Cuba travel lawsuit against Carnival withdrawn

In the wake of a reversal in a Cuban policy that prevented those born in Cuba from taking cruises to the island, a class-action lawsuit against Carnival Cruises and its Fathom line was pulled Thursday.

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Cuban-Born Travelers Drop Suit After Carnival Axes Ban

By Nathan Hale

Law360, Miami (April 28, 2016, 5:35 PM ET) — Two Cuban-born Americans accusing Carnival Corp. of civil rights violations for barring Cuban-born consumers from its new cruises to the once off-limits country dropped their proposed class action Thursday, citing recent changes in Carnival’s booking policy and Cuban law.

The Miami-based cruise operator, the world’s largest, had acted quickly to resolve the controversy following the suit’s filing on April 12 by Francisco Marty and Amparo Sanchez and a wave of intense public criticism, including from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and other local officials over its decision to adopt a Cuban policy of not allowing people born in the country to travel there by ship.

The complaint alleged that Carnival and its new unit Fathom Travel Ltd. Corp. violated the Civil Rights Act by adopting Cuba’s policy of not allowing people born in the country to travel there by ship, prohibiting the consumers from boarding the first American cruise line to go to the island in more than 50 years.

Carnival said April 18 that it was opening its booking process to all passengers in anticipation of being able to work out a change before the scheduled May 1 commencement of sailings on Carnival’s Fathom line. The company also said that it would delay the departure if an acceptable resolution were not achieved in time.

Last Friday, the Cuban government, through the state-run newspaper Granma, and Carnival said that the prohibition had been lifted for passengers and crews of cruise ships and merchant vessels.

In their notice of dismissal Thursday, the plaintiffs also noted that Carnival has pledged to help Cuban-born Americans with special visa and passport requirements.

“We filed our case with one, simple goal: to end discrimination against Cuban-born Americans who were being denied cruises to Cuba based on their place of birth,” plaintiffs counsel Tucker Ronzetti of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton LLP said in a statement Thursday.

Ronzetti added, “With our goal accomplished, we are dismissing our case. We look forward to all U.S. citizens, Cuban-born or otherwise, now equally enjoying cruises to Cuba.”

A spokesman for Carnival echoed those sentiments, saying, “We are pleased with the outcome, and extremely excited about Sunday’s historic launch as the first U.S. cruise line to sail to Cuba in more than 50 years.”

Carnival had announced in July that it would begin cruises to Cuba from the Port of Miami in May as part of a new “social-impact travel” brand now that the U.S. government has given the company approval to take travelers to the island nation. Last month, Carnival became the first cruise line to be approved by Cuba.

The first cruise is scheduled to depart Miami on May 1 with stops planned in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba before a return to Miami.

On Thursday, Marty issued an impassioned statement of his own, explaining his reasons for filing the suit and what it meant to him to see it help strike down the apparent discrimination.

“I fled Cuba because there was no respect for the rule of law. I went back and fought to liberate my native land, and I was unable to do so. As a Cuban-American I am proud to call the United States my country and my home. When I was denied passage by Carnival to my native land, I was shocked that such an action could be taken by a company that calls the Miami Port its home,” Marty said.

He said he never doubted the suit would succeed, because the rule of law always wins in the U.S.

“What I did not expect was that my case would change the law of a country,” Marty said. “I once landed on the beaches of Cuba to fight for its liberty — I did this with a rifle. I was not successful. I engaged Cuba again by sea, this time armed with the law, and I won.”

Sanchez and Marty are represented by Thomas A. Tucker Ronzetti, Javier A. Lopez and Stephanie Moncada Gomez of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton LLP and Robert W. Rodriguez of Robert W. Rodriguez PA.

Carnival and Fathom are represented by Stuart Harold Singer, Luis Eduardo Suarez, Markenzy Lapointe and Stephen N. Zack of Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP.

The suit is Sanchez et al. v. Carnival Corp. et al., case number 1:16-cv-21319, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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Harley Tropin Honored with American Jewish Committee’s 2016 Judge Learned Hand Award

 Award is highest honor given by AJC in legal profession

MIAMI – April 26, 2016 – Harley S. Tropin, president of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, received American Jewish Committee’s 2016 Judge Learned Hand Award on April 13.  Nearly  400 legal, business and community leaders attended the gala dinner at Jungle Island. AJC established the annual award in 1964 to recognize leaders in the legal profession for their excellence and contributions to the practice of law and the community at large.

The highest honor given by AJC within the legal profession, the Judge Learned Hand Award recognizes the memory of Judge Learned Hand, noted for his significant decisions in constitutional law and anti-trust. The recipients of this award are people who embody much of what the judge represented: the rights of the individual and the importance of democratic values in an orderly society. This philosophy also sums up a major thrust of AJC’s work and the programs it has promoted since its inception in 1906.

“Harley has set a high standard for passion for the practice of law along with commitment to service to the community,” said Brian Siegal, director of AJC’s Greater Miami and Broward Regional Office. “We are honored to recognize Harley’s contributions to the profession and the improvement of our community, adding his name to an illustrious roster of legal luminaries whose professional and personal achievements greatly enhance our society.”

Tropin, a leading high-stakes business litigator, has received many prestigious awards and accolades for his significant contributions to the legal profession and community during the past 30 years. Under his leadership, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton began as a three-attorney law firm in 1982 and grew over the years into a 25-attorney firm nationally renowned for its work in bet-the-company litigation, class actions, bankruptcy, and massive financial frauds. (In fact, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton has been involved in the litigation of every major financial fraud in South Florida since its inception – and there have been many.) The firm’s key practice areas each stemmed from major cases that Tropin took early on in the firm’s history.

For example, in the recent $500 million Ponzi scheme involving disgraced Fort Lauderdale lawyer Scott Rothstein, Tropin and his team represented most of the defrauded investors in recovering more than 95% of their losses.

Tropin also has represented 700,000 physicians and their medical societies, including Texas Medical Association, the California Medical Association and others. Tropin served as co-lead counsel in a national class action against major HMOs including Aetna, Cigna and Humana for systematically denying doctors reimbursement for services provided to patients by down-coding medical services through the use of their computerized reimbursement procedures.  The case resulted in the recovery of billions of dollars both in actual cash payments to the doctors, and improved reimbursement procedures and dispute resolution methods.

Tropin has received national recognition from his peers as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocates.  He currently serves as a professor of trial advocacy at the University of Miami School of Law and was recognized by the Law school with its Alumni Achievement Award in 2012.  He is a member of the Federal Judicial Nominating Committee, has served as a director of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, and co-chairs the Federation’s Annual Judicial Reception.

Tropin supports Miami community organizations in every way he can. One of his greatest passions is improving access to mental health services and fighting discrimination against those suffering from mental illness. Toward that end, he is co-chair of the Advisory Board to the University of Miami Medical School Department of Psychiatry. Harley also has served on the Florida Supreme Court Committee on Gender Bias and Diversity and is an integral part of the Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton commitment to diversity in the workplace and community.

About Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton

Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton is a complex commercial litigation firm founded in 1982 that focuses its practice on bet-the-company commercial cases, bankruptcy matters and class actions. For more information, visit

About AJC

For more than a century, AJC has served as a leading global Jewish advocacy organization. AJC works to enhance the well being of the Jewish people and to advance human rights and democratic values for all.  Working in over 100 countries through intensive outreach to top decision-makers and diplomats, AJC is uniquely qualified to provide a global response to critical issues facing the Jewish people, Israel, and the world today.  In an increasingly interconnected world, AJC engages the world’s political, religious, and ethnic leaders through high-level diplomatic meetings that build upon long-standing relationships. For more information visit

 About AJC Judge Learned Hand Award

AJC, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing human rights and democratic values in the U.S. and worldwide, established the Judge Learned Hand Award in 1964 to recognize leaders in the legal profession for their excellence and contributions to the practice of law. The award honors the memory of Judge Learned Hand, a highly distinguished individual recognized as heir to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ legacy of a Jurist and Poet of Liberty. Judge Hand, a graduate of Harvard and its law school, was widely admired as a Dean among American jurists, and was well-known for the extensive range of decisions he tendered that centered on questions of constitutional rights and antitrust legislation.





Greater Miami, Fort Lauderdale chambers may merge

South Florida’s two largest chambers of commerce, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, are exploring a merger.

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51 telemundo miami

Cuba autoriza entrada de cubanos a la isla en cruceros

En una nota de prensa del periódico Granma, el gobiernocubanoanunció que a partir del 26 de Abril del 2016 se autorizará “la entrada y salida de ciudadanoscubanos, con independencia de sucondiciónmigratoria, en calidad de pasajeros y tripulantes en buquesmercantes.

Para enrolarsecomotripulantes en buquesmercantes, los ciudadanoscubanosresidentes en el territorionacional, deberánhacerlo a través de las institucionesempleadorasestablecidas.”

· Crucero de Carnival rescata en el mar a 8 balseros

Otro de los aspectos que se dieron a conocerfue el de “autorizar de forma gradual y unavezcreadas las condiciones, la entrada y salida de ciudadanoscubanos, con independencia de sucondiciónmigratoria, en calidad de pasajeros y tripulantes en embarcaciones de recreo (yates).

La puesta en práctica de estamedidaseráanunciadaoportunamente, según el diariooficialcubano.

· Exiliadoscubanospresentandemanda contra Carnival

Estasmedidas de prohibir la entrada de nacionalescubanos al territorionacionalvíamarítima, se implementaron al principio de la revolución en los años 60.

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Harley S. Tropin on what he wish he knew when starting his firm

By Nina Lincoff

Harley S. Tropin and his partners left the big firm nest at a relatively early age, founding their own Miami-based law firm. But in Miami, that type of entrepreneurship is rewarded.

Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton has been around for more than three decades. It is known for handling complex commercial cases focusing on Ponzi schemes, shareholder disputes, fraud and more.

Where were you born? Bayside, Queens. Raised there until I was 12, right in the shadow of Shea Stadium.

How did your family come to be in New York City? My dad was born and raised in Brooklyn, and my mom, very interestingly, was an orphan. She was raised in New Jersey and, as an adult, she settled refugees, displaced persons likes Jews from the concentration camps. After that, people fleeing Cuba, Castro, Ugandans into New York City through Catholic relief organizations and the other refugee organization, she would help them get resettled.

What did your dad do? My dad worked for the United Nations and, for most of his career … he worked for the National Council on Crime & Delinquency, which tried to promote penal reform.

What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a baseball player, and I quickly realized that was not in the cards. There was a specific moment. I went to Ted Williams Baseball Camp … and, back in those days, the players were at the camp. I was hitting batting practice and Ted throws his arm around me and says, ‘Kid, you really love baseball.’ And I said, ‘Yeah! Mr. Williams, I really love baseball.’ He told me that if I wanted to stay around the game, maybe I should try being a sports writer or an announcer. It was totally well meaning, and I wasn’t devastated. Ted Williams knew baseball, [so] he probably knew what was going on.

After the truncated baseball career? I ended up at George Washington University and then University of Miami School of Law. I really got into law.

What was Miami like in the 1970s? I had been here before on vacation, in the winter. I get here, it’s probably late August, and I open the door. I couldn’t believe how hot it was. … I loved Miami, I loved law school right from the start. Back then, the vibe was much more relaxed. You drove to downtown Miami from Coral Gables in maybe 15, 20 minutes. I worked for Sandy D’Alemberte at Steel Hector & Davis.

Was that a big moment for you? Yes. He had a fantastic practice. Did First Amendment work, represented the Miami Herald. Being his law clerk – which meant being his bartender, being his driver, doing his legal research, but doing almost everything – was really a fascinating experience. I saw his passion, that he really loved what he was doing. That, and I was applying for the Bar, and Sandy just wrote one line: This boy will be a great lawyer. For an insecure kid, and if this guy said I could be a lawyer … .

What kept you in Miami? Miami back then, the biggest firm around had about 25 lawyers. It was just starting to come into its own with some banking. You really felt like you could accomplish something here, as opposed to waiting your turn in a New York, Washington or Chicago.

Is that the same today? It still has that. Young lawyers can do what we did, which is start a law firm at a relatively young age, like we did at 30. It certainly is more structured, more built up than it was.

What prompted you to start your own firm? We were at a larger firm, and it split into pieces. We looked around, and thought that we could make it work.

Is there a lesson learned you wish you knew then? Everything is character. The reason this firm has lasted is that my partners are quality people. Everyone is different, but they’ve got incredible integrity and an amazing work ethic. Legal talent, of course, but with integrity and work ethic, you’ll be successful.

What legal moments stand out? A big moment was U.S. Oil & Gas, a Ponzi scheme with thousands of investors where I and the firm were appointed to the steering committee representing plaintiffs. That led to the judge appointing our firm and me to run another huge case, at that point the largest Ponzi in Florida. It involved a complicated food-diverting scheme that was actually a complete fraud.


Current position: President, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton

Age: 63

Birthplace: Bayside, New York

Residence: Pinecrest

Current boards: International Academy of Trial Lawyers; American Board of Trial Advocates; co-chair, Advisory Board to the University of Miami Medical School Department of Psychiatry

Past boards: Florida Supreme Court Committee on Gender Bias and Diversity; director, Greater Miami Jewish Federation; Temple Beth Am

Education: University of Miami School of Law; George Washington University

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Everything is Character

Harley S. Tropin On What He Wish He Knew When Starting His Firm

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