Rick Puente is a Board Certified International Litigation and Arbitration lawyer focused on leading cross-border trial and arbitration teams in high-stakes cases. Rick has litigated and tried complex commercial and investment cases before courts and international arbitration tribunals involving issues of fraud, money laundering, financial products, shareholder disputes, and treaty claims tied to the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe.
Rick's notable cases include: successfully defending a major airline in federal court cases involving economic claims under the Helms-Burton Act related to the Havana International Airport and hotels in Varadero, Cuba; representing an oil company in U.S./LatAm fraud proceedings; representing a Chilean national in asset recovery relating to an international Ponzi scheme; advising a Canadian company in relation to a $4.1 billion Chilean mining dispute; securing a favorable settlement for an investment bank in a $60 million securities arbitration; representing a philanthropist in a Hague Convention federal trial and civil RICO lawsuit and in a $500 million ICC arbitration seated in New York involving a multibillion dollar company; and representing a Latin American lawyer and businessman whose funds were frozen by the United States government (secured return of millions of dollars).
Rick has lectured and moderated on international arbitration and litigation topics at universities and in conferences in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. He served as chairman of a Florida Bar Judicial Grievance Committee (2011), is a member of the board of directors of the Miami International Arbitration Society, and serves as president of CEA Florida (Club Español del Arbitraje).
The following represents experience acquired prior to joining Jones Day.
Represented a group of Latin American partners in a joint venture involving energy investment contracts, resulting in a seven figure final judgment and award of attorney's fees in their favor.
Represented an investor at an evidentiary hearing in federal bankruptcy court and successfully argued that a corporate bankruptcy stay did not preclude the investor's state court case against a managing member of the corporate entity for fraud and FDUTPA.
Represented lawyers in ethics investigation by the Florida Bar involving retaliatory allegations by adversary of misconduct during litigation.
Represented a plaintiff against a financial institution involving misleading representations in commodities investment.
Represented plaintiffs in a financial fraud case against a regional commercial bank involving fraudulent wire transfers originating from Venezuela.
Represented a foreign private investment company and high net worth individual against a large international bank and its broker dealer subsidiary for FDUTPA, breaches of fiduciary duty, and fraud.
Represented an executive in defamation, fraud, and tortious interference lawsuit against a global freight forwarding company.
Represented an investment trust against a broker-dealer involving unauthorized trades in a nondiscretionary account.
Represented a financial institution, personal representative of estate, and individual co-trustee in a trust litigation matter involving allegations of breach of contract by the trustees relating to multimillion dollar jewelry.
Represented a film company in a corporate dissolution and prelitigation negotiations against a former managing member involving allegations of copyright infringement, tortious interference, and libel.
Represented plaintiffs in a state circuit court up through final jury verdict in a negligence case against a national corporation.
Defended Florida's auditor general's office in federal court litigation involving allegations of employment discrimination and retaliation and obtained summary judgment and award of costs against the plaintiff.
Defended Edge Act Bank in federal court in a wire fraud case involving a Grand Cayman private trust account.
Defended the general contractor of a luxury hotel/condo and obtained summary judgment in favor of contractor.
Defended a securities broker dealer, clearing house, and stockbroker in FINRA arbitration involving allegations of fraud and churning.
Represented investors against a private bank for the sale of unregistered securities (case settled following certification of class).
Chile's Proposed Constitutional Changes to Natural Resources Rights Could Have Devastating Effects on Foreign Investors: How Can International Law Protect Them?
Jones Day Wins Dismissal of Helms-Burton Act Lawsuit Alleging Unlawful Use of Havana's International Airport
- August 24, 2021
Speaker at the XV Congress of the Peruvian Institute of Arbitration on the topic "Cross-Examination in International Arbitration"
- November 11, 2020
Moderator at the Club Español del Arbitraje webinar on the topic of Tendencies in International Litigation & Arbitration in the United States, including a discussion on key differences between NAFTA & USMCA and U.S. intervention in international disputes
- November 4, 2020
Speaker at the Instituto Peruano de Arbitraje's XIV Congress on the topic of Adverse Inferences in International Arbitration, Lima, Peru
- February 11, 2020
Moderator and presenter at "Choice of Law and International Arbitration: a Global Tour" on the topic of the hallmarks of the most commonly chosen governing laws in major projects agreements
- April 2, 2019
Speaker at the Florida International Bankers Association seminar on the topic “A Reinvigorated Helms-Burton: Coming Storm or Sunshower?” and the Implications of Implementing Title III of the Helms–Burton Act
- March 1, 2019
Moderator at the Florida International University "The World of Arbitration and Mediation in Latin America and the Caribbean Today" on the topic of Recognizing and Enforcing Foreign and Domestic Arbitral Awards and Settlement Agreements (Part 2)
- February 9, 2019
Speaker at the University of Miami Law Review Symposium "Sin Límites Law & Business at the Gateway to the Americas" on the topic of International Disputes
- September 19, 2018
Lecturer and invited speaker on U.S. Anti-Money Laundering Laws & International Arbitration before the Association of Resorts, Hotels, & Tourism in the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES)
- 13 junio, 2018
Arbitraje y litigios transnacionales en las nuevas tecnologías: Blockchain y Criptomoneda
- April 27, 2018
XII Congress of International Arbitration "In Memoriam Estuardo Mata Palmieri" moderator and speaker on the topics of iura novit curia and damages in international arbitration
- December 15, 2017
Guest lecturer at Florida International University Law School International Law Program on the topic 'Best Practices in handling a Complex Commercial Global Disputes Case.'
- November 3, 2017
Guest lecturer at Florida International University Law School on the topic 'International Judicial Cooperation for Gathering Evidence and Related Discovery.'
- 21 de junio, 2017
Disputas Globales: Arbitraje y litigios trasnacionales desde las perspectivas estadounidense y española
- June 21, 2017
Global Disputes: Cross Border Arbitration and Litigation from the Spanish and American Perspectives
- April 26, 2017
Moderator of Club Español del Arbitraje seminar on Corruption in International Investment Arbitration.
- June 19-22, 2016
International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) - Conferencia Latino Americana (CLA) 2016 - Invited speaker and moderator on the following topics: Non-Signatories' Participation in International Arbitration: The Role of Unanticipated and Anticipated Third Parties in International arbitration; Handling Difficult Witnesses and Recalcitrant Experts.
- February 26, 2016
International Litigation, Arbitration & Transaction Conference (ILAT), Florida Bar's International Law Section, invited speaker on the topic "Civil RICO's Extraterritorial Application"
- June 12, 2015
CIAMEN, Universidad de San Pablo, Title 28 U.S.C. Section 1782, and its application to international commercial arbitration
Member of an arbitration team recognized as one of the leading international arbitration law firms in 2020.Global Arbitration Review (GAR 30)
- Loyola University (J.D. and Certificate in International Legal Studies 1996); Florida International University (B.B.A. with a concentration in Finance 1993)
- Florida; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits; U.S. District Courts for the Middle, Southern, and Northern Districts of Florida and Western District of Texas; and U.S. Tax Court
Board Certified in International Litigation and Arbitration by The Florida Bar (2020)
Recognized in Florida Super Lawyers (2013, 2015-2020, 2022, 2023) and in Florida Trend's "Legal Elite" (2011) in the categories of business and commercial litigation
Recognized in The Legal 500 Latin America (2017) for international arbitration
Recognized in The Best Lawyers of America (2019-2023) for international arbitration — commercial