Yasmin Fernandez-Acuña

Hablo Español
Area of Focus: Litigation, International
A native Spanish speaker, Yasmin's experience includes cross-border disputes, international arbitration, and complex business, intellectual property and securities litigation.

Prior to graduating from law school, Yasmin worked for a UK-based litigation financing firm, where she worked with international legal scholars and practitioners to assess the ethical implications of third-party litigation funding, as well as to develop accurate litigation-risk valuation models.
Q & A
What gives you an advantage as an international arbitration attorney?
Having practiced law in both New York and Florida gives me a practical advantage. Because New York was previously the only state that had an international arbitration court in the U.S. before Miami opened its court, many international conglomerates still cite New York law in their arbitration provisions. Clients like having an attorney who is licensed in both jurisdictions and well-versed in both Florida and New York law. More importantly, cross-border disputes often entail not only linguistic, but also cultural differences of which attorneys should be mindful. I can recall working on an international arbitration in which the parties involved were both European and Australian companies, but the dispute arose in a Latin American country. The only way to secure the discovery we needed in that action was to understand and overcome the locals’ weariness of foreigners and corporations. Respect, patience, and effective communication ― these qualities have proved to be invaluable features of a successful cross-border representation.
What qualities make for a good litigation attorney?
I have seen litigators cost their clients a lot of money and even the success of their cases by being unreasonable and antagonistic. The sort of high-stakes disputes we handle are often emotionally-charged situations, with clients feeling somehow wronged. My job is not to aggravate an already volatile situation. My job is to earn my client’s trust, so they view me as a reliable counselor that will give them sound advice for their long-term best interest.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
I take a lot of pride in my pro bono work. By way of example, I worked on an asylum case for a young girl who escaped El Salvador after her brother had been murdered for refusing to join a local gang that continued to terrorize her family. I worked on this case for four years. I saw the very real effects that having a legal advocate can have on a person’s life: the employment authorization permit we secured for her allowed her to get her first part-time job, the asylum application we submitted on her behalf let her stay in this country long enough to graduate third in her high school class and go to college, and our petition requesting that both the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General exercise their prosecutorial discretion authority to grant her asylum won her permanent legal status in the United States. The law forever changed her and her family’s life for the better. I was privileged to be a part of that.
  • University of Miami, B.A., summa cum laude, First in Class, 2007
    New York University, J.D., 2011
  • American Bar Association
    Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
    Hispanic National Bar Association
    United Way of Miami-Dade
    Young Leaders Executive Council
  • Florida
    New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
    U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
    U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
    U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
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