Attorneys invited to Cuba will get look at legal system

A group of Nevada lawyers will travel to Havana, Cuba, this month to learn about the country’s legal system and meet Cuban law professors and leaders.

“I’m excited just to see a different perspective,” said Frank Flaherty, president of the Nevada State Bar. “My gut tells me it’s going to be vastly different from our system.”

The weeklong trip for 16 lawyers starts Sept. 30 and includes a tour of the University of Havana, a meeting with representatives of Cuban parliament, a visit to the headquarters of the Association of Cuban Jurists and a meeting with leaders of the Cuban Society of Economic and Financial Law.

“I think when you look at different perspectives, it helps you germinate ideas,” Flaherty said.

Flaherty, who was elected in June, said the trip took about six months of planning. Because of Cuba’s tense relationship with the United States, every lawyer on the trip had to sign an affidavit swearing that the trip was not for commercial purposes.

The lawyers were invited to attend the trip and will pay between $4,200 and $4,500 in expenses. Flaherty said the attorneys decided to go for a number of reasons, including academic studies and international law practices.

Delegations from other state bars, including those in Washington and Minnesota, also have visited Cuba in recent years.

“This is the first communist country I’ll visit and I’m guessing it will be the last communist country I’ll visit,” Flaherty said. “It’s just really exciting.”

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