College honors Cuban-American attorney as part of successful Americas conference
The law school honored noted Cuban born fourth generation attorney Raul E. Valdes-Fauli for his professional and public service accomplishments in the field of law in two countries during a May 25 dinner celebration. The dinner was held the night before the college’s conference on “Legal and Policy Issues in the Americas,” coordinated by the Center for Governmental Responsibility. The conference included presentations on trade, judicial reform, and legal education, and featured U.S. Envoy to Latin America Buddy MacKay; Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris; Colombian Ambassador to the U.S. His Excellency Luis Alberto Moreno; and leading faculty and practitioners from U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil. Originally limited to 50 participants, nearly 80 attended. Educated in Cuba and at UF, Valdes- Fauli was one of more than 300 former Cuban lawyers forced from their homeland by Fidel Castro who applied in 1973 for a special two-year course of study at UF that qualified them for Florida Bar examinations. Valdes-Fauli was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1975, and is now Of Counsel to the Miami office of Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, P.A. He has practiced civil, corporate and real estate law for more than 20 years, and counsels Latin American clients on the differences in American and Cuban legislation. He is involved in numerous charity, religious and civic activities in Miami-Dade County. His children continue the family’s commitment to community leadership and professional accomplishment: Son Raul J. is an attorney and partner at Steel Hector & Davis in Miami, mayor of Coral Gables, and chairman of Eastern National Bank. Son Gonzalo is CEO, group chief executive for Latin America with Barclays Bank in Miami, and on the boards of Knight-Ridder and University of Miami. Son Jose is president and CEO of
Colonial Bank’s South Florida region, president of the Florida Grand Opera board, and a member of the Mercy Hospital board. Daughter Teresa Valdes-Fauli Weintraub is an attorney, CEO of Fiduciary Trust International in Miami, co-chairs the Miami-Dade County Leave a Legacy Project, and leads or belongs to six other charity groups. There will be a sixth generation of Valdes-Fauli attorneys as well. Raul J.’s daughter and Raul E.’s granddaughter, Mariana Margarita, graduated from the Levin College of Law in May.