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Michael Diaz, Jr.

Founding & Global Managing Partner

Miami Tower at International Place
100 S.E. Second Street, Suite 3400
Miami, Florida 33131
T 305-375-9220
F 305-375-8050

Practice Areas
Education
  • J. D., cum laude, University of Miami School of Law, 1986
  • B.B.A. in International Finance, University of Miami, School of Business, 1983
Admissions
  • Florida
  • 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Southern District of Florida
  • Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals of New York
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • Dubai International Financial Center
Professional & Community Leadership
  • Cuban American Bar Association, Former President, Director, and Officer
  • International Bar Association
  • International Association of Lawyers and Professional Advisors, Member, White Collar Crime Committee
  • National and Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Florida International Bankers Association
  • Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists
  • Latin and Venezuelan-American Chambers of Commerce
Memberships
  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Dade County Bar Association
  • Cuban American Bar Association
  • International Bar Association

Michael Diaz, Jr.

Founding & Global Managing Partner

Michael Diaz, Jr. is the founding and global managing partner of Diaz, Reus & Targ, LLP where he concentrates on advising and representing clients in domestic and international legal disputes, high stakes transactions, cross-border negotiations, arbitrations, and civil and criminal investigations and trials.

Mr. Diaz’s clients are typically high profile individuals, foreign governments and their officials, Fortune 1000 multinational corporations, and financial institutions. He represents his clients in joint ventures, sophisticated mergers, acquisitions, and deal making where he is deeply experienced in domestic and international trade, customs, finance, and banking. Additionally, he counsels on preventative litigation strategy and conducts parallel investigations in complex, high-stakes regulatory and compliance matters including instances of financial fraud, international asset recoveries, and white-collar crimes.

A skilled litigator, trial lawyer, and arbiter with over 27 years of experience advising clients, trying cases, and negotiating complex civil and criminal disputes, Mr. Diaz is also a Certified Anti-money Laundering Specialist. While acting as special counsel on behalf of U.S. receivers, financial institutions, and individual victims of financial fraud, his sophisticated asset recovery techniques have netted millions of dollars of stolen proceeds. Among his notable cases of money laundering and public corruption in Latin America are the investigation and defense of Montesinos, Aleman/Jerez, Casablanca, and Rosemont. Notable U.S. Ponzi scheme cases include Madoff and Stanford.

 Mr. Diaz is qualified to represent clients before all U.S. administrative and governmental agencies, arbitral bodies, U.S. state, federal, and appellate courts, and frequently serves as advisory co-counsel outside the United States in international litigation and arbitration matters.

He is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys and has earned ongoing recognition from his peers, maintaining an AV-rating from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review rankings for many years.

Background:

Born in Havana, Cuba, Mr. Diaz graduated from the Business School at the University of Miami in 1983, earning an undergraduate degree in International Finance.

In 1986, Mr. Diaz graduated with honors from the University of Miami School of Law. While at the University of Miami, he served as Associate Editor of the Inter-American Law Review, and was recognized for his trial advocacy skills receiving the “Order of the Barrister” National Excellence Award from the Wig and Robe Society. 

Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Diaz served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office from 1986 to 1990 for the Honorable Janet Reno, former U.S. Attorney General and Miami-Dade State Attorney. During his tenure as a prosecutor, Mr. Diaz became a Division Chief, where he primarily investigated and prosecuted corruption, economic, and major crimes cases including highly publicized homicide cases such as the Julia Tuttle Causeway Lovers Lane Double Murders and the Murder of Rookie Miami Police Officer, Nathaniel Broom.

In 1990, Mr. Diaz joined and later became a named Partner in an AV-rated international litigation firm where he litigated complex financial and international money laundering cases. In 1998, he founded Diaz Reus & Targ, also earning the distinction as a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated law firm. 

Professional Recognition:

Recognized by Business Week Magazine in a feature article for his work on behalf of victims of financial fraud, Mr. Diaz is often sought after by media publications throughout the world as source for background and comment on both international legal and business issues. In addition, he is a frequent guest lecturer and contributor at international legal and banking seminars. Mr. Diaz was selected among the top international experts in the anti-money laundering field to join the faculty of the first graduate level course on “Money Laundering Prevention” at the University of Salamanca, sponsored by the Latin-American Banking Federation. He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, registered with the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists.

Mr. Diaz serves on Inter-American Dialogue’s Board of Advisors, Latin America Advisor—Financial Services, regularly contributes articles to legal periodicals and trade journals around the world, and is a contributing author to books such as: “The Cubans, the History of Cuba in One Lesson,” Interamerican Institute for Democracy, 2012; “Aspatore Special Report: Understanding Anti-Corruption Issues in Latin America,” Thomson Reuters, 2011; and, “Violencia, Criminalidad y Terrorismo,” (“Violence, Criminality and Terrorism”) Foundation for a Positive Venezuela. He is the author of the Latin American Overview and Colombian sections of the International Comparative Guide to Business Crime 2014 edition, published by the Global Legal Group, London.

Mr. Diaz is also frequently acknowledged for his legal skills, most recently having been named to the Top 50 Attorneys Specializing in Latin America by the online magazine, Latinvex. He was an honored 2012 Top Lawyer, and Diaz Reus a Top Law Firm, as designated by the South Florida Legal Guide. This past year Mr. Diaz held the distinction of the Most Influential Hispanic Attorney In Miami, awarded by Poder Hispanic, and named a top 50 Latin America’s Legal Stars of 2012 by the Latin Business Chronicle.

Accolades:

• Top Lawyers 2013, International Law, South Florida Legal Guide

• Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, 2013

• Florida SuperLawyer, 2006-2014

• Most Effective Lawyer, International Law Category, 2011, Daily Business Review

• 100 Latinos Miami, 2011, Fundacion Fusionarte of Spain

• Top 30 Lawyers in Latin America, 2010, Latin Business Chronicle

• Top Entrepreneurs of Florida, 2010, Hispanic Target Magazine

• Attorney of the Year, 2010, Banca & Finanza Magazine 

• High Impact Leader, Florida Trend Magazine for Global Affairs

• Key Partner Award Nominee, South Florida Business Journal

• 2009 Business Leader of the Year, for legal services

• "Power Players," South Florida Business Leader Magazine, for his work representing victims of fraud, pyramid, and Ponzi schemes

In addition to leading a successful law firm expansion to include 16 global offices, Mr. Diaz formerly served as President, Director, and Officer of the Cuban American Bar Association. He is a Member of the International Bar Association, International Association of Lawyers and Professional Advisors, Miami International Arbitration Society, American Bar Association, White Collar Crime Committee, National and Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, American Trial Lawyers Association, Florida International Bankers Association, and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists.

Mr. Diaz is an active board member of several civic and philanthropic organizations where he is recognized for the many charitable contributions that he and his firm make in support of various youth, health, community, and social causes.

Lectures & Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Latin Finance, The Latin American India Investors Forum, Mumbai, India, November 2011
  • Speaker, Inaugural ACAMS Anti-Money Laundering & Counter Terrorism Finance Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa, November 2011
  • Presenter, “Los tratados de libre comercio en LatinoAmerica y el Caribe, su contribución a la armonización del derecho mercantil en la región,” XI Encuentro Internacional: Escuela de Verana de la Habana Sobre Derecho Internacional Privado y Mercantil Internacional. Seminar sponsored by the Union Nacional de Juristas de Cuba (National Union of Cuban Jurist), Havana, Cuba, June 2011
  • Panelist, “How to Integrate Fraud and AML to Protect the Bank,” 11th Annual FIBA Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Conference, Miami, Florida, February 2011
  • Panelist, “Conducting Internal Fraud Investigations & Related Issues” and  “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – A 21st Century Perspective,” ACCA’s 2010 South Florida In-House Counsel CLE Conference, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, September 2010
  • Panelist, “Colombia Post-Uribe: Predicting the Impact on Business,” WorldCity Global Connections, Coral Gables, Florida, June 2010
  • Speaker, “Los cruces entre el lavado de dinero y los fraudes financieros, esquemas Pirámides, Ponzi y otros, las mejores practicas y controles para evitar siendo victimas.” Marcus Evans Conferencia de Prevención y Mitigación de Fraude en la Empresa, Ciudad de México, Marzo 2010
  • Panel Speaker, “Unfair commercial practices: is there effective consumer protection?” Madrid Conference, International Bar Association, Madrid, Spain, October 2009. 
  • Speaker, “Anatomy of a Ponzi Scheme” at the V Conferencia Internacional “Antilavado de Dinero y Contra el Financiamiento al Terrorismo,” Caracas, Venezuela, July 2009
  • Speaker, "Forfeiture of a Bank's Assets and How Financial Institutions Can Protect Themselves," 9th Annual FIBA AML Compliance Conference, Miami, Florida, February 2009 
  • Speaker, “The Legal Risks of Doing Business in Latin America for UAE Investors,” Latin Finance Conference, The Latin-American Mid East Investors Forum, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 2009
  • Presenter, “International Anti-Suit Injunctions and Arbitrations,” The Third Annual Conference on Dispute Avoidance and Alternative Resolution, LexisNexis, Beijing, China
  • Presenter, “Doing Business in the Middle-East,” Middle-East Conference, Business Information Asia, Singapore
  • Presenter, Middle-East North-Africa International Money Laundering / Terrorist Financing Conference and Exhibition, ACAMS, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Keynote Speaker at the First China Latin America Business Summit, Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Santiago, Chile
  • Speaker, “When to litigate, when to mediate, and when to arbitrate?” 2nd Annual Conference on Dispute Avoidance and Resolution, “Smartly Using Alternative Resolutions to Boost the Bottom Line of Your International Business,” LexisNexis, Shanghai, China
  • Presenter, “Corruption and Terrorism: Risks and Challenges of the XXI Century,” 2d International Conference, Florida International University, Latin American Caribbean Center, Miami, Florida
  • Presenter, Florida International University, Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER), College of Business Administration, First Annual Professional Development in International Business Program
  • Instructor, “Money Laundering Prevention,” Universidad de Salamanca, Spain
  • Presenter, Fifth Annual Latin-American Money Laundering Conference, San José, Costa Rica
  • Presenter, Ninth Annual Money Laundering Conference, Miami Beach, Florida
  • Presenter, Annual Educational Conference, American Judges Association, Montreal, Canada

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