Born in Havana, Cuba and raised in New York and Miami, Mr. Palmer has lived in Miami, Florida for most of his life and cares a great deal about his community. Accordingly, he has been active in community organizations, bar associations, and bar committees since the outset of his career.
Florida Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Business and Contract Cases
Mr. Palmer was selected to serve as a member of this committee created by the Florida Supreme Court. The committee is comprised of distinguished jurists, law professors, and practicing commercial litigators from throughout Florida. The committee drafted Florida’s first-ever set of jury instructions for business and contract cases. These instructions will greatly enhance and refine the development of commercial law in Florida by providing concrete guidance on the elements of causes of action and defenses involved in commercial litigation matters and a uniform set of jury instructions for courts to follow in such cases.
Cuban American Bar Association (CABA)
As a Cuban-American attorney, Mr. Palmer has always felt a special commitment to CABA. While a member of the CABA board of directors early in his career, Mr. Palmer had the vision and courage to lead the controversial effort to open membership in CABA to non-Cuban attorneys in 1989. He led the effort by a group of attorneys to prepare and file CABA’s first amicus brief, which was filed with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the Elian Gonzalez case. He was also one of the principal drafters of the Draft Transitional Law for the Republic of Cuba, which was prepared by CABA in order to help facilitate the eventual reestablishment of the rule of law in Cuba. Mr. Palmer remains active in CABA and has worked on behalf of CABA to assist former Cuban political prisoners, who were forced into exile in Spain, and who wish to immigrate to the United States, and started a program to send supplies to dissident attorneys in Cuba who are courageously fighting for human rights in Cuba.
Development of International Law in Florida
One of Mr. Palmer’s greatest passions is the effort to develop the practice of international law in Florida. His dream is to help make Florida one of the world’s leading jurisdictions in the field of international law within his lifetime. In 2002, he and his Swiss colleague, Daniele Favalli, worked to convince the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) to create the ICDR’s Annual Miami International Arbitration Conference and served as co-chairs for the conference in 2002 and 2003. They then worked to persuade the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to also create and hold its annual conference on International Arbitration in Latin America in Miami. Mr. Palmer also worked with other international law practitioners in Florida to promote the promulgation of rules by the Florida Supreme Court that clearly allow parties to select counsel of their choice to represent them in international arbitration proceedings conducted in Florida, regardless of whether said counsel is admitted in Florida. Mr. Palmer helped create the Miami International Arbitration Society (MIAS) and served on its board of directors from 2008-2015. In 2010, Mr. Palmer led the successful effort on behalf of the International Law Section of the Florida Bar (ILS) to enact the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration in Florida. In 2011, he drafted Miami’s winning bid to host the prestigious International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Congress in Miami. In 2013, he led the ILS’s successful effort to enact the Glitch Fix Bill in Florida, which amended several international law statutes, and in 2014, he helped draft the Application of Foreign Law statute enacted in Florida.
Academic Involvement and Support
Mr. Palmer is a firm believer in the importance of mentoring law students and young lawyers. For the last 15 years, he has provided financial support for the University of Florida College of Law’s Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Team. He has served as an adjunct coach and travelled with the Team to Vienna, Austria for the competition during the last 10 years. Mr. Palmer also teaches international commercial arbitration as an adjunct professor at Florida International University College of Law, in Miami, Florida and Civil Procedure as an adjunct professor at IE University, in Madrid, Spain.