Robert J. Becerra is a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in International Law, one of 53 lawyers in Florida with such a certification. He concentrates his practice in the areas of litigation and arbitration, white collar criminal defense, grand jury investigations, corporate compliance and internal investigations, and administrative and judicial proceedings related to international trade matters. Prior to opening his own firm, Becerra practiced at the Miami law firms of Devine Goodman Rasco Watts-FitzGerald & Wells for 2 years and Fuerst Ittleman for 3 years. Before that, he spent 5 years at Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, an international trade law firm, where he headed the firm’s white collar defense practice. His early career started at Raskin & Raskin, PA, a white collar criminal defense and litigation boutique, where he practiced for 14 years, the last seven as a partner. He has been counsel of record in a number of reported decisions, some of which resulted in changes in the law, and he has tried a number of cases, mostly jury trials, in both civil and criminal cases.
Becerra consistently receives the highest “AV Preeminent” rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory for legal skills and professional ethics and is rated “10.0” in the lawyer rating website www.avvo.com. He is listed as a “Super Lawyer” in Super Lawyer Magazine and a “Top Lawyer” in the of the South Florida Legal Guide. Becerra is included in the “The Best Lawyers in America” in the category “Criminal Defense-White Collar”.
He is a member of the Dade County Bar Association; the American Bar Association, where he is a member of the Criminal Justice and International Law, the Federal Bar Association and organizations involved in international trade. He currently is the Secretary of the Florida Bar International Law Section and is a member of the Florida Bar’s International Law Certification Committee.
Becerra has been lead counsel in a large number of criminal cases in various federal districts and states involving diverse areas of the criminal law and has tried many of those cases to verdict. He has also been lead counsel in a variety of federal and state appeals and has engaged in numerous appellate oral arguments. Becerra has been lead counsel in internal investigations conducted by corporations alleged to have violated various regulations and laws, including those involving the seafood industry and the importation of food and drug products. Becerra is well versed in the manner that internal investigations must be cloaked in the protections provided by the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine to avoid disclosure of facts and findings without the client’s consent. In addition, Becerra has on many occasions prevented criminal charges against clients suspected of wrongdoing by preparing persuasive presentations that convince law enforcement authorities that criminal changes are unwarranted.
Becerra is very experienced handling civil litigation involving international trade issues, such as trademark infringement, cargo loss, errors and omissions by logistics providers and disputes that arise between exporters and importers.
Becerra has handled many U.S. Customs seizures of goods, liquidated damages and penalty cases, along with civil forfeitures of monies in corporate bank accounts which are alleged by the government to be tainted due to tracings to financial transactions in unregulated foreign exchange markets and trade-based money laundering. He has drafted and implemented anti-money laundering policies and procedures for exporters to mitigate the risk of money seizures. He has litigated civil forfeiture cases against the federal government involving the export of luxury automobiles. Becerra also advises clients on the due diligence required to avoid civil or criminal liability for violations of export laws regarding shipments to embargoed countries of controlled goods.
Becerra was the author of ““Trade Based Money Laundering – South Florida is in the Bulls Eye” published in the July 25, 2018, issue of The Daily Business Review; “Crack in the Carmack? Florida Supreme Court holds Carmack Amendment Preemption Not Absolute In All Claims Involving Inland Shipments”, published in The International Law Quarterly, Winter 2018 issue and ““The Black Market Peso Exchange and the Small Exporter”, in the International Law Quarterly, Winter 2015, published by the Florida Bar International Law Section. He also authored “A Review of the Adequate Forum Factor in Forum Non Conveniens Analysis in Florida’s State and Federal Courts”, in The International Law Quarterly, Summer 2014, published by the Florida Bar International Law Section; a co-author of “Criminal Liability for Corporate Officers-The Resurrection of the Park Doctrine in Food and Drug Cases,” in Practical Trade & Customs Strategies, a Thomsen Reuters publication in April, 2013, and a contributing author to the Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation, 2005 edition (chapter 18, “Intellectual Property”), for the Committee on Business and Corporate Litigation for the American Bar Association. He also authored “Threats of Criminal Action for Advantage in a Civil Dispute: Legal and Ethical Consequences” in the 3rd Annual International Litigation Update: Hot Topics in International Litigation, published by the Florida Bar’s International Law Section. He has been published as well in the Journal of Commerce, in web based newsletters and blogs and has been a speaker on a variety of panels and in seminars regarding areas of his practice.