fall under ABA Goal IV: “to advance the Rule of Law.” The Section undertook its first overseas project in 1986 and, in the more than twenty years since, ABA International has implemented numerous short- and long-term legal capacity building projects around the world. The Section’s Rule of Law Officer, Jason Matechak, and Rule of Law Committee oversee ABA International’s activities in coordination with Section staff.

J-1 Visas for Visiting International Lawyers
As a U.S. government designated sponsor, the ABA Section of International Law’s International Legal Exchange Training Program (“ILEX”) certifies international lawyers’ eligibility for exchange visitor status under the J-1 visa. International attorneys with a training offer from a U.S. law firm or legal office can apply for the J-1 visa through ABA International’s ILEX program. Trainees must complete the ILEX application, which is then processed electronically through the U.S. Department of State. To learn more about the program, click here.