Attorneys
Attorneys

Raquel (Rocky) A. Rodriguez

Miami Managing Member

Practice Focus

Professional Experience

Raquel (Rocky) has more than 25 years of extensive experience counseling clients on a wide variety of government, business and litigation matters. She provides unique insight and solutions to the legal, business, political, and public relations challenges that private and public companies face. Whether representing Fortune 500 clients, closely held companies, foreign governments, family businesses, nonprofit entities, or entrepreneurs, Rocky focuses on developing creative approaches and innovative strategies to complex issues. From 2002 through 2006, she was General Counsel to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. In that capacity, Rocky worked on some of the most complex and urgent issues facing the state. This included conceiving and co-drafting the legislation for and negotiating the largest economic development project in state history, a $310 million economic incentive grant to The Scripps Research Institute. She counseled Governor Bush with respect to over 200 judicial appointments at all levels of the Florida judiciary.

Rocky’s areas of concentration include:

  • Litigation – banking, commercial, international, real estate, constitutional, administrative, and election law
  • Dispute resolution and strategy
  • Crisis and risk management
  • Government affairs
  • Economic development and incentives, such as life sciences, alternative energy, financial services and high tech
  • In-bound and out-bound transactions

Rocky has advised both U.S. and non-U.S. clients involved in disputes or transactions in Latin America. Fluent in Spanish, Rocky is familiar with the civil law concepts that are prevalent in Spain and most Latin American countries, which enables her to work seamlessly with local counsel. She is also knowledgeable about key U.S. laws, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the USA Patriot Act, which impose compliance requirements and risks to U.S. companies operating in foreign countries or working with foreign business partners.

In addition to her four years in the Florida Governor’s office, Rocky was executive director of the London-based MULTILAW, Multinational Association of Independent Law Firms. Her law firm experience includes 15 years at Greenberg Traurig LLC, where she was a shareholder for six years, and four years as a partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

Cases / Matters

Litigation Experience:

  • Lead counsel for flag carrier of the Dominican Republic, Dominicana de Aviacion, and the government’s state holding company, CORDE, obtaining reversal on appeal of a default judgment based on the trial judge’s failure to follow the requirements of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Compania Interamericana de Export-Import, S.A. v. Compania Dominicana de Aviacion, 88 F.3d 948, 951 (11th Cir. 1996)
  • Co-counsel for Russian Federation, United Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation, Sukhoi Company, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, and Irkut Corporation, in obtaining reversal on appeal of a denial of motion to dismiss based on the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Butler v. Sukhoi Company, 579 F.3d 1307 (11th Cir. 2009)
  • Represented proprietary airline computer reservation system on national basis in breach of contract actions against travel agencies for premature termination of system contracts and failure to pay termination fees
  • Representation of Venezuelan bank guarantee fund in U.S. litigation on behalf of intervened bank against absconding former bank shareholder/officer who breached fiduciary duties depriving bank of millions of dollars in assets
  • Representation of consulate in connection consular immunity under Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
  • Representation of Chinese-based exporter in letter of credit dispute with U.S. bank
  • Representation of high net worth individuals in seeking or defending against temporary restraining orders against funds in U.S. bank accounts pursuant to foreign court decrees
  • Representation of Chairman of Liberty Media Corporation in suit against United States Department of Justice to enjoin service of Chilean Letters Rogatory pursuant to Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory
  • Co-counsel in arbitration proceedings for international security contractor with respect to wrongful death claims brought by survivors of contractors ambushed and killed in Iraq
  • Successfully representing medical doctor before state medical board in defense of allegations that doctor improperly and excessively prescribed medication to patients
  • Represented developer in defense of claim for breach of oral contract and fraud by employee who claimed a partnership interest in Southwest Florida residential development (settled for four percent of initial demand after cross-examination of plaintiff in jury trial)
  • Obtained involuntary dismissal of lender liability action by borrower alleging fraud and breach of contract against bank in bench trial and proceeded to obtain multimillion dollar damages and foreclosure judgment against borrowers and guarantors in bench trial
  • Obtained involuntary dismissal of fraud and punitive damage claims by distributor against manufacturer as well as a jury verdict in favor of manufacturer against distributor for breach of contract and indebtedness
  • Co-counsel in obtaining involuntary dismissal of a claim by a buyer of real property against the seller for fraud in the inducement based on the buyer’s lack of reasonable reliance in face of express contract language in the purchase contract – Tolin v. Semco Properties, Inc., 507 So. 2d 781 (Fla. 3d DCA 1987)
  • Obtained judgment on the pleadings striking fraud claim by buyer of real property against seller in face of conflicting allegations of malpractice by buyer against his real estate lawyer based on same set of facts
  • Obtained dismissal of federal constitutional rights claim against radio station by former head of Cuban National Air Force, who claimed radio personalities had encouraged his mistreatment for advocating normalization of relations with Cuba; also obtained Rule 11 sanctions against plaintiff’s counsel
  • Conducted internal investigation of not-for-profit hospital involving possible diversion of pledge from donor
  • Co-counsel for major petroleum marketer in defense of class action suit by Florida boat owners alleging damage to fuel tanks and systems from use of ethanol-blended gasoline
  •  During first 12 years of practice, represented numerous US and foreign banks in actions on notes and mortgages for office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, vacant land and other assets, involving every aspect of the litigation, including receiverships, summary judgment, trial and collection of deficiencies, including fraudulent transfer actions

Government Advocacy Experience:

  • Obtained favorable resolution for national prepaid debit card company of Florida Attorney General investigation of debit card industry with respect to allegations of unfair and deceptive trade practices
  • Successfully represented hospital system in state and federal Medicaid fraud investigation by Statewide Prosecutor
  • Favorably resolved federal and state beverage administrative complaints against wholesaler alleging false labeling and violation of beverage laws, saving the importer’s licenses and paying only minimal (state) or no (federal) penalties and taxes based on presentations to federal and state regulators after investigation of allegations
  • Obtained withdrawal of cease and desist notice by state health care regulator against ambulatory surgical center within a week of its execution based on aggressive contacts with agency demonstrating unreasonableness of and lack of authority for agency action
  • Successfully represented explosives manufacturer in resolving violation notice from state Fire Marshall regarding proper documentation of deliveries
  • Successfully obtained reversal by state health care regulator of decision not to process application for change of ownership of home health care agency by showing regulator how forms and requirements were unauthorized unadopted rules
  • Co-counsel in defense of international infrastructure and engineering firm in sanctions proceeding by Inter-American Development Bank, resulting in minimal sanctions as a result of the thorough investigation performed on behalf of the client and the client’s candor in addressing the situation
  • Co-counsel in representing president of telecommunications company owned by Latin American government before U.S. Embassy in successfully preserving U.S. visa in face of smear campaign alleging corruption

Economic Development and Lobbying Experience:

  • Developed the strategy and structure for obtaining nearly $200 million in state and local incentives for the Max Planck Society, one of the leading scientific research institutes in the world in the establishment of an institute in Florida, and primary legal adviser on most aspects of representation of the institute in negotiating lease for temporary facilities, lease agreements for permanent facilities, employment issues, third-party vendor contracts, consulting contracts, cooperative agreements, non-profit compliance, insurance, and general strategic legal advice
  • Negotiated terms of grant agreement for $60 million in state incentives for establishment of Oregon Health and Science University Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute Florida Corp. in Port St. Lucie, Florida; negotiated lease for temporary facilities and provided significant strategic direction and oversaw representation with respect to lease, development agreements and tax-exempt financing for permanent facilities and visa applications for over 40 non-U.S. based scientific personnel
  • Advised a financial industry technology client with respect to economic incentives programs
  • Advised bio-fuels company on Florida incentives
  • Advised medical device start-up on Florida incentives and opportunities for government contracts in health care and medical device areas
  • Advised Spanish infrastructure firm on bidding and political strategy for lease of major interstate highways and “greenfield” proposals for design-build-own-operate projects, including identifying potential future projects and introducing clients to key government and business decision-makers
  • Advised Spanish biotech firm with respect to state and local incentives
  • Advised Consulate General of Israel in establishment of Israel-Florida Business Forum to promote trade and investment between Israel and Florida
  • On Behalf of the Florida Governor’s Office, conceived the structure, co-wrote the legislation and negotiated the contract terms for the award and oversight of $310 million in state incentives to The Scripps Research Institute in the establishment of Scripps Florida (the largest single economic development award in state history), and worked with Scripps Florida, Palm Beach County, Florida Atlantic University and various state agencies in the leasing and development of the Scripps Florida campus
  • On behalf of the Florida Governor’s Office, negotiated the contract terms for innovation incentive program grants to The Burnham Research Institute, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, and Stanford Research Institute
  • Obtained amendment of Florida insurance laws to permit back-office operations of international health insurance companies in state without certificate of authority
  • Obtained amendments limiting scope of bill seeking to restrict application of foreign law in certain cases; bill ultimately did not become law
  • Part of volunteer team that successfully advocated for amendments to Florida’s international arbitration laws

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude (1985)
  • University of Miami, B.A., summa cum laude (1982)

State Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
    • Current: Standing Committee on Election Law
    • Previous: Chair, Young Lawyers Division; House of Delegates; Executive Committee, Section of International Law
  • Florida Bar
    • Current: International Law Section, Executive Council and Co-Chair, Amicus Committee
    • Previous: Judicial Nominations Procedures Committe    
  • Miami International Arbitration Society, Founding Member     

Publications

Presentations

  • Panelist, Casinos in Miami? The Rest of the Story, New Miami Forum (2012)
  • Panelist, Immediate Opportunities to Grow New Sectors, Florida Jobs Summit (2010)
  • The Terri Schiavo Case, University of Miami Law Review Symposium, Coral Gables, Florida (2006)
  • Separation of Powers, Symposium Co-Sponsored by the Florida Bar and University of Florida School of Law, Gainesville, Florida (2006)
  • Ethical Considerations for In-House Counsel: Case History of an International Crisis, ABA Section of International Law, Fall Meeting, Miami, Florida (November 9, 2006)
  • The Terri Schiavo Case, Federalist Society South Florida Chapter, Miami, Florida (2005)
  • Who is the Client?, Florida Government Lawyers Association, Tallahassee, Florida (2003)
  • USA Patriot Act and Money Laundering, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Coral Gables, Florida (November 2002)
  • USA Patriot Act and Money Laundering, Seminar Sponsored by Panamanian Ministries of Justice and Banking, Panama City, Panama (August 2002)
  • Human Rights Considerations in International Business Transactions: Perspective of the United States, Annual Congress, L’Association International des Jeunes Avocats (2001)
  • Money Laundering: Are We All Guilty? Perspective of the United States, paper presented at Money Laundering Conference organized by L’Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats and the Paris Bar (March 18, 2000)

Awards and Honors

Community Activities

       
  • Member, Judicial Nominating Commission for the Third District Court of Appeal in Florida (2011-2015) (appointed by Governor Rick Scott)
  • Board of Trustees, Florida Workers Compensation Joint Underwriting Association (appointed by Governor and Cabinet): Chair, Audit Committee; Member, Investment Committee
  • BioFlorida Board of Directors; Executive Committee: Co-Chair, Legislative Committee
  • Board of Directors, Foundation for Florida’s Future; Member, Audit Committee
  • Founding Member, Miami International Arbitration Society
  • Founding Board Member, Florida-Israel Business Forum
  • Florida Bar; Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee (current); Section of International Law Executive Council (past)
  • ABA Standing Committee on Election Law
Phone
305-704-3994
FAX
305-704-3999
Locations
  • 200 South Biscayne Blvd.
    Suite 3130
    Miami, FL 33131
  • 505 S. Flagler Drive
    Suite 300
    West Palm Beach, FL 33401