A skilled litigator, trial lawyer, and arbiter with 30 years of experience advising clients, trying cases, and negotiating complex civil and criminal disputes, Michael Diaz, Jr. specializes in visa recovery and defense of FCPA and OFAC violations and Specially Designated Nationals classifications.
He is qualified to represent clients before all U.S. administrative and governmental agencies, arbitral bodies, and U.S. state (Florida), federal, and appellate courts. He frequently serves as advisory co-counsel outside the United States in international litigation and arbitration matters. He is a Certified Anti-money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS).
Chambers and Partners rank Michael Diaz, Jr. among a very select group of practitioners in Chambers USA for the practice category General Commercial Litigation – Florida and for Fraud and Government Investigations, Latin America-wide, in Chambers Latin America. He is named to “Latin America’s Top 100 Lawyers” by Latinvex, listed in Best Lawyers® and the Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys, and has earned ongoing recognition from his peers, maintaining an AV-rating from Martindale-Hubbell for more than 20 years.
Mr. Diaz also represents clients in cross-border transactions – joint ventures, sophisticated mergers, acquisitions, and other deal making – where he is deeply experienced in domestic and international trade, customs, finance, and banking issues. Among his clients are entrepreneurs, high net worth individuals, foreign governments and their officials, Fortune 1000 multinational corporations, and financial institutions.
He regularly 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. While acting as special counsel on behalf of U.S. receivers, financial institutions, and individual victims of financial fraud, Mr. Diaz’s 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 well publicized cases including, FIFA, Peravia Bank, Rosemount, Montesinos, Aleman/Jerez, and Casablanca. Notable U.S. Ponzi scheme cases include Madoff and Stanford.
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 his own firm, also earning the distinction as a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated law firm.
Frequently acknowledged for his legal skills, Mr. Diaz has been named to the Top 50 Attorneys Specializing in Latin America by Latinvex, a leading online news magazine. He was an honored 2013 Top Lawyer as designated by the South Florida Legal Guide, holds the distinction of the Most Influential Hispanic Attorney In Miami, awarded by Poder Hispanic, and was named a top 50 Latin America’s Legal Stars of 2012 by the Latin Business Chronicle.
Distinguished by Chambers and Partners as a Leading Lawyer USA Guide for Florida Litigation, Mr. Diaz was also featured in Business Week Magazine for his work on behalf of victims of financial fraud. He is often sought after by the media, throughout the world, as a background source for comment on international legal and business issues. He is a frequent guest lecturer and contributor at international legal and banking seminars and 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.
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: