THE TEAM

Laura M. Reich

As a third-generation attorney, I have been interested in the law since I was a child.  I decided to pursue a career in the law while studying at the University of Florida, but long before that I honed my debate skills around the family dinner table and dressed up as a lawyer for Halloween (complete with briefcase and tiny suit jacket).  When I was still very young, my father would take me to his office to stamp his files “Closed” and alphabetize his rolodex.  Sometimes I think that I was predestined for a career in the law.

 

In high school, I joined the debate team, where I met my law partner Clarissa Rodriguez, because I thought that being a lawyer meant arguing loudly and continuously until others accepted your position.  Now, after many years of practicing law and arbitrating, I know that non-stop battle is not always the most effective method to achieve the best outcomes for my clients.  A good lawyer or arbitrator has an entire array of tools, and experience teaches how best to use those tools.  I know that some cases need a negotiator, some need an advocate, and some need a warrior, and I am experienced at playing each of those roles as the situation requires.  I am pleased to get to know my clients and their unique concerns to develop a strategy to best achieve their personalized goals.  Nothing makes me prouder than when a client describes me as a member of their team.

Clarissa A. Rodriguez

I am endlessly fascinated by the world beyond the borders of the U.S.  As the daughter of immigrants, I grew up speaking both English and Spanish and knowing that I had family that lived in other countries far away.  One of my favorite movie heroes is Indiana Jones, and at a young age, the stories of his adventures captivated me.  I wanted to explore the world and solve problems the way he did.  Admittedly, some people might miss the similarities between the world of Indiana Jones and the world of international dispute resolution, but I know that both worlds require many of the same skills: quick-thinking, strategic planning, and logistical flexibility.  Along with a sense of adventure, these are some of my core strengths.    

 

Much of my legal career has focused on international law, clients, and disputes.  In 2015, I became Board Certified by The Florida Bar in International Law so that I could highlight my expertise in this area to my clients.  In service to the development of international law in Florida, in 2019-2020, I served as President of The Florida Bar’s International Law Section.  I am proud to practice law and assist my clients in both English and Spanish.  Moreover, I have developed an art law practice, helping art galleries, museums, brokers, auction house, and private owners recover and protect their art and antiquities as well as their rights.  When my clients and I discover or recover a piece of art, I feel a little bit like Indiana Jones after all.

Donald S. Burris, Of Counsel

I have been a lawyer for more than fifty years.  When I graduated from Georgetown Law in 1969, I had no idea that I would ever say such a thing.  My legal career has taken me from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, with significant stops in Washington D.C. and Northern California along the way.  Some of the highlights of my career include serving as Special Counsel to the U.S. Senate Watergate Committee, clerking for the remarkable James R. Browning, Chief Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, and serving as co-counsel in the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Altmann v. Republic of Austria, 541 U.S. 677 (2004) (on which the 2015 movie Woman in Gold was based).

 

Since the Altmann case, I have developed a particular expertise in all aspects of international art law, with a special emphasis on Nazi-art looting that took place during the Second World War.  I actively write and lecture on this topic, as well as other experiences during my more than 50 years in practice.  These days, in addition to my art law practice, I represent small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and businesses to larger publicly traded entities in a wide variety of commercial disputes.  My clients concerns are my concerns, and I will do everything in my power to help them achieve the results they desire.

Donald S. Burris, Of Counsel

Admitted to Practice

Maryland, 1969 

District of Columbia, 1971 

US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1971 

US Supreme Court, 1973 

California, 1976 

Judge Pro Tem at the Los Angeles County Superior Court (Santa Monica Division) (1987-2010)   

(Not Admitted in Florida) 

 

Education  

Georgetown University Law Center

 

  • J.D. with honors, graduating with distinction in 1969  

  • Member of the Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society  

  • Editor-In-Chief of the Georgetown Law Journal  

  • Participated as a voting member of various student-faculty committees, including the Special Committee to select a new dean for the law school.

  • Helped organize a program for teaching legal concepts in inner-city schools.  

 

Alfred University, B.A. degree with honors (1965)   

    

Notable Experience  

 

  • Special Counsel to the U.S. Senate Watergate Committee (1974-1976)

  • Clerk for the Honorable James R. Browning, Chief Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal 

  • Co-counsel in the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Altmann v. Republic of Austria, 541 U.S. 677 (2004)

  • Currently serving on the Board of Governors for the University of Haifa (Israel)   

 

Professional Activities and Community Involvement  

 

  • Vice-Chairman, Outreach, for the Friends of the Brentwood Art Center, a California not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing and supporting creative arts programs here and abroad.  

  • Loyola University of Los Angeles Law School Faculty, Associate Professor (1976 – 1979 and 1980 (Visiting Professor)  

  • Annual Lecturer for the International Law Institute's (ILI’s) Orientation in the United States Legal System Program in Washington, D.C. (1976 – present) Georgetown Law Center Faculty, Adjunct and Associate Professor (1972 – 1976); 

  • Instructor in the Graduate Law Program (2011-Present)   

 

In addition to teaching a range of substantive law courses, Mr. Burris has developed and taught courses for Georgetown’s “Foundations of American Law” Program which is specifically designed to familiarize foreign graduate students and lawyers with the American legal system.   

Speaking Engagements 

 

  • University Lecturer:  Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine, UCLA, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, the University of Toronto, the University of Nebraska, Loyola of Los Angeles Law School, the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, the Jean Moulin (Lyon, France) and Georgetown International (London) Schools of Law, the ESCP Business School campuses in London, England and Paris and Santa Monica College 

  • Speaker and conference organizer of the Federal Bar Circuit, Cabo San Lucas   

  • Speaker at a New York-based lawyer education conference sponsored by the Duke Law School and presented at the Herrick and Feinstein law office auditorium 

  • Speaker at the New York and California State Bars and at various international venues organized by the American Houses of Paris and Lyons, the Friends of Georgetown (Luxembourg), the OAB Parana Bar Association based in Curitiba, Brazil   

  • Speaker at various Toronto, Canada educational and social groups (four separate programs: (i) University of Toronto; (ii) Toronto ORT; (iii) Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; and (iv) The (First Nation) Chiefs of Ontario;    

  • Speaker and Guest Lecturer at various Holocaust Museums including the museums located in St. Petersburg, Florida and Curitiba, Brazil as we all the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles and the Brentwood (California) Presbyterian Church   

  • Presenter at major art museums and art-related entities, such as the Tampa, Florida Museum of Art, the Museum of Texas Tech University (twice) and the Sheldon Art Museum located at the University of Nebraska and the Farnsworth, Maine Art Museum.   

 

Publications 

 

  • “Reflections on Litigating Holocaust Stolen Art Cases,” 38 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1041 (2005) 

  • “From Tragedy to Triumph in the Pursuit of Looted Art,” The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law, 15 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 394 (2016).    

  • “Woman in Gold” The most well-publicized of Burris’s efforts successfully culminated in 2004 with his participation as co-counsel in the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Altmann v. Republic of Austria, 541 U.S. 677 (2004), at the conclusion of which the Austrian government was ordered to, and did, return to the firm’s client’s possession a number of priceless historic paintings by Gustav Klimt. The case was the subject of a feature film in 2015 starring the venerable Helen Mirren.    

 

More on Speaking Engagements and Publications can be found here.   

 
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Reich Rodriguez, P.A.

1801 NE 123rd St.

Suite 314

North Miami, FL 33181

P. 786.420.6235

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