International Law Section Newsletter
Summer 2015

Message from the Editor - by Harumi Hata

Harumi HataDear International Law Section Members:

Welcome to the Summer 2015 issue of the International Law Section E-Newsletter!

I am the current Vice Chair of the International Law Section, and I served as the Editor of this issue of the E-Newsletter. We would like to thank the prior Editor, Diana Mack, who served as the Editor in the past several years.

As indicated in the Message from the Chair, below, we will distribute the E-Newsletter three times a year -- the Spring issue, the Summer issue, and the Fall/Winter issue.

In between each issue of the E-Newsletter, please visit the International Law Section website and also follow the email from the International Law Section regarding the webinars, the live programs and the networking events we present. We hope that you will attend the webinars, the live programs and the networking events, as well as the International Law Section programs and reception at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting in Anaheim in October 2015.

We look forward to your continued readership and seeing you in person at the International Law Section programs and events.


Harumi Hata
International Law Section 2014 - 2015 Vice Chair

Message from the Chair - by Brian Arbetter

Brian Arbetter Dear International Law Section Members:

Our Section Leadership hopes that you are having a great Summer. As you may have noticed, we have changed the frequency of our e-newsletter and Journal publications. Going forward, our e-newsletter will issue three times a year, and our printed Journal will issue once a year.

In addition to our publications, we hope that you are connected with the Section on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

In the coming months, we will be updating our Section’s website and including regular postings of upcoming events. We hope that you will join us at one or more of the events.

For your information, we have also restructured our various sub-committees. The following lists each sub-committee and its Chairs and Vice-Chairs.  Please feel free to get involved with one or more of our sub-committees. Just reach out to the respective Chairs and/or Vice-Chairs, and I promise you will be more than welcomed.  We are always seeking Section member volunteers.

International Law Section Sub-Committees


  • Social Media (Website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) - Co-Chairs: Jeff Daar and Diana Mack
  • Journal - Chair/Editor-in-Chief: Mark Danis
  • E-Newsletter - Chair/Editor: Harumi Hata

Programs -- Chair: Bill Gay; Vice-Chair: Anne Hocking

  • Webinars (including joint webinars with other State Bar of California Sections and other bar associations) - Chair: Greg Berk
  • International Arbitration Program (live program) - Co-Chairs: Jeff Daar, Maria Chedid, and Neil Popovic
  • 2016 International Conference (live program) - Chair: Enrique Hernandez; Co-Chairs: Jeff Daar, Alexandra Darraby, Lizbeth Flores, Bill Gay, and Harumi Hata

Law Students (including “Careers in International Law” programs at law schools in California)

  • Northern California/Central California Chair: Karla Haynes
  • Southern California (Los Angeles County/Orange County) Chair: Bill Gay
  • Southern California (San Diego County) Chair: Lizbeth Flores

Networking Mixers -- Co-Chairs: Greg Berk and Jeff Daar

External Relations -- Co-Chairs: Michael Newman and Enrique Hernandez

Public International Law -- Chair: Mary Hansel

If you have any questions about your Section membership, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of the other Section Officers.

International Law Section 2014 - 2015 Officers:

Thank you.

Brian Arbetter
International Law Section 2014 - 2015 Chair

International Law Section Mission Statement

The International Law Section recently updated its Mission Statement, as follows:

The International Law Section is dedicated to facilitating global and domestic outreach by California lawyers to attorneys, students and others interested in international law and the legal systems of other nations, and contributing to a dialogue between the members of the State Bar of California and the lawyers around the globe to enhance mutual understanding and facilitate client representation.

International Law Section Mission goals include:

  • educating practitioners from all fields of law, and at all levels of experience, on international principles, laws, treaties and conventions, including trends and new developments;
  • coordinating international relations among foreign and domestic bar associations to share developments in law and diplomacy and to expand a network of resources for particular fields of law for use and access by members of the Bar and the public; and
  • mentoring young lawyers and law students in the practice of international law and to participate in international law activities, programs and events.

The California International Law Journal

California International Law Journal masthead
We have been working on the 2015 edition of The California International Law Journal, and we are planning to publish this year’s edition in August 2015.

The California International Law Journal would like to solicit articles for its 2016 edition. While most articles offer practical advice and strategies for practitioners handling transnational matters, we also would like to publish academic articles that may be of interest to our readers. Topics may include anything that pertains to private or public international law, including commercial transactions and developments, arbitration and litigation, immigration, intellectual property, privacy, data protection, criminal, environmental, and human rights. Standard articles range from 15-25 pages, double-spaced. Short articles range from 4-8 pages, double-spaced.  If selected for publication, we will assign an editor to work with you on finalizing your article.

If you are interested in submitting an article, please contact Mark Danis at

Webinar Updates

Many of the webinars previously presented by the International Law Section are available in our online catalog

Currently, the International Law Section is planning to present the following webinars, and we hope that you will register and attend the webinars: 

  • Webinar: Student Visas – The Basics and Beyond

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

    This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit; 1 hour legal specialization credit in Immigration & Nationality Law. You must register in advance in order to participate.

    Learn about F-1 Student visas, status, work authorization, and options after graduation.

    Speakers: John C. Lemacks, II; Greg Berk

  • Webinar: J-1 Trainee and Intern Visa Basics and the Attorney's Role in Coordinating with J-1 Agencies and Employers

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.

    This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit; 1 hour legal specialization credit in Immigration & Nationality Law. You must register in advance in order to participate.

    J-1 visas differ from most other nonimmigrant classifications insofar as the forms submitted to the government originate with a Department of State certified J-1 Agency, rather than a private attorney. Therefore, we will focus on the role of the attorney in coordinating between the foreign national candidates and the placement agencies. We will also focus on J-1 red flags, including nonimmigrant intent, and whether the J-1 visa is a bonafide traineeship or internship, rather than a means to improperly engage a full time employee.

    Speakers: Sharon Brenner; Joshua Surowitz

  • October 28:  on the topic of I-9 compliance issues (immigration law), to be presented by Sharon Mehlman and Marcine Seid; and

  • November (date TBD):  a webinar to be presented by the lawyers from the Barcelona Bar Association in Spain, based upon the Friendship Agreement between the International Law Section and the Barcelona Bar Association.

In addition to the above webinars presented by the International Law Section, the International Law Section and the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of California will co-present a webinar on Thursday, September 10, 12 noon - 1 p.m. The webinar will feature two speakers, Todd Mikolop and Timothy Heaphy, and they will address criminal investigation and prosecution process in an international context on environmental matters, with specific examples of international environmental enforcement cases involving China and Mexico.

The International Law Section will continue to look for opportunities to collaborate and co-present webinars and other programs with the other Sections of the State Bar of California.

Live Program Updates

The International Law Section presented the 2015 International Arbitration program on February 20, 2015. This year’s program, entitled “Effective Advocacy in International Arbitration: From Commencement to Enforcement,” was held at UC Berkeley School of Law. We plan to present the International Arbitration program in 2016.  If you are interested in becoming involved with the 2016 International Arbitration program, please contact Jeff Daar at

The International Law Section cooperated with the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California to provide one of the programs at “A Week in Legal London -- Celebrating the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta” held in London, England, in April 2015. The International Law Section contributed the program entitled “Wanted Dead or Alive: Publicity Rights on Both Sides of the Pond” held on April 22, 2015. This program was made possible because of the Friendship Agreement between the International Law Section and the Law Society of England and Wales. We are in the process of coordinating the official signing of the Friendship Agreement with the Law Society of England and Wales.

2015 Annual Meeting of The State Bar of California (October 8 - 11, 2015)

My State Bar Annual MeetingAs we have done in prior years, the International Law Section will present programs at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting this year. This year’s Annual Meeting will be held on October 8 - 11 in Anaheim, California. At the Annual Meeting, the International Law Section will present the following five programs:

  •  “Aerospace, Defense and Export Controls: A Regulatory Minefield” on Thursday, October 8, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • “International Law: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Update” on Friday, October 9, 10:30 am - 12 noon
  • “Unaccompanied Minors: An International Law Approach to the Humanitarian Crisis at the U.S. Border” on Friday, October 9, 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • “On-line Sales to EU-Customers Under The 2011 Directive on Consumer Rights” on Saturday, October 10, 8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
  • “International Law: Protecting Clients’ Trademark Rights Worldwide” on Saturday, October 10, at 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

The State Bar of California will distribute the information and details regarding the Annual Meeting in coming weeks.  We hope that you will attend the Annual Meeting and register for the programs presented by the International Law Section.

At the Annual Meeting, the International Law Section will hold a Reception at which we will present this year’s Warren M. Christopher International Lawyer of the Year Award to the Honorable John V. Roos, the former U.S. Ambassador to Japan. The Reception will be held at the Anaheim Marriott on Saturday, October 10, at 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.  We hope that you will join us at the Reception.  There is no charge to attend the Reception.

Please mark your calendar for these programs and the Reception at the Annual Meeting.  We look forward to seeing you all.

Warren M. Christopher International Lawyer of the Year Award

John RoosThe International Law Section annually recognizes and honors a California lawyer for distinguished service in the promotion of the rule of law internationally or for significant achievement in the practice of international law. The recipient of the first such award was the late Warren M. Christopher, esteemed lawyer, diplomat and politician and the 63rd Secretary of State. Subsequently, the award was named in his honor.

As indicated above, the 2015 Warren M. Christopher International Lawyer of the Year Award (our fifth annual award) will be presented to the Honorable John V. Roos, the former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, at a reception to be held at the Anaheim Marriott on Saturday, October 10, at 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., during the State Bar of California Annual Meeting.  We hope that you will attend the Reception.

Additional Sub-Committee Updates

Law Students

As we have done in the past, the International Law Section is presenting the “Careers in International Law” programs at various law schools throughout California this year.  As many of you know, each program, geared towards both law students, including LLM students, and practitioners, features a panel of seasoned attorneys in the international law arena, and the panelists speak about their career paths to pursuing an international law practice, provide advice about starting or growing an international law practice, and answer questions from the program attendees. In collaborating closely with the law schools which host the programs, the International Law Section continues to expand and deepen the relationships with various law schools and law students in California. The American Bar Association’s Section of International Law serves as a co-sponsor of the programs.

This year, thus far, we presented the “Careers in International Law” programs at Golden Gate, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, McGeorge, Loyola, California Western, and Thomas Jefferson. We plan to hold the “Careers in International Law” programs at various law schools in the latter part of this year, as well as in 2016.

If you know of any law school in California which may be interested in holding the program or if you are interested in serving as a panel speaker in the future, please contact Karla Haynes at

External Relations

The International Law Section has been working with various bar associations in foreign countries, including exploring opportunities to co-present programs, webinars and other events in California and abroad. To formalize the working relationships, we have entered into Friendship Agreements with some of the foreign bar associations, such as ANADE (La Asociación Nacional de Abogados de Empresa, Colegio de Abogados, A.C., of Mexico), Law Council of Australia, Barcelona Bar Association, Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar Association, Osaka Bar Association, and the Bar Association of Toulouse. We are hoping that some of the representatives of these foreign bar associations will attend the State Bar of California Annual Meeting in October this year and join us at the Warren M. Christopher International Lawyer of the Year Award presentation reception on Saturday, October 10.

If you have contacts at any foreign bar association which may be interested in entering into a Friendship Agreement with the International Law Section, please contact Enrique Hernandez at and/or Michael Newman at

American Bar Association Section of International Law

The International Law Section has been working with the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law in exchanging information and supporting each other’s programs and events. As a part of our collaborative relationship with the ABA Section of International Law, they are extending an invitation to the members of the International Law Section to attend their 2015 Fall Meeting in Montreal, Canada, from October 20 - 24, 2015. Join over 1,100 leaders and experts, policy makers, judges academics, lawyers from non-governmental organizations, in-house counsel and law students for three days of networking and programming on the latest international legal and ethics issues. The International Law Section is a Cooperating Entity for this event, and the International Law Section members receive a registration discount by using the discount code “ICFM1020” on the checkout page of the online registration portal.

The ABA Section of International Law’s 2015 Fall Meeting will offer you:

  • Over 65 cutting edge panel sessions examining this year’s theme: Globalization and the Importance of Law, Language and Culture, plus U.S. CLE/Canadian CPD.

  • Interactive programming covering dispute resolution, legal and regulatory issues, business and finance, human rights, sports and entertainment, trade, and the impact of culture on law and business.

  • Exclusive networking opportunities each day, including twice daily networking breaks, a home hospitality night, receptions at Cirque Eloize, the Montreal Science Center - The Belvedere, a reception featuring Canadian cuisine and beer tasting, and a Friday night after-hours reception.

Discounted Early Bird rates expire on September 8 so please register early. Rates are further discounted for young lawyers (35 years old and under), full time government and NGO employees, academics, law students, corporate counsel, and solo/small practice and retired attorneys. Visit  to register and for more information.

Article: "ALERT:  Is There a Future for Facebook in the European Union?  A Privacy Perspective"

By Alyssa Cervantes, Delphine Charlot, and Jan Dhont

Around 80% of Facebook’s active users are in a contractual relationship with Facebook Ireland, which offers services everywhere except the United States and Canada. With increasing pressure from EU privacy regulators, and from consumer suits in Europe, Facebook Ireland is facing an increasingly uphill legal battle to continue to operate within the EU.  Writing from Brussels, Alyssa Cervantes and two of her colleagues provide an excellent update on the EU privacy and data protection challenges confronting Facebook.  Alyssa, a recent graduate from McGeorge School of Law, joined us this past spring as a panelist at our “Careers in International Law” program at McGeorge.

See full article at ALERT:  Is There a Future for Facebook in the European Union?  A Privacy Perspective.

Note from Abroad: Cross-cultural Reflections atop the Heidelberg Tun

by Diana Mack

It is always a great pleasure to look at my native country, Germany, through the lens of my two favorite Americans, i.e. my husband and son. My husband’s background in architecture and structural engineering and my son’s enthusiasm for visiting historic places and meandering through medieval castles shed new light on my own perspectives.

Combining a business trip with a “Bildungsreise”, this year’s spotlight was the beautiful university town of Heidelberg, with its exquisite artisan shops, great restaurants, and historic sites. No visit to Heidelberg would be complete without a train ride with the “Heidelberger Bergbahn” funicular up to the famous Heidelberger Castle ruin. Like the popular “Oktoberfest” in Munich, Heidelberg and the castle are well known among Americans who appreciate the “Old World Charme” of the hauntingly beautiful castle ruin that witnessed almost a thousand years of European history.

The Heidelberg TunAs soon as I posted a picture of my husband and son online, my American friends commented “and now a prosit” or “time for a giant keg party”.  Of course, they were alluding to the fact that the Heidelberger castle harbors the world’s largest wine barrel. Built in 1751, “The Heidelberg Tun” contained within the cellars of the Heidelberg castle has a near capacity of 58,000 U.S. gallons and was referenced in world literature such as Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” and Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”.

With the family and friends toasting to Spring Break propped atop the monstrous wine barrel, I was given to an unusual “culture shock” as I realized how much my values regarding alcohol and alcohol consumption have morphed since I first came to this country over 20 years ago. Travelling through Germany, it was more than once that my teenage son was asked in restaurants whether he would like to have a glass of beer or a complimentary “schnapps” after a dinner. Slightly confused and eye-brows raised, my son politely refused the offers. He was slightly flattered.

It is no secret that German laws regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol are some of the least restrictive in the world. While the Jugendschutzgesetz functions to protect the youth from alcohol abuse, the legislation is not designed to keep young people away from alcohol, but rather to teach them to approach it responsibility and appropriately.

Hence, underage drinking in private is not regulated by specific legal restrictions. Growing up in Germany, I was accustomed to a small amount of wine with a special Sunday lunch or alcoholic desserts such as liquor over vanilla ice cream. I also recall my mother preparing a highly anticipated beer soup for me and my friends on my sixth birthday. (It tasted so bitter and terrible, nobody had more than one spoonful and to this date I am not particularly fond of beer!)

The Jugendschutzgesetz (youth protection laws) regulates the drinking age of people in public. At age 14, minors are allowed to consume and possess (fermented) alcohol beverages, such as beer and wine, as long as they are in the company of a custodial person. At age 16, minors graduate to be trusted with buying and consuming wine and beer independently. At age 18, teenagers are considered adults and have access to distilled spirits of any kind.

Indeed, as a teenager growing up in Germany, I recall wine tasting and wine appreciation tours with my grandmother when I was sixteen years old.  Later, as a teenage bank trainee, the occasional mimosa for special breakfasts at the bank and aperitifs after team lunches were all quite natural traditions. Back then, it never occurred to me that it might be unlawful in another country.

After living in the United States for the last twenty years, I am compelled to reflect and revisit my attitude towards alcohol. My perspective has drastically changed into what I would have called “puritanical” twenty years ago, when I struggled with I.D. checks just to enter a place where alcoholic beverages were consumed.  I recall my disbelief when I could not even buy non-alcoholic wine without proper identification, and my indignance at laws that I felt ridiculed my basic personal freedoms. On the other hand, I was also quite shocked to see so many U.S. college-age students, both underage and over 21, got so drunk at parties in ways and manners I never imagined possible. I must have seriously disappointed and disillusioned my American friends at my disgust over offers to get drunk on Jaegermeister and beer bombs. Today I ask myself whether it was the German attitude towards alcohol consumption that “saved” me from the excesses I saw on American campuses.

No matter which country’s attitude and laws are the better approach, my son will likely travel in Europe again and confront laxer laws with regard to alcohol consumption. We are left to map out where we draw our own line. Shall I indulge him on ice-cream with liquor, a crepe suzette, or alcohol-filled chocolates? Should we embrace the laws and customs while in Germany as an opportunity to teach a proper attitude towards alcohol? I would have never thought I would stand so haplessly before these questions.

Thank you for your support of the International Law Section and your readership of the E-Newsletter.

We look forward to seeing you at various programs and events presented by the International Law Section, including at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting in October this year.