IN MEMORIAM: TCHERINE ANDÚJAR

The PMA family grieves the loss and cherishes the memory of our partner, and above all, friend, Tcherine Andújar. Tcherine was a true giant in the Puerto Rico legal community. While a tax lawyer by training, specializing in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation areas, Tcherine’s practice spanned across all fields of commercial and civil law. A lawyer’s lawyer, no area of the law was foreign to him. He was a “think outside the box” professional, whose counsel was eagerly sought by clients and colleagues. Tcherine had an uncanny ability to befriend his clients and provide wise and practical advice. As one of six founding partners of the Firm and its first tax attorney, he is largely responsible for the Firm’s success, shepherding his practice group growth to one of the largest and most respected in Puerto Rico. An avid race car enthusiast and accomplished driver, Tcherine lived his life with the strength of the revving engine of his beloved racing Porsche. No one could ease the tension at a meeting like Tcherine; no one could tell a story or a joke like “el Maestro”, as the younger attorneys at the Firm dubbed him. Tcherine was a devoted son and brother, the proud father of Lucerito, Tatiana, and Mía and the loving husband of Jeanine Calderón. A standard-bearer of PMA’s core values, with a work ethic second to none, there will never be another Tcherine.

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PMA represents Triple-S in its acquisition of La Cruz Azul de Puerto Rico

PMA represented Triple-S, the largest managed care company in Puerto Rico, serving approximately 1.3 million members, or about 30% of the island’s population, in the purchase and integration of certain managed care assets of La Cruz Azul de Puerto Rico, Inc., which closed on July 1, 2009. In addition, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association also granted Triple-S the license for the Blue Cross brand in Puerto Rico and the Blue Cross Blue Shield brands in the U.S. Virgin Islands. As a result of this acquisition, Triple-S acquired the exclusive right to use the Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and marks throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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PMA acts as Underwriters’ Counsel in One of the Largest Sales Tax Bond Issues in US History

PMA acted as counsel to the underwriters in a bond issue by Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation in an aggregate initial principal amount of approximately $5.3 billion. Of the $5.3 billion bond issue, approximately $4.1 billion were sold in the US tax-exempt market, while approximately $1.2 billion were sold to investors in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. PMA represented Citigroup Global Markets Inc., as representative for the underwriters, in connection with the bonds sold in the US tax-exempt market. PMA also represented UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico, as representative for the underwriters, in connection with the bonds sold to investors in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. These transactions, which closed in June 2009, represent the largest municipal bond offering by a Puerto Rico issuer and one of the largest sales tax bond issues in US history.

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PMA Attorneys Collaborate in Product Liability Report

PMA was invited to collaborate on the revised and updated second edition of Getting the Deal Through – Product Liability, an annual report published by Law Business Research Ltd. to provide comparative international analysis in the area of product liability law for legal practitioners and business people. Néstor M. Méndez Gómez, Heidi L. Rodríguez and María D. Trelles co-authored the section on the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico in its inclusion in this important publication for the first time. For more information, please refer to the chapter on Puerto Rico reproduced with permission from Law Business Research. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through Product Liability published in March 2009, contributing editors Harvey L. Kaplan and Gregory L. Fowler. For further information please visit www.GettingtheDealThrough.com.

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Dealer and Distribution Practice Group Obtains a Favorable Ruling on Behalf of Client

In the pending arbitration of National Flour v. Santiago, Partner Jorge I. Peirats and Associate Giselle López-Soler obtained a favorable ruling on behalf of a claimant that is a principal to a distribution agreement. Under the parties’ agreement, the law of Alabama, rather than Puerto Rico’s Act 75, applied. Oftentimes, distributors will invoke Act 75, even when the terms of the contract state that the law of another forum will govern, in order to benefit from the statute’s “for cause only” termination or impairment provisions. Respondent claimed that Act 75’s strong public policy and ban on the application of foreign laws ought to have invalidated the choice of law provision. The Arbitrator held that Alabama substantive law controlled.

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PMA Sponsors XV Miguel Velázquez Rivera Debate Competition University of Puerto Rico Law School

PMA was proud to be one of the sponsors of the XV Miguel Velázquez Rivera Debate Competition held by the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Law. One of the Firm’s Partners, Heidi Rodríguez, judged the competition’s final round together with Hon. Anabelle Rodríguez, Associate Justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, and Luis Román, Esq., Director of the Legislation and Opinion Division at the Department of Justice (and a former associate of the Firm). After the teams from the different law schools in the Island debated issues of a woman’s right to choose and the local statute suspending living wills during a patient’s pregnancy, the panel of Judges declared the team from the Eugenio María de Hostos Law School as the winner. The Firm congratulates all of the participating teams and the Editorial Board of the 78th Volume of the UPR’s Law Review for a successful endeavor.

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PMA’s Dealer and Distribution Group Scores Victory for Client at Preliminary Injuction Phase

Litigation Partner Jorge I. Peirats and Associate Maritere Colón recently achieved a favorable outcome for one of its clients against which a request for preliminary injunction was filed under Act 75 (dealer’s act) and Act 21 (sales representative’s act) and in the alternative for a provisional remedy under Rule 56 of the Puerto Rico Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court of First Instance, San Juan Part, dismissed the Act 75 and Act 21 causes of action and denied the request for a provisional remedy. The Opinion and Order was issued after a seven-day evidentiary hearing.

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Partner Néstor Méndez chosen as a Member of the National Board of the Foundation of the Federal Bar

Litigation Partner Néstor Méndez was appointed to serve a three year term on the Board of the Foundation of the Federal Bar Association. The Foundation is a non-profit, Congressionally-chartered organization that is separate, but works closely with the Federal Bar Association. Its mission is to promote and support legal research and education; advance the science of jurisprudence; facilitate the administration of justice; and foster improvements in the practice of federal law. The FBA Foundation also runs the FBA Fellows Program.

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