Interviewee: Professor Michael Gordon
Interviewer: Denise Stobbie
Date: January 21, 1993
S: This is Denise Stobbie interviewing Professor Michael Gordon at the University of
Florida College of Law. Today's date is January 21, 1993. Why not state your
G: Michael Wallace Gordon.
S: And your date of birth.
G: May 4, 1935.
S: And your place of residence.
G: Gainesville, Florida.
S: All right. I would like to start at the beginning, so why don't we go back to
background information, to your parents or even grandparents. What are the
names of your parents? Let us start there.
G: My mother was Anne, and my father had an old family name, Seery, which I do
not think I have ever heard of before.
S: Where were they from?
G: They were both from the Northeast. My mother was born in New Jersey, and
my father was born in New York. The Gordon side traces to the War of 1812. I
went to Europe thinking that I would trace the family history, and my wife did as
well, because we knew there was some military background. We discovered
that my side deserted at the end of the 1812 war, and my wife's side fled to avoid
conscription by the Prussian army. [laughter] So we had both people who
came over here. Her family then went successively to West Point--three
generations--and oddly enough my side after leaving the War of 1812 and
settling, I believe, in Illinois, the children of that family split, and half went into the
New York area and fought in the Civil War, and half moved to Georgia and fought
in the Civil War. That is John [Brown] Gordon [American general, statesman,
1832-1904] who became a general in the Confederate army. As far as I know, I
think I am the first one from the group that stayed in the North but was to migrate
later to the South.
S: So everyone else had moved.
G: The family split: one brother went south, and one brother stayed north. The
family has essentially stayed north since those generations. I am considered an
aberration; my family always considered me rather silly to move down here.
My mother's family was basically from New England, and her family goes back to
a Scottish side of Wallace. The other side goes back to Bradford. William
Bradford was Governor Bradford from the Mayflower Colony [1590-1657;
American colonial leader, landed at Plymouth Rock, December 1620, reelected
governor of Plymouth Colony thirty times]. So we have been around here for a
Basically we are sort of a Northeast family. Neither my brother nor none of his
family show any inclination to leave New England. It is a very provincial area of
the country. When I moved here the person who lived across the street who
was a lawyer and whose children had moved away sort of adopted Buff and me.
We were living in Farmington. We had restored an old home on Main Street,
and they lived in another one across the street from us, and we saw a great deal
of them. When Buff and I went to see them and told them we were going to
move to Florida, he became very angry. [That is] the only time I had ever seen
him angry. He said, "I can understand your moving to New York or maybe to
Philadelphia, but Florida?" Then you could see his knuckles whiten as he
grabbed his chair, and he said, "You know Mike, you can never come back."
S: And he was serious.
G: He was serious. Then he realized what he had said and apologized. That was
the only time I ever saw him angry. He was a very calm man. He was an old,
old New Englander, and this to me was really the kind of attitude that I got from a
lot of friends when we said we were going to move south. The New England
view is, if there is anything worthwhile it is in New England, and most of the [early
American] history is in New England, which Michael Gannon [UF professor of
history] has shown me is quite incorrect, with St. Augustine being the first
continuously inhabited city in the country. But I have never been sorry.
S: What were your parents' occupations?
G: My mother was a product of society and stayed at home. I always thought she
was a very bright woman. She took enormous pride in our daughter's going to
law school [University of Florida J.D., 1992]. She lived here until just about
when our daughter graduated from law school a year ago, and then she passed
away at eighty-seven. I always saw in her the woman who, had she been able
to growing up, would have gone on to a profession. She grew up in New Haven,
near Yale, and knew a lot of the people at Yale. Yale was a very male institution
at that time. Rudy Vallee [American actor, singer, 1901-1986] was at Yale. He
was her age, and he used to come out to my grandparents' house and sing when
he was a Yale student. She was a very bright woman but just never had the
opportunity to go off to college.
My father was in business, and ultimately joined with two other people in
Hartford. They had controlling interest in a small manufacturing concern, and he
stayed there all his life.
S: What did they manufacture?
G: They started manufacturing in the last century horseshoe nails. The name of
the company was Capewell Manufacturing Company, and they manufactured
horseshoe nails; they still do. But then they began to do other products which
are called drop-forged products--hammer heads and small tools. During the
Second World War I remember seeing in our car these cumbersome pieces of
There was another man in the company who developed an automatic canopy
release for parachutes, and these were ultimately adopted by all of the parachute
branches in the U.S. They did not adopt them until around 1944. There was a
practice jump during the war at Fort Bragg, and the wind blew up during the
jump, and a number of the people were killed. The reason they were killed was
they could not get rid of the parachute when they landed on the ground. So this
invention was a very simple thing. They just grabbed and squeezed it, and your
parachute flew off. You were instructed not to do that until you got to the
ground, of course. Anybody who is in sport parachuting now knows what the
Capewells are; these are the automatic releases. So it was sort of fun to see
this develop during the war. That became a major part of their product line. I
think that was the only military piece they ever developed. They continued to do
hammers and things of that nature, and [it] stayed a relatively small company.
Then, as so many companies [did], about the time my dad was ready to retire,
the company was absorbed. The three of them all sold out and the company
was absorbed into a larger conglomerate that made compatible products. So I
think it lost its identity as a small New England manufacturing company.
S: But it was a successful [one].
G: It was really very successful. And I think it was probably about the right time for
him to retire, because I think working for a company that you have an interest in,
and the two people who had the other stakes in it were probably two of his
closest personal friends all his life. One had gone into the company and bought
into the company and then asked him to come in during the war, so he did. He
was there from the early 1940s until about the early 1970s.
S: Okay. What had he done before that?
G: He had sold. He became vice-president of sales when he joined them, and
ultimately executive vice-president. But he was basically a salesman. He had
a knack for selling things that I certainly have never had. My brother, I guess,
inherited it, because he did some of the same things. But after being very
successful he gave it all up. He runs a model train store now in Simsbury,
Connecticut. He has done that for fifteen years, and he loves it. It was nice to
be able to turn your hobby into a business. But my dad was a seller, and he
loved doing it. He did a lot of traveling, and he took me with him occasionally,
and I got a bit of the traveling bug.
S: What about their educations?
G: Both were high school [graduates]. My dad went to a military academy in New
York and graduated from there in the middle of the 1920s or so. He decided he
was just going to strike out on his own. I think he went out to Detroit and started
working, and he sort of worked his way up in the various sales fields. I do not
know how they ended up in Connecticut. I guess he had worked in New Haven,
where my mother was living by then; she had moved from New Jersey to New
Haven. Her father was with a manufacturing company that made railroad
carriages, the wheels units, in New Haven. Of course, I loved to visit them for
two reasons. I loved to visit them because we would go down to see the trains,
since they were in the train business, and next door to my grandfather's house
was the Gilbert's house that made model trains. Lionel and Gilbert were the two
big toy train manufacturers, so I got to go over [and see the trains]. I suspect I
never really liked to visit my grandparents as much, they tell me, as I liked to visit
the neighbors of my grandparents. [laughter] So I used to go over and see all
the new things that were in their basement that they were working on, and I got
to play with all of them.
S: And your brother has continued to enjoy that?
G: He has continued it, yes.
S: Do you have just the one brother?
G: I have just the one brother.
S: What is his name?
G: His name is Gregory.
S: All right. Where were they living when you were born?
G: They were living in Middletown, Connecticut, on the edge of the Wesleyan
University campus. I lived there until I was four, when we moved to Bristol,
Connecticut, probably not more than twenty miles away. My dad was working
with the electric light company, Connecticut Light and Power, and he was
transferred to Bristol, so we moved there for four years. About a year after he
was there he was asked by another person who had worked with the electric
power company to come and join Capewell, so he commuted to Hartford from
about 1940 to 1943, when we moved. Having ration coupons, it was very
difficult to get rationing coupons for gas, but because they were doing some of
the development of this military hardware he was able to do that. He commuted
daily. I guess it does not seem like that far a distance. It was probably about
twenty-five or thirty miles each way, but [he was driving] in a prewar car--cars
obviously were not manufactured during the war. He had, I guess, about a 1937
Ford that he drove back and forth, and he put a lot of miles on it over three years.
We simply could not find a place to live in the Hartford area. People were not
very mobile during the war. We ultimately found a place to live. My father had
one sister who was an English teacher who had graduated from the State
University of New York in Albany and was a schoolteacher and writer--she used
to write, I think, for Cosmopolitan and some of the home magazines, and she
came to live with us during the war. She worked at a ball bearing plant; [she
was] one of the many women who worked in a factory while the men were
overseas. My dad was too old to go into that war--he was too young for the First
World War and too old for the Second. So I had a chance to get to know his
sister very, very well. She is still alive. She raises Irish setters in Gloucester,
Massachusetts, now and has for a number of years. She has been a very dear
aunt to me. Everyone ought to have kind of a special aunt, I think, and she had
been that to me.
G: Then during the war we were able to move. Capewell was in Hartford, so during
the war when I was eight, in 1943, we moved to West Hartford in Connecticut. I
do not remember the first eight years. I do not remember a lot about Bristol and
Middletown, but I certainly remember West Hartford. I lived there and finished
grammar school and junior high school and high school, and I stayed in
Connecticut for the first three college degrees. I essentially stayed in either
West Hartford or in Farmington, another town just to the west of that. We
moved when we were married.
S: Did you attend public schools?
G: I did. I went through the West Hartford public schools, which were really
wonderful under the conditions of that time. There also was a lot of day prep
schools in the area. I think of my graduating class in high school--I cannot
remember how many we had in the class; I suppose it was not many more than
100--I can remember only one or two who did not go to college, which, I think, is
rather unique. West Hartford was a bedroom town to the insurance industry of
Hartford, and the insurance industry is kind of a white-collar industry. Many of
those people lived in West Hartford, in Wethersfield, and particularly in West
Hartford, and it was really considered to be about the best school system in
Connecticut. We sent people all over to college. It had probably the same kind
of success that a prep school would have.
S: Okay. So as a kid, then, you were interested in trains. Is there anything else
that stands out?
G: Well, I was interested in a lot of things. My brother ended up with trains, that
was probably the first thing he liked. He was four years older than I am, and he
introduced me to a lot of things. He was someone who tended to jump from one
interest to another, and I naturally followed him because I admired him so. So
he went from trains to opera, and then he sort of left that, but I continued with it.
I had an arrangement with my parents--I could go out at night if I were to go to
the West Hartford Public Library or if I were to go to the Bushnell Memorial Hall in
Hartford where they had symphony and opera. So I regularly went to
symphonies and operas.
S: At what age was that?
G: Fifteen, fourteen perhaps. I liked music. One of my closest friends in junior
high school--I guess that would be thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen--was a young man
by the name of Steve Little, who later became a drummer and went to
Hollywood, and, apparently, had from what I could tell through college, a
reasonably good success. He was my popular-music friend. We used to go
the State Theater in Hartford, which is long torn down, every Saturday. We
would go there very, very early, and [we] always sat in the front row. We would
sit through two B movies, usually westerns or mysteries or so, and then see the
major bands that would come through. Over a period of about five or six years
(this continued on all through junior high and through a little bit of high school) we
saw people like Lionel Hampton [American band leader, formed orchestra late
1930s; theme song "Flying Home"] and Gene Krupa [American band leader,
musician, best known as drummer for Benny Goodman, 1907-1973] and Benny
Goodman ["King of Swing," American band leader, musician, world-renowned
clarinetist, band leader during Big Band era; most popular songs, "Stompin' at
the Savoy," "Sing, Sing, Sing," 1909-1986] and most of the major singers who
would come with the bands. There they were, and we were in the front row
watching them. I really enjoyed the big band music. Vaughn Monroe
[American singer, band leader, noted for song "Racing With the Moon,"
1911-1973] was there when he did his "Dance, Ballerina, Dance," and Frankie
Laine [American singer, 1913-] and all of his popular songs.
S: Did your parents encourage this kind of [interest in music]?
G: Yes, they did. It was always interesting to me. I guess my mother was the
intellectual side of the family; my father was more practical, more
engineering-minded, the kind of work that he was doing. But they pretty much
let me go in certain directions and do pretty much what I liked, and I liked music.
I played the bass viol in junior high school. After I moved down here I switched
to the oboe. I always was trying to do something in music. I had another very
close friend who ultimately became a country music disc jockey who moved to
Texas. He and I used to go and listen to country music. Country music was not
terribly popular in New England. New England does not have a very good
impression of parts of the South. So we were sort of closet country music fans.
You did not have country music people coming [for concerts]. We idolized
people like Hank Williams [American singer, songwriter, band leader;
instrumental in popularizing country-western music, 1923-1953], and we used to
stay up at night [and listen to country music]. We stayed at each other's houses,
and we had radios in our rooms, so we could listen to the "Grand Ole Opry" on
Saturday nights and hear all these wonderful people singing. We never saw
them because they just did not travel to New England.
S: I wonder how many other New Englanders were listening to that?
G: I wonder. [laughter]
S: That is funny. Where do you think the music interest came from? Were your
parents music listeners?
G: I do not know. Well, there was music in my mother's family. There was a piano
in their house, and I guess someone played it. Maybe it was my grandmother.
I do not remember their playing a lot; I remember their listening to a lot of music.
And my parents encouraged me. They started me with piano lessons, and I did
not do well. I was never very good at it. I always found musical instruments
difficult when you have to have two hands playing different things at the same
time. Maybe like President Ford: I cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.
I never could coordinate the left hand very well. So I did things like play the
bass viol and then later shifted to the oboe because I could not carry the bass
viol around with me, and I wanted to be able to take an instrument when I
traveled. I have done that until a few years ago.
S: What do you still play?
G: Well, I have not done it very much, but I started playing the oboe when I moved
here. We encouraged our children to play. Our daughter [Betty] benefitted
from the Suzuki violin program here. She began playing the violin and then
shifted to the viola, which is in great demand because few people play it. So she
was able to play with quartets, and she became principal violist of the [Alachua
County] Youth Orchestra. Somewhat like myself, that sort of faded in high
school as she began to play soccer. She was on the one Buchholz [High
School] girls soccer team that won the state championship. Our son [Huntly]
played French horn, and he gave that up in high school to shift to playing tennis,
and he became quite a good tennis player. I suspect they will go back to music
at some time. We have said to our son, "We still have that French horn. I
guess we should give it to the school." He says, "Oh, no, no, no. I would like to
keep it. Maybe I will get back." Our daughter is the same way.
S: How old are they now?
G: Oh, gosh. I was asked in a television interview if I had children, and I said, "Yes.
I have two sons." [laughter] Our son was born in 1963, so he is about to turn
thirty. He is an architect and went through architecture here and building
construction [A.R., 1987]. Our daughter graduated from law school here. She
is two years younger and is married to a graduate from here, and they are living
and practicing in the Bradenton-Sarasota area.
S: Okay. So she went to school here, and her husband also?
G: He went here as well. He went to [the University of] Tennessee [for his]
undergraduate. She sort of went to undergraduate school here. She had gone
to private school in England after graduating from Buchholz and not feeling that
Buchholz had very well prepared her for college. She took another year and
went to private school in England where classes were very small, where [the
program] combined sports, which she was very interested in, having played
soccer, and it combined music, which she was interested in. She really liked the
atmosphere of the English school because it was a total commitment to doing
things like sports and music and chapel in the morning and choir and then very
intensive classes during the day.
So she came back to Florida to classes in her first year of 250, 250, 750, and
about 35 [people], and she absolutely hated Florida. She was going to transfer
to a smaller college when one of our friends who teaches in the history
department said, "Talk to me, and let me see if I cannot guide you into some
smaller classes." So she did, and her second term she had upper-division
classes that were mostly twenty to twenty-five people, and she really liked it.
She then went to Europe for her second year; she got permission to do her junior
year abroad as a sophomore. She went to Copenhagen, and while she was
there she went to King's College in London, where I had been teaching
occasionally in the summer, so she was comfortable with London, having been
there for a year. At that school she worked out a program where it was not a
formal junior year abroad, but she read history for a year at King's College and
then was able to transfer those credits back here. She had to come back here
and finish up only her last year. So she felt that she really had not been here an
awful lot. Then she stayed on here to go to law school.
S: Okay. And your son went through building and architecture?
G: He did architecture first, which is a long program--I think it is a five-year program.
Jobs in the architecture area are very difficult to come by, and I think his
decision [to add building construction to his credentials] in the last couple of
years has proven to be correct. He also is not really one to sit down and draw
all day. He likes the architecture part of it, but he also likes the hands-on, so he
did a graduate degree in what is a very fine building construction [program] here.
He then went to Atlanta to work with a large firm. He worked with them for two
or three years and then left to join an individual who had left, and they have their
own small construction firm.
S: Where is that?
G: In Atlanta. They are doing things like school gymnasiums, and they are doing a
firehouse now, so they are doing several $2-$3-$4 million projects, and they are
having a wonderful time there. The oldest person in the firm is probably [in his
early thirties]; our son Huntly is thirty, and I think there is one fellow who is
thirty-two or so, so it is pretty interesting stuff to be doing at that age, and they
are enjoying it.
S: It is. No grandchildren yet?
G: Yes. The first one was born a year ago, and that is our son and his wife
Patty--granddaughter Brittany. She is a year and two months, and coming this
weekend to spend a week with us for the first time.
S: Oh, boy. Get ready. [laughter]
G: And we are going to have a second one at the end of next summer, mid-summer,
S: Okay. What about academic interests as a kid? Were you studious?
G: Not very. No. I did very well because I seemed to be able to do what I needed
to do on very short term. I suppose there is a sort of burden with being large. I
was tall; I was 6'2" or 6'3" in junior high school, so I was sort of forced onto
basketball. I did not like it; I have never liked basketball. But I played soccer.
We had an unusual situation in Connecticut. There were three or four towns in
Connecticut which had local rules that one could not play football until tenth
grade. We had junior high school, seven, eight, and nine, and then ten, eleven,
and twelve was at a separate school, high school. Consequently, not being able
to play football, I started playing organized soccer in about the fourth grade,
about when children here would be going into PeeWee [football] leagues. The
view was that your bones were not physically developed to take that kind of
injury; actually soccer is far more injurious a sport. So I played soccer through
junior high school. I also started playing some tennis, and when I got to high
school I played two years of soccer--we won the state championship. It is
interesting that those four towns in the state were always the source of the best
soccer. There were about eleven of us on the soccer team when I was a junior
when we won state, and I think about nine of those were all-American soccer
players in college in different locations. I went on and played football and soccer
in my last year of high school, just to do kicking of extra points. Then I got
permission to do some playing.
I had the question of whether I would play football or soccer in college. I ended
up going to the University of Connecticut, which was a major soccer power--they
had won the NCAAs. We did not win the NCAAs when I was there, and I
suspect that I was one of the contributing reasons.
S: You played in college?
G: I played for two years. I started as a freshman and as a sophomore. I played
one of the fullback positions. They used to call them fullbacks then. They now
call them points and sweeps. We had a good team. In fact, we played St.
Louis and Clemson and Maryland and a much wider variety of opponents than
our football team, which essentially played Vermont and Massachusetts. I
enjoyed it, but it took its toll. I ruptured a kidney and severed ligaments in my
knee, and I lost the end of my nose and fractured a toe that is now fused. I am
glad I dropped out after two years. There was a question of having knee
surgery so that I could play again. They wanted me to do that to play, but I
decided, and my parents thought it was right, not to do that, that it would be
better to drop out. I continued playing tennis, and I think that was a wise
decision, because in the last couple of years I have had knee surgery. Athletics
in college that are collision sports really take a toll on you later.
I was delighted that my son, who is also quite big and was always asked to play
football, started playing tennis very early. He played a little bit of soccer in high
school, but he turned to play tennis because he was on the circuit. He was a
very highly ranked player in the state. I was always glad to see him doing that,
because his knees are in much better shape than mine were at the age of thirty.
So I was much more interested in playing soccer than going to college, and it
showed in my grades. I went to a lot of musical performances, I was on the
fencing team, I was involved in politics, and at the end of two years they threw
me out with a 1.7 average on a 4.0 basis. I was in engineering; my father said I
had to be an engineer, so I was in electrical engineering, and I disliked it very,
very much. I wanted to read things like history or economics.
S: So your father pushed you towards engineering?
G: Towards engineering. I was into ham radio--that was another of my interests.
The amateur radio headquarters was in Newington in West Hartford, and one of
my father's close friends was one of the heads of the Amateur Radio Relay
League, which is sort of the headquarters for America. I got a ham radio license
when I was young, and I used to build transmitters and receivers and all those
kinds of things as well. So he thought I should be an engineer. I went into
electrical engineering, and I disliked it. The only way I could get out of it was to
flunk out. I had marginal grades until that point in time, and then I thought, I do
not want to go through four years and get out with a 2.1 or 2.2, so I went out
glamorously by not going to class in my fourth term.
Without telling him after I had flunked out I went back and got readmitted in the
only thing I could really do and graduate in two years, and that was business. I
wanted to do economics, which was separated from business, but that required
language training, which I would now like to have had, but did not know at that
time I would need it. So I transferred into business, and the next term I got
highest honors, which bailed me out of the threat of not having a 2.0 to graduate.
I was called in by the head of the business school, and he said, "You have the
highest grades for last term of several hundred people, and we would like to sort
of guide you through so you can graduate with distinction and go through the
honors program." I said, "Have you looked at my record for the first two years?"
He said, "No, but we assume you must have quite a good record." [laughter]
So I suggested they do that, and when they did they apologized for having
enticed me into this. But I continued to play some tennis--I played in New
England tournaments and played a bit with the team.
I got out of school with what was at that time a very gentlemanly C average or so,
and I had absolutely no idea of what I wanted to do. Fortunately the military was
on the horizon. I also had been doing a lot of photography; I was very interested
in photography and in working in a drugstore, which I did part-time for quite a
long time, since I was sixteen and could get working papers. I worked in that
drugstore through even one term of law school because I liked the man who
owned the drugstore. One of our customers was the photographer for Martin
[1884-1937] and Osa Johnson [1894-1953; American authors, filmmakers,
explorers, made African, South Seas expeditions, filming vanishing wildlife], who
in the 1930s and 1940s were major travel photographers in Africa. They were
the people who would take black-and-white films of the great apes and then
travel around the country showing them. My friend was their principal
photographer, and I got to know him very well over a couple of years. He invited
me upon graduating from college to go with him and be his assistant in an oil
exploration expedition to the Orinoco [River]. I tried to get out of the military
draft, but I could not, so I had to forego that, but that made me interested in doing
something in photography.
So I went into the military. I did not want to dig foxholes and do that kind of
thing. I thought the Marines would be interesting, so I went to have the [physical
exam. They did not pass me because of my eyesight].
S: So you could not get into the Marines because of your eyesight.
G: I could not get into the Marines, but they said, "The Navy is upstairs." I was in
New York, and they said, "The Navy is upstairs, and they are not very fussy
about people," so I went up. The eyes were correctable, so I took the test and
went into Navy OCS. My brother at that time had been ahead of me also in
Connecticut and had gotten out, and he was a Russian linguist. He went to the
Monterrey Language School, and he was in the military just proceeding me and
overlapping a little bit. He was actually just getting out when I was going in. He
was in Germany as an interpreter for the British army. So I thought, he has
done something pretty interesting. I preferred to go to sea, so I did.
I went to Officers Candidate School in Newport, and I loved it. My college
fraternity brothers had said that I was insufficiently disciplined to make it through
OCS, having not been very serious about studies and having a hand in this and a
hand in that. But I loved OCS. I thought it was wonderful. I probably needed
the discipline, I liked being told to go here at a certain time and that "Your shoes
are not good enough; go back and do them again." I guess I liked it because it
was only for sixteen weeks, too, and one could put up with something like that.
And I really liked my friends in OCS. They were people from all over the
country. This was when OCS was at its height.
S: That was Navy.
G: This was Navy. It was in Newport, Rhode Island. I finished that after sixteen
weeks, and I said, "Send me anywhere in the world." I really wanted to go on a
ship. "Let me do anything except engineering." [laughter] So I was assigned to
become engineering officer on a destroyer. [laughter] That was not the best of
worlds, but being on a destroyer was great fun. I was in the destroyer force the
whole time I was there. I was first on an experimental destroyer, and we went to
Cuba. This was at the time when Castro was in the mountains, and it was a
rather exciting time. We went to Cuba for about two months. Then I was on
this development group destroyer for about a year or so, or a little less than a
Then I was transferred to a picket ship, what we called a DER, destroyer escort
radar ship. That was during the Cold War. We had different stations, four
stations, between Newfoundland and the Azores. We would go out on thirty-day
pickets. The worst one was the first station, which was close to Newfoundland
and was where the icebergs were. There was fog all the time, and we could not
see the icebergs, so we worried about running into those. The weather got
successively better as we got to the Azores. People tell me I never got to picket
station four. Skip [Winton E.] Williams [Professor of Law, University of Florida]
was also on a DER ship at this same time. The people who were on station four
used to go swimming, it was so nice. We froze. The second picket I was on we
had two hurricanes come through. They were the ones that all the folks back
home relieved because the hurricane went out to sea and was no longer a threat
to the mainland. So we had two. We lost a guntub, we lost parts of our
superstructure, and that was not a very pleasant time, going through that. I think
I lost about twenty-five pounds in thirty days. No one could eat very much, and
it really got to be kind of silly.
I remember one meal in the wardroom, which runs across the ship. The skipper
sits at one end of the table, and the youngest person, who is the mess officer,
sits at the other. He is the one who plans the meals. We had spaghetti. You
are tied in; you sit down, and the steward comes in and ties each leg of your
chair, because we were rolling routinely thirty to thirty-five degrees. A destroyer
takes what they call snap rolls. We took a snap roll after we had been served,
and the spaghetti on the plate of one end flipped and went through the air and
right up against the chest of the skipper. Things like that were hilarious when
you are out and having trouble eating. I could not hold much down. Most
everyone was sick.
I was fortunate. After a couple of those tours I still had about a year or a year
and a half left, and I was transferred to the admiral's staff in Newport, which was
sea duty but you really are on the pier and on the ship, which was a flagship. I
did crypto security work, basically decoding top-secret and NATO secret work,
and that was great fun because I learned all sorts of things that were going on.
You either learned all about the very secret things that were going on in the Navy
or you learned who among the senior officers had gotten in a lot of trouble.
Those messages always went top secret because they did not want the rest of
the people to know that some commander or captain or admiral had gotten in
trouble in Naples or so, and they were going to discipline him or remove him.
Then we used to watch to see for that person's next post, and it was invariably at
an ROTC unit somewhere in the United States. That would be his prelude to
But I enjoyed the Navy; I enjoyed many things about the navy. I taught sailing,
as well, as part of my duties on the staff, and I got to begin to do some
announcing of the America's Cup. I was there in 1958 when the America's Cup
was restored after thirty-some years. I got out of the military in 1960. I went
back in 1962, 1964, and 1967 to announce the America's Cup races during my
law school and the early years after law school. Then I moved here in 1968 and
had to give that up.
S: What was involved in announcing?
G: Well, I had been doing a lot of sailing and teaching sailing, and I had been doing
some ocean racing, so I knew a lot of the people who were sailing--Ted Hood
and some of those, and I worked with the Ted Hood syndicate. Again, I did
photography for them as well as just being a crew member. At the time of one
of the Bermuda races, which started in Newport, the people from Washington
used to flock up to Newport to watch these races. The president at that time
was John Kennedy. They asked me if I would go out on one of the
destroyers--they had a lot of these distinguished visitors, like senators and the
president--and if I would go up on the upper deck and essentially describe
through the ship's system what was going on in the race, what the boats were.
We were at one end of the starting line, so these enormous yachts, 150 or so,
that were off to Bermuda [would sail by]. I knew a lot of the people, so they
would come by the ship, and I would wave to them and they would wave and
say, "That is Olin Stephens who is a famous American yacht designer, at the
Since the America's Cup was coming up, I suggested to the military that they
might want me to do that, so I narrated that for three different America's Cup
times. They piped us through the Navy's communication system so people
could hear what was going on.
S: And the Navy ship would go along?
G: We were the guides. They have changed it a bit, but during those America's
Cup races there were two Navy destroyers that escorted the boats and kept all
the spectators--hundreds and hundreds of spectators--out of the way. We had
the prime position to see these, so I was up on the level above the deck with a
microphone and telephoto cameras. I made up a series of lectures. I did the
first lecture on the 1962 America's Cup. I made them slide lectures. I was in
law school at the time, and I sent brochures around to the yacht clubs down as
far as Miami and was invited then to lecture at the annual dinners at yacht clubs.
So this helped in a very minor way. It probably did not help put me through law
school. My wife was doing that. It helped pay for the equipment and pay for
vacations. I think in my third year of law school during our spring break in
February I came down to lecture at the Florida Yacht Club in Jacksonville, the
Venice Yacht Club, and the Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Miami, and the
Baltimore Yacht Club--a whole series of clubs.
By the time I got out of law school in 1963 I had to make a decision whether I
wanted to do that as a permanent career. I knew John Biddle, who was the only
other person who was doing yacht lecturing, and I had known Irving Johnson,
who did the around-the-world trips on his Yankee, the schooner Yankee, and I
always had admired these two people. I sat and thought, that kind of life is
filming during the summers, away from your family, probably, and lecturing all
during the winters after you sit down and edit in August or September to get your
print ready. Then you go off and lecture at these various travel series and yacht
clubs. It would have meant being on the road an awful lot, so I decided I would
not shift to movies and do that. I did a brief movie just for fun, but I stayed with
slides. I did, I think, four of those slide lectures around 1963, 1964, 1965, and
then I think I skipped and did one in 1967. I went back and did each of the
America's Cup [races].
While I was doing this I was building a boat. I started building a boat as soon as
I graduated from law school in 1963, and it took me three years. It was a
twenty-five-foot cruising sloop. I bought the wood from South Carolina. I
essentially bought parts of trees that were called flitch lumber, that has the bark
still on it, and I cut all that to little square strips of wood to plank the boat. It took
me three years. When we ultimately came down to Florida in 1968 we came
down by boat. We took the whole summer to come, our three year old, five year
old, my wife, and me.
S: By that boat?
G: By that boat. It was a wooden boat. We kept it for about two years when we
were down here, but a wooden boat is very difficult to maintain, and once I got
here I was off doing a lot of international work, so I did not have much chance to
sail. But I left out law school, which I suppose is important.
S: Yes. We will go back. Where did the sailing interest begin? In the Navy?
G: The sailing interest began when I was a young man. We used to go to a shore
during the summer to a place called Westbrook, Connecticut. We went there
every summer, and it was a wonderful time. We went for three or four weeks or
so. We started doing it during the war. I learned to swim along the shore with
my aunt, who was living with us during the war. One day a young man who had
built a boat that seemed to me gigantic--I think I later learned that it was a
Lightning sailboat about nineteen feet long--asked me to go out with him, just me.
He was probably seven or eight years older, at least, and I think I was a young
teenager. No, I was younger than that. I was probably about eight. He took
me sailing, and we sailed out on one of those glorious days in Long Island
Sound, porpoise were swimming alongside the boat. This seemed to me to be a
marvelous thing to do, and I thought that here is a person who had built his own
boat. So I always thought I would do that. When we got into the Navy while we
were living in Newport I built a fourteen-foot Bluejay class boat, and we won the
Narragansett Bay Bluejay championship that year. We then sold the boat.
S: How did you know how to build the boat?
G: Well, I liked working with my hands. I always had done that. My father was
always good at repairing electronics or so, and I had been building these radios
and receivers and so forth. So I always was doing something. My brother and I
built models. We built our model trains, and that essentially is what he still is in,
in the model business. So I was always using my hands. I remember in our
bedroom I always had a couple of work tables--we shared a very large bedroom
growing up, and we were always working on a project. So the boat seemed to
be a natural thing to do, and it really was not very hard. We sold that and then
built a runabout, an old Chris Craft kit runabout. This was around 1959. We did
not keep that very long because we found we were using to it go watch sailing
races and sitting in it and wondering, "Why on earth aren't we sailing?" So we
sold that and bought a small sailboat again, which we sold when we left the
I had no idea what I was going to do when I left the Navy, but really two things
happened that were legally-related. I was on the admiral's staff, essentially
assigned to the communications division to do this cryptographic security work.
We were immediately next door to the legal office, and a couple of people who
got into some rather minor difficulty asked me to represent them simply because
there was not anybody else to represent them. They did not really like the idea
of getting someone on the legal staff to represent them because the legal staff
acted both as prosecutors and defense, and some of these people thought that
was a little strange: "These people are really acting in the best interests of the
Navy. They are going to proceed through the ranks only if they play by the rules
of the game." I did not have to play by the rules of the game because I was
getting out, so I was able to act as defense counsel. I did this on two or three
occasions. I do not know whether I did a very good job, but I got a few people
released. And I really liked it. It was kind of a game.
S: And at that point you had no legal training?
G: No, and I had no family relationships in law at all. So two of my colleagues said
they were going to take the LSAT; they were going to Providence from Newport.
I said, "You mean you got off of Saturday duty in order to take the LSAT?" and
they said, "Yes. There is a policy that if you take medical boards or any of those
boards you can get the day off." So I decided, I am going to take the LSAT too.
I took the LSAT to get Saturday off, and I had no idea [what it was about]. It
always seems so strange to me [how] these students go through these prep
courses and so forth. I had absolutely no idea what was expected of me when I
walked in to do the LSAT. I did not know what kinds of questions were on it.
Nobody really did. Nobody worried about that much. I got a good score and
thought, Gee, this is interesting.
So I applied to law school; I applied to Yale and to Connecticut. I had gone to
Connecticut undergraduate school. My undergraduate record really was not
very good. I interviewed at Yale, and I was sort of a marginal candidate to go
there. Before I heard from them, and I later learned that they would have taken
me because of the LSAT, I was admitted to Connecticut. My wife and I thought,
Well, let's not ask parents for assistance. Let's go back and go through it on our
own. We can do that at Connecticut; we could not do that at Yale. There also
were other considerations. I thought if I really worked hard and did well I would
be more likely to make the Law Review and do well at Connecticut than in the
kind of competition I thought I would face at the Yale Law School. So I went to
We had trial grades in January. I worked very hard; I had never worked like that
before. I worked hard in the Navy [because] it was my job, but I worked hard at
law school and had enormous support from my wife, who was working in a
Hartford, Connecticut, insurance company writing contracts. I worked very hard.
We had trial exams in January, and I did horribly on them. We had about
seventy-five people in our class, and I was ranked about seventieth as a result of
those exams. I thought, Gosh. I started reading want ads and said, "I guess
this is really not for me, but I think I will stick it out for the rest of the year." I
talked to all my professors, which I encourage students to do here, to talk to them
about their exams, and I found that I had written treatises for every question, that
I had never answered the question. I had been so excited about learning so
much I wanted to show them how much I knew, but I never really addressed the
questions. That is one of the problems that we have with students, I think, here.
You get excited about the law, and you want to let people know how much you
know. So in our exams in June--fortunately only one grade counted in January,
which was a C in Property--I went in and took twenty-seven hours of exam. I
jumped from number seventy to, I think, number two or three. So things began
to fit together around April. I did well.
I have since always had the feeling that I would rather see students tested at the
end of the year, because we have a lot of students here who do poorly in their
first term and do very well in the second half of those courses. And they are
always burdened by a poor first term. Our students come from so many
different directions, and this was true when I was in. Many of us came out of the
military, and I had to do no writing in the military to speak of--a few reports.
People came from the Peace Corps, they came directly from undergraduate
school, they came from working, and it took different people different times to
adjust. Some did not adjust. We had very high attrition, I think about 50
percent attrition rate in law school at that time.
But I liked it. That qualified me. Strangely enough, at the end of that first year
my wife, who was an army brat who was born in Hawaii and grew up mostly in
warm climates, including Clearwater [Florida] during the war, and I had a sense
that we wanted to live in the South. We were both interested, for reasons I am
not sure why, in the Mayan and Aztec cultures; we were interested in Mexican
pre-Colombian culture. We were interested in some of the things that were
going on in the South, so before I knew my grades we came down here, visited
the University of Florida (this was 1961)--this was a very small place and
town--went on and visited Stetson, went on and visited the University of Miami
law school, went on back and thought, Gee, we could transfer down--if my
grades were reasonably decent; I hoped I had done a little bit better--and finish
up school and then stay and practice in Florida. Well, we got back, and I found I
had done better than a little bit better. I had done very well, and I felt the
opportunity for Law Review and things were not going to be the same if I
transferred. So we stayed, and I ended up being on the Law Review and doing
the national moot court and lots of other things.
I had a wonderful time in law school. I had liked OCS. I did not like the Navy
service as well, not serving as a career. And I loved law school. I went to a law
school where there was very little writing done by the faculty. They devoted
much of their time to the students. I would make lists while I was studying.
There were about eight of us who got together with whoever was teaching the
course right after class. Our 8:00-9:00 class never ended at 8:50; it ended at
9:15 or 9:30. The room was not scheduled for the next hour, and the faculty
member would not have a class the next hour, and we would have our classes
scheduled throughout the day. So for the first year of law school I had probably
50 to 70 percent more hours in the classroom and always an hour with that
faculty member after the class in the coffee room, sitting around a table with
maybe seven or eight people plus that faculty member, continuing to talk about
contracts or whatever. I loved the year; it was just a wonderful year. The next
year you were a little more independent. You were doing Law Review work.
The same is true of your third year. But I really liked law school. I thought the
University of Connecticut was just a wonderful law school.
S: How do you feel about that today, about professors spending time with students?
G: Well, it is a problem. There really was not one person at the University of
Connecticut at that time who had any kind of national reputation. There were a
number of them that had extraordinarily good reputations in the state. Bill Starr
had taken the state into the Uniform Commercial Code; he did it on a state basis,
not on a national basis. There were several books that were written on the
Connecticut law of torts, the Connecticut law of contracts, the Connecticut law of
corporations, etc., by faculty. But essentially they would write one book and
keep that book up every few years, so they had a lot of time which they spent
For many reasons that has changed. Connecticut is no longer like that.
Connecticut is very much like this school. There are a number of faculty who
have very good national reputations. There are many of them who do a good
deal of writing. And something gives somewhere. There is no question. I am
probably known here more for my writing production than anything at all, and it
influences other things. I do not think there is any question that I could be a
better classroom teacher in many ways if I gave up the writing, and yet, on the
other hand, I teach basic corporations, [and] I have written five volumes on
Florida corporations and three volumes on Georgia corporations. Keeping the
Florida corporation treatise up I read every Florida corporation case [and] a lot of
national cases. I think I am far better prepared when I go into the classroom
because of the writing I am doing and what I am doing as an expert witness and
consulting on corporate [issues]. I do about four cases a year in consulting. In
comparative law I use my own casebook that I wrote [Comparative Legal
Traditions: Text, Materials, and Cases On the Civil and Common Law
Traditions, with Special Reference to French, German, English, and European
Law]. In International Business Transactions, again, I use my own casebook
[International Business Transactions: A Problem-oriented Coursebook]. I have
written, I guess, probably fifteen or sixteen books on various trade areas and a
number of articles.
So to me it is very difficult to see a faculty member who is really curious about
the developments and problems in an area, not to write about it. I think they
have an obligation to write about these and leave something about "hey, this is a
problem. We have dumping laws that probably should not be there, and here is
why they should not be there." I am writing something on the Cuban Democracy
Act now which is, to me, a very serious problem that tries to resolve some
domestic problems and our relationship with Cuba and has caused huge concern
abroad. I think this should be changed. I think I have an obligation to write on
that. So I really think that in many ways I am a better teacher by writing.
I am probably collapsing the material that I am familiar with to get enough to
teach in the classroom, but I do not do the kind of thing that Henry Fenn did
[former dean, UF College of Law], that I always admired him for, when he was a
very fine teacher here. He would tape his classes and listen to his classes and
listen for areas where he did not think he was conveying things very well. He
would go out and do that while he was fishing. He was constantly working on
perfecting those various classes. He did not write at all. I guess you come to
your teaching in two different ways. I think my teaching evaluations are really
very good, from what Jeff's [Lewis], the dean, analysis has been.
So I think I do a good job, but it worries me. I do not spend the amount of time
with students, (1) that I would like to spend, and (2) that my teachers spent with
me going through law school and which made that law school experience really
very meaningful. We are so large it is hard. I spend more time--that is why I
like doing the international journal, because I have a small group of students that
I can get to know well. I like teaching the seminar in trade [because] I have a
small group of students I can get to know well. That is about twenty-five
students or so, and it essentially means that the corporations class and the full
trade class and the comparative law class become a kind of faceless group of
people, and that obviously troubles me. I cannot get to know 150 or 200-plus
different people I have every year. A few of those, obviously, are repeaters. A
lot of them are repeaters, but I just cannot get to know that many people.
I think that maybe over time you develop a way of seeing the faces, recognizing
the faces, and then letting them sort of drift out. It is like being embarrassed
where you learn the facts of your case for that particular day, present them in
court, and by the next day you have forgotten them. I think that is an
unfortunate way of dealing with students, although many of the people who are
students of mine in the early years have since become very close, personal
friends whom I continue to visit and see.
S: How many students take advantage of coming to visit you, would you say, during
the course of a semester? Do they take advantage of that time to talk with you?
G: I think they do, but it tends to be a small group that comes frequently. I see a lot
of the editors of the journal. You make friendships with certain students. You
may see they have an interest in the kinds of things you are interested in. A
good example is a student by the name of Ben Hayes who came through here
two years ago. Ben was a professional baseball player. He was a diverse
person. He went and did a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies degree
before he came to law school. He talked to me when he was an M.A.L.A.S.
student about the law. He was interested perhaps in pursuing the baseball side
of it, perhaps pursuing international trade with Mexico. So after his first year I
called a friend in Mexico City and asked if he would take him on as a clerk for
several weeks, and he did for about five weeks. I became very good friends
with Ben and his wife. He took all of my classes and became articles editor of
our International Trade Law Review. Ben is now counsel for all of minor league
baseball. He still has thoughts about pursuing his Latin American interest. He
married a very lovely gal whose father worked with the United Fruit Company in
Honduras, and I think that is where Ben first got his interest in that, in visiting with
her folks in La Lima, Honduras.
What is hard to realize is that we have so many people like this going through the
school that are fascinating people. We have wonderful people here, and that is
what has kept me at Florida. In the principal schools that I have visited--not
foreign visits, but having taught at Duke and having taught at George
Washington and having lectured at a lot of other schools, this school is very
much like Duke in that I think our students for the most part like being University
of Florida law students. They for the most part are destined to work somewhere
between Atlanta and Miami. They do not have great aspirations in the sense of
feeling that they can be a successful lawyer only if they work at Sherman &
Sterling in New York.
The students that I had at George Washington when I was there five years ago in
the Albertson chair, which was a wonderful position, (I was asked and was
expected to stay on permanently--I ultimately decided to come back) were quite
different. I really thought the students were paranoid in contrast to here. Most
of them thought they were at a second-rate law school, which was not true. It
was a fine law school. Most of them thought they should have been at Harvard
or Columbia or Virginia and had to work at a really large firm either in New York
or Washington, DC, or they could not really call themselves lawyers. Most of
them ended up going into sort of middle-echelon positions with the federal
government, which is where a lot of Georgetown and George Washington and
American University law students go. But they really were not that happy with
themselves. Now, you cannot say that about the whole class, but so many
students were like that. They sort of went through with a chip on their shoulder.
Here it is very different. Duke also is very different. I spent a spring term at
Duke in 1984, and I loved it. It was just a wonderful place to be. The weather
was awful, the weather in Washington was worse. I guess my blood has so
thinned I cannot survive much farther north than Gainesville. I thought the
weather was going to be much warmer when I moved here; I thought it was going
to be like Miami. I have always been a tropical person. There is something
special about this law school in the sense that for the most part students are
reasonably content with themselves. I do not want them to be complacent, but it
certainly is nice to have students smile and say hello, and I think feel that you are
accessible. This building is a bit intimidating; the third floor is intimidating
because the perimeter is all faculty. There are some faculty--at times I feel that
way--who perhaps would like to have more protection from students. I had a
student come at the end of the first day of class and outline to me all the classes
he planned to miss this term and expected that I would give him excused
absences and would not hold him to the six usual absences. He is strictly a
politician. He was in law school for no reason. He was going to Tallahassee to
talk to some people. He is at the inauguration this week. Students like this
trouble me. He is not really interested in law school; he is really not interested in
learning the law and being a lawyer. He is interested in a political future, and he
would like to know what the minimum standards are to come through. I just
really dislike having to deal with students like that. At times I would like to have
a secretary who could insulate me from people like that.
But the student who wants to come in and explore a topic, who wants to do a
paper or be a research assistant, you cannot stay around this profession long if
you do not like that kind of communication. You ought not to stay around it, and
most of our people here do not have to stay here. They could easily move into
practice, government work, or any one of a number of things. So there has to
be some liking of the classroom. I still like the classroom. I think the time I do
not like it I will leave. But I still enjoy the exchange in the classroom.
S: So you also like the fact that our students are interested in going into diverse
areas of the law as well.
G: I really do. This is part of the answer to the question, Are we producing too
many lawyers? I am not sure we are producing too many law graduates, but a
lot of our people are not going to become practicing lawyers. In fact, it is a
harder decision now, I think, than it was when I graduated. One could go into a
firm, work forty or fifty hours a week, earn a good living, and have another life at
home. The most-frequent question that I am asked by our students is, How can
I go out and have a good practice and not work seventy hours a week and bill
3,000-plus hours a year? I see so many people, and I know some that have
graduated within the last year, that are working with some of the largest firms in
Atlanta or Florida, who have decided within ten or twelve weeks of being with that
firm that they want out. They want to stay for a couple of years because they
want the experience. They want no part of being a workaholic.
I do not know that there is any answer. I have talked to many of the people who
are retiring from firms, people my age and a little bit older who are retiring from
big firms around the country. I have said, "Do you work the hours that your
young people work?" and they say, "No. I would not work those hours." But
the competition for partnerships is intense. Many firms do not automatically
move people into a partner status after so many years. When I was practicing in
Hartford everybody who joined that firm was hired with the understanding that
after four or five years you will be a partner. It did not matter if we had fourteen
partners and four associates. But I am not sure whether that form is favored by
partners who want to have four partners and fourteen associates, rather than the
other way around. I do not know why there are not more partners in many of the
larger law firms. But what is happening is the people who are making the cut
are the workaholics, so the people who are moving into the young partner
positions, who are going to be ultimately the old partners, are working very, very
long hours, and they are saying, "I did it. You can do it." So the nature, I think,
of many large firms is changing in America to become essentially organizations
When you look at some of the studies that are done of the family life--divorce
rate, alcoholism rate, children going astray--that is to be expected. I sat with a
young practitioner and his wife in Dallas. He is the author of one of the chapters
in my Doing Business in Mexico books, and both he and his wife were products
of academic families, and I see the same thing in my children. They have had
the benefit of growing up in a family that was together a lot. One of the benefits
of this kind of life, even though I have worked a lot of hours, is having time to
spend with your family. I tend to write at night. I routinely, the first ten years of
teaching, used to write until about 1:00 in the morning, but I would do that after
having taken time off when the kids got out of school. I saw most of my
daughter's soccer matches, most of my son's tennis matches, so essentially I
grew up with my children, and they really like that. We are very close. When
my son was married my son said, "You are supposed to have your best friend for
your best man. Dad, will you be my best man?" Well, that was a wonderful
moment in life. And they worry about this because they are working long hours.
Our daughter is working long hours in the law, and my son is working long
hours. He leaves at 6:00 in the morning and gets home at 8:30 at night from his
construction company. They do not want to do that all their lives. So I think
there is a difficult problem for children from academic families to address, and
this young couple was just reflecting the same way that our children do.
So how do you work? Well, my son-in-law had an offer from a big firm in
Jacksonville and a small firm in Sarasota. There was a higher salary in
Jacksonville, considerably higher. He took the job in Sarasota because he and
my daughter want to spend time doing things together. She went with a very
small firm of two people, so she is the third in a small firm, the second woman in
a firm of three. They are working pretty long hours, but they are not going to bill
3,000 hours a year. The firms do not want them to. They expect them to have
some kind of personal life. So it may be that you have to go to a smaller firm or
go to work with one of these big firms and get wonderful experience in many
ways, although sometimes what you end up doing is working on the packing
specifications for a contract with the federal government for your big client, and
you do not get to do the real interesting part of that. That can be a problem for
young lawyers. Our daughter and son-in-law are both doing hearings, they are
both in court already, they have been out practicing for a year, so they are getting
far more responsibility on matter which to their clients mean very much the same
as a matter might mean to Florida Power and Light.
I think the answer is probably that you ought to work with a smaller size firm; and
you are not going to be dealing with the largest corporations in the state or in
America. That does not mean you are not going to be dealing with interesting
problems. Over the time that I have done consulting for Shell Oil or Exxon or
companies of that size, or the Indian government, the one thing that I have most
enjoyed was a consulting job with a couple that had a close corporation, an oil
service company in southwest Florida. At the end what I did meant far more to
straightening out a real mess than consulting for the Exxon company and getting
a major reversal of an IRS position that did not allow them to write off their losses
in Cuban expropriations. If they had not been able to write that off they would
have gone on and done pretty well. If we had not been successful for the
woman in southwest Florida oil country, she would not have survived financially.
So I think many students come to realize that working with smaller entities is very
fulfilling work. If you want to do corporate law you can do corporate law with
small corporations and still make a very good living and have a personally
satisfying life and do something else, pursue an avocation.
One thing that has always troubled me with doctors and with lawyers is we take
the brightest people in America and send them into these kinds of disciplines
which turn them into workaholics and some of the most narrow-minded people in
the world. Doctors are notoriously narrow in what they do outside. One of our
closest friends in town here is a doctor, and he and his wife are such wonderfully
diverse people. The medical stuff is turned off at the end of the day, and they
are involved in the arts and sports and all kinds of things. Not enough of us
have time to do that, and that can really be a problem. There is nothing worse
than to go to a cocktail party with doctors or lawyers--they rarely get together, but
to go to one with one or the other--and listen to cases being rehashed and
rehashed. You do that, I think, as a young person because you are excited
about your job, but I think after a period of time you get tired of it.
There is a wonderful exhibit at the Samuel P. Harn Museum [of Art, University of
Florida] now by one of our graduates of twenty or twenty-five years ago, Bill
Zewadski [class of 1969]. He has been a collector of early photographs of
classical architecture of the Parthenon and various classical figures. He has
collected some of these magnificent early photographs done in the middle 1800s,
and he has loaned them for an exhibit for the museum. He has a different
dimension in his law practice. He is a very successful lawyer, but he has
another dimension to him, and I think people who go into the law are the cream,
as are doctors are, of your undergraduate classes, yet we often do something to
them to inhibit them from developing their skills in other areas. We need to see
these other skills develop.
S: So you think even though it is tough to find the time and to balance that with a
career that it is important to strive toward that.
G: Sure. But we see people coming through here with a very narrow focus. They
want to go to the biggest firm they can, they want to make as much money as
they can, and I guess that is one side of them. Maybe they will be the ones who
will enrich the law school in years to come with their gifts. But that is not always
the case. Often it is the person who has done other things, such as real estate
development or so. For the most part, unless you are in personal injury, you do
not become very wealthy practicing law charging hourly rates, even if they are
high rates. I think it is probably some of our others who enrich us as much.
S: Well, you must be very efficient, then, as evidenced by the fact that you have
managed to take time out to have a life outside of your work.
G: You have to be. You have to really use your time well. I mean, I think I am
inherently lazy; I always have thought I was terribly lazy. I have to have a lot of
things coming up due or else I really do not seem to get things done. The kiss
of death for me, I suppose, is to finish a book, send the manuscript off, and then
not have some galleys coming back or another book contract that is already
there on my desk. I really need that. I have written five or six chapters since
October for a two-volume treatise that I am doing with a coauthor with whom I
have written a lot for West on international business transactions. That is due in
October, so I have another eight or ten chapters to write by October. By the first
of September I have to revise, with a different coauthor, my casebook on
comparative law, and then I have to do two more volumes for the Doing Business
in Mexico series, as soon as the NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement]
agreement is signed, and that consists of writing a few chapters but coordinating
about twenty-five chapters. I just need to be under the gun on those kinds of
things. I like that.
My wife is doing a book that is sort of open-ended on architecture. She is doing
a book for the University of Florida Presses on the architectural heritage of
Florida, and it will be finished when she is finished. I think that could become a
lifetime project if I had a publisher give me an option like that.
It is a matter of disciplining yourself, a matter of taking the time when you need to
take the time. I work in spurts. I seem to work when I sit down with my word
processor. I have a word processor at home here in Gainesville, and I have one
in our house at St. Augustine. With the children gone, my wife and I essentially
work a lot. We work Saturdays and we work Sundays, and we enjoy doing it.
She is really enjoying the book on architecture. She is an artist. She did the
Martin Luther King sculpture down in the plaza here and has done a number of
paintings. This is one of her paintings here. She just did one for President and
Cathryn Lombardi that is in their house. So she jumps from project to project.
She has restored three Victorian homes in Ocala and Fernandina, and she jumps
to a lot of these different things. Fortunately, she is not a lawyer. I would hate,
I think, to find her doing the same kinds of things that I am doing. Even though
she is writing, she is writing on something that is taking us all over Florida to
do--back to photography--to do photography of the churches. She is on a
church chapter right now, so we are doing a lot of traveling around the state to
S: And you are participating?
G: Yes. I am helping her with the photography a little. She has always been a
very good photographer herself, so she does not need much of my help. But we
talk a bit about it, about angles. She is doing all black-and-white photography.
She did fine arts degree's here, a bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts.
She had also done a bachelor of arts degree in Maryland. She was educated
principally in Europe. Her parents were in Europe in Portugal and Trieste [Italy].
She missed all of her junior high school and high school years. She came back
here [and went] directly into college. She always had an interest in art, so after
our children began school, she went to the art program here, which I think is a
very good art program, and studied a lot of different things. She has done
lithographs, she has done oils and acrylics and sculpture. Everything she does
she seems to do well. So we are sort of constantly working on things.
The pleasure we get in traveling is often associated with our work. I think
probably 90 percent of the trips we have made, or maybe more, have been
associated with some kind of project or my lecturing or teaching abroad. So we
have been fortunate being able to combine a lot of that. We rarely take a
pleasure trip. What we take as trips are very pleasurable, but they are often tied
into doing something that is related to work.
S: So it helps if you enjoy your work.
G: It really does. I cannot imaging working for thirty years in a job that you wanted
to walk away from every day. That is the problem with a lot of jobs in America.
A lot of jobs are not very interesting jobs. You are forced to be there from 8:00
to 5:00, you are forced to punch a time clock. It has to be. But I suppose many
people need that kind of discipline; they need the 8:00 to 5:00 discipline. They
are happy in manufacturing something, in a repetitive process, and that is all well
and good for them. But I just do not like that kind of work.
We have been fortunate. We have been here twenty-five years. We probably
have been away six or seven of those years in total in times of two months, three
months, six months, a year, and that has really been quite wonderful. We have
had extraordinary experiences abroad that have been fine for all us, all members
of the family.
S: Okay. When did you meet your wife?
G: I met her after OCS [Officer Candidate School]. Two of my roommates in OCS,
whom you are assigned by the careful selection process of "the next four people
in line" when you arrive at OCS "go to room so-and-so." So it happened that a
fraternity brother of mine and I took the train together from Connecticut to
Newport, and we got in line behind two recent graduates from the University of
Maryland, Skip Burroughs and Art Hyben, and we became roommates.
Unfortunately, my fraternity brother flunked out of OCS, but the three of us
survived and were all commissioned as ensigns. I was to go to bacteriological
and chemical warfare school--kind of a frightening thought--in Philadelphia. Art
was going to supply school in Athens, Georgia. Skip was going to naval air
training in Pensacola. We decided that we would all get together in Washington
for a long weekend of fun before we went on. I had not spent much time in
Art got a date for me for one night--the young woman I do not remember at
all--and a date the second with a young woman who has been my wife for
thirty-some years [Elsbeth Kunzig]. I met her on a Saturday night. I had to go
off to Philadelphia Sunday. I made a date with her the following weekend and
proposed, and it was a bit of a shock to her. That was in November, and I was
to see her for the Army-Navy game; we had a date for that in Philadelphia. So I
had a single red rose delivered to her sorority every night until she accepted.
That went on for two or three weeks or so, but I think she wanted all the roses.
[laughter] We became engaged at Thanksgiving time and were married in the
following March on the Ides of March, which we arranged because of my ship's
schedule. We were off to Cuba in January and February and early March, and
then, in April, I was going to be off on this destroyer testing one thing or other.
We had one little window of about three weeks or so.
I showed up as a brand new ensign in Columbus, Georgia, where her family was
living. Her father was a very senior colonel about to retire and was president of
the U.S. Army Infantry Board. We had a big military wedding. There were lots
of people from all over the world in their dress admiral's and general's uniforms,
and three bright new ensigns, myself and two friends, Art Hyben, who had
introduced me to Buff and was now at school in Athens, Georgia, which is close
to Columbus, and one other ensign who was also in Athens who had been in my
company in Newport at OCS. We were married in 1958 on the Ides of March.
S: Isn't that something. What was she doing at the time?
G: She had one more term when I met her in the fall. She was at the University of
Maryland doing her final term. She was majoring in American civilization. She
had lived out of the country for so long that when she went to college she thought
it would be a good idea to learn something about America. So she took a
program that Maryland offered in American civilization. She went to Maryland
because her family was transferred from Europe back to Fort Meade, so she was
very close. It was the closest place for her to go to school. She, too, had
thoughts of transferring. She thought of transferring to the University of Georgia
art program, and indeed did transfer, but she was very disappointed in it and
went back to Maryland. Georgia was close to her at Columbus. She had an
interest in art at a rather early stage, which she then really suppressed until we
had been married and had children. Then she went back to art school. Now
she is using it with a flourish.
S: Proof that you do not have to have a long period of getting to know each other in
order to have a successful marriage.
G: No, you do not. I do not know what makes people click, but they just sometimes
just sort of know. I think the same was true of my son and his wife. He is a
very handsome young man, and he did a lot of dating through college. I guess
he was in his last year of architecture and met Patty at a party, and he just came
home and said, "I just know that is the person for me," and it turned out that he
was the one for her. They have been married six or seven years.
S: Okay. Let me go back to some of what we have already covered. You stayed
in Hartford throughout high school and there for college, too. The University of
Connecticut is in Hartford?
G: The University of Connecticut [main campus] is in Storrs; the undergraduate
school is in Storrs, which is a very attractive country location about twenty-five
miles to the east of Hartford. So I went through four years of school in a very
rural setting, which I liked very much. It was a very attractive place to go to
school. The law school, when I went there, was in Hartford. It later moved to
West Hartford and has now moved back into Hartford in the old St. Thomas
Seminary building, beautiful old gothic building.
I think, again, the provincial upbringing was very influential in my life. When I
thought of going to undergraduate school I thought of going to Yale, I thought of
going to Connecticut to play soccer, of going to Trinity--I was offered a football
scholarship at Trinity and a football scholarship at Tufts. I really did not do an
awful lot of interviewing elsewhere. I was kind of intrigued. I did not know that I
would play soccer (not football, which I did not like) in school. I thought you
were to go and study. I thought of going to Yale and did not get financial aid. I
knew it was going to be pretty much of a stress. Dad's company really did well
after I was in college, but it was struggling, I think, during the time that I was in
high school. So as I said, I decided to go to Connecticut because of the soccer.
I did not know whether I would go out and play when I got to campus. But when
fall started and the soccer team started to practice I started playing again. I
enjoyed it. I never thought of anywhere outside of New England for school. I
never thought of anywhere outside of New England really for law school until we
were in law school for the first year, and started thinking about Florida and about
that transfer. I think that is true of an awful lot of people. Very, very few of my
classmates from high school went outside of New England to school. Most of
them went to Ivy league schools, such as Yale, Dartmouth, Harvard, Brown,
none to Pennsylvania, maybe one to Cornell, none to Princeton (Princeton was
looked upon as so far away), none to Columbia. Then many went to the smaller
schools, to Amherst, Williams, Wesleyan, Trinity, Tufts. There are so many very
fine small schools in New England. Bowdoin, Middlebury. So we just all stayed
I did have one friend, a girl I had dated some in high school, who went to a small
school in Illinois where her family originally had been from. The name escapes
me. It was one of the kind of Swarthmore or Hamline or a good small school like
a Tufts or Wesleyan. But no one was thinking of Stanford or Cal. or Chicago. I
think you are a product or your placement office--placement never told you about
schools like that. Maybe it is different now, but it certainly was not then. So I
went all the way of twenty-five miles away to college.
After that I went into the Navy and went maybe about fifty miles farther, to
Newport. Then my assignment was a destroyer in Newport, and I stayed in New
England and went to law school in Connecticut. So I kept doing different things
[in the same general area]. I did get a chance while I was in the navy to make
one foreign trip, and that was to Cuba. I had been in Cuba during college.
Another of my activities was scuba diving, and my roommate and I in my first
year of undergraduate school in Connecticut made an aqualung. They were
very expensive at the time. They were just beginning to come out. We went
and met and listened to Jacques Cousteau [French oceanographer, 1910-] when
no one knew much about this funny little Frenchman, who was a delightful
person. The aqualung company was just coming out with aqualungs that were
$200 or $300, far beyond what we could afford.
We went to a hospital supply company and bought an oxygen bottle, and we
went and bought some corrugated tubes and a mouthpiece, and we made the
aqualung. We went to an army air force supply and bought an oxygen demand
regulator that was used by pilots at high altitudes. They were sealed, and
consequently they were waterproof, so we used that. We made that in the Fall.
We wanted to go to Florida. We heard of a man who had been out ice fishing at
Christmastime. His car had been hot. He drove it on the ice, melted the ice,
and the car went down in 100 feet of water. So we went up to his car, and for
$100, which was a good deal of money in 1954, we went down. The car was in
fifty feet of water, I guess it was, and we put a chain around the car using that
aqua lung. It was very cold water. My friend went down--it was his lung.
We used the $100, as soon as spring break we let out for Key Largo, Florida.
We dove on Molasses Reef for a week. That is now much damaged. It was
pristine in 1954. We spent every day out there for a week, and there was never
one other person out there diving. Now you see thirty to forty people out there
diving almost every day. So that was of considerable interest; that was another
of our interests.
Two years after that, instead of going to Florida, we went to Key West and took
the flight over to Havana. That was in the spring of 1957, the year I was to
graduate. The same person went with me, plus one other fraternity brother who
went on to become a pilot. He was killed in a tragic air crash in his jet plane.
The three of us went to Havana. We did some diving off of Cuba. I went off on
my own a lot while I was there because I was very curious. This was a new
culture to me. It was a different language. I had studied a little bit of Spanish.
When I went off on my own a lot I went to a speech by [Fulgencio] Batista [Cuban
political leader, dictator who came to power in 1952, overthrown by Fidel Castro,
1959; 1901-1973]. We were searched frequently. It was essentially a police
state. We were only two years away, at that point, from the takeover by Castro.
Castro was in the mountains, and it was all very exciting. I thought that was
really very interesting. I think being in Cuba was certainly what excited me to be
interested in Latin American cultures, and I began to read more about Cuba
during my next few years.
The following year, as fate would have it, I had graduated from college, gone to
OCS, was on a destroyer, and we were back in Cuba, this time the other end of
the island. I got an opportunity to get off the base--we were some of the last
people let off the base--and I stayed off the base. I extended my leave a little
bit. I got one of my chiefs on the ship to cover for me, and I lit out to Oriente
Province mountains in the southern part of Cuba, and I met a number of Cuban
rebels, Castro rebels. I was near where Castro was. No one knew exactly
where he was, but I did meet a number of the fatigue-clad people in those
mountains. That, of course, fascinated me even more. Castro was portrayed
by our literature and the newspapers as a Robin Hood. I had seen Batista and
had heard him speak a year before, surrounded by this enormous number of
security people. He was very unpopular as a leader of Cuba.
I came back from the military experience of being in Cuba really interested, so
the first book I wrote was on Cuba. Then what happened, of course, is the
following year Castro takes over, all the property is expropriated, so in the early
1960s when I am in law school there is much going on in Cuba of taking of
foreign property. I continued to follow this, and when I got out of law school I
went back to school at night and did a master's degree in economics at Trinity
College in Hartford. I did that part time over two years, and I wrote as my thesis
a book on the economic impact of the takeovers. When I got down here I
finished it and essentially added the analysis of the expropriation part of it. That
was the first book I published, [which] I think [was] in 1976 [The Cuban
Nationalizations: The Demise of Foreign Private Property].
S: So your Spanish was fluent enough that you could communicate?
G: No, it was not fluent. It was adequate enough to communicate. I went off and
struggled with it. Young people were pretty patient with me, but I went into
areas of Cuba where there was no English spoken at all. I got along reasonably
well. I have always felt badly. We are so monolingual in this country that I
never had any way of foreseeing that I might want to have another language. I
wish that I had done this. My brother for some reason got into college, took
some languages, went into the military and chose to go to language school to
learn Russian. While he was in Europe he learned German and some French.
He has a great facility with languages. Now he runs a train store. So I have
always thought I would like to have a partial brain transplant from him. But he
uses his language skills. He goes back and forth to East Europe, and he still
goes back and forth to Europe as a lay minister with a church that has some
strong relationships with German and French parishes, so he still does get to use
it a little bit.
S: Well, have you since had language training?
G: Only a continued struggle with improving Spanish while I have been in Mexico or
Guatemala. If I am ever there for three weeks and can do one-on-one training,
then I do it. But the problem is you do it and then you lose it. I spent time in
1987 going around doing radio interviews in Spanish and some television
interviews in Spanish. I never liked to do lectures in it when I would have
questioning from a lot of people, because I still have not got to where I am really
thinking in the language. So I was always doing a lot of translating. I always
felt I was slow and people were waiting. Two people would ask a question at the
same time, and I would not understand either of them. In English sometimes
you understand both or you can filter out one. So it is hard learning languages
when you are older.
But I still cannot bring myself to say that Americans needs the kind of language
training that the Dutch need or that the French need or the English need in order
to do well in later life. I guess I would sort of opt for language training not
because there is going to be an absolute need for the language but that, for one,
Latin to me still is fundamental to our Western languages, to speaking properly in
English, and I think it probably would be a good idea to have some more
mandatory language training for young people. It is good discipline; language is
a good discipline for learning. We do not do that very well.
S: [I would like to ask you about] one thing I am interested in. You have brought up
discipline a couple of times. Do you feel like you were disciplined as a youth, or
were you pretty much allowed to pursue whatever you were interested in?
G: No, I was allowed to pursue things pretty freely. When I went to Cuba I was
planning on going to skiing in Vermont. My family thought that was a fine way to
go and spend a week's break. I had been in Florida two years before, and when
I came in and said, "I have changed my mind. We are not going skiing because
the third fellow does not ski. He wants to go to Florida, and we said, 'Gee, why
not go to Cuba,"' my parents first said, "Cuba! Oh, my God. What is he doing
this time? Are you sure you want to go to Cuba? You have all this planned to
go skiing." But in another four or five minutes, fine.
We went to Cuba partly because I had had a contact to go and visit [Ernest]
Hemingway [American author, 1899-1961]. Hemingway was living in Cuba at
the time. A man who had worked with my dad had been a friend and a fishing
buddy of Hemingway's in our West, but he was someone who liked to work. He
was a salesman, and he got along with my dad very well. They were both born
salesmen, so he wanted to work. He hardly needed to. His wife's family had
built all the subways in New York, but he did work, and he gave us this entree to
Hemingway. So we went to Hemingway's home and met Mary Hemingway.
Ernest was not there, but we got into the home long before it became a museum.
That was an exciting thing about Havana. This was the Havana of Hemingway.
This was the Havana of the American mafia. We went to the Tropicana one
night to see all the gambling and this enormously glamorous show [with] all the
show girls up on these long ramps that would go up around the palm trees. It
was just a startling thing. Then the other side of Havana had terribly poor
sections as well. The city was beautiful. The Spanish architecture I thought
was extremely attractive. It was a very exciting place to go. That really was
what set the interest in Latin American.
When I left law school and went into practice, I practiced a couple of years. I
thought of teaching. A couple of mentors at the law school said, "Do practice."
I had liked law school so much, and I liked some of the faculty so much I thought,
this is a nice way to spend your life. I had not given very much thought to
writing, although I liked the writing I did as a Law Review student. I was
fortunate in getting, I think, three or four articles published as a Law Review
student during my Law Review time. I guess it was four. I really enjoyed the
idea of producing something that got published.
I practiced for a year and a half with a small firm in Hartford of about twenty-five
people. It was a very interesting and enjoyable practice. Then I knew I wanted
to teach, but I also wanted to do corporate work, so I worked with a corporation
for about a year and a half. Then I had been given a Sterling Fellowship to go to
Yale to do an LL.M. [a master of laws], and my old law school called me. The
person who had been my principal mentor was becoming acting dean to replace
a dean who was retiring who had been dean while I was a student, and he said,
"I would like to have you come and be my assistant dean"--they had only one
assistant--"and assistant professor." I said, "Well, I have this fellowship to go to
Yale. That would be the way in which I would go into teaching." But I said, "Let
me talk to the people at Yale. It would seem to me to be a good idea to do
something like this at Connecticut for two years. Assuming I do not terribly
embarrass the people at Yale and [they would] say, 'There would be no way of
your getting it again,' I would come on condition that I come for two years." So I
did go for two years as assistant dean and assistant professor. I got to teach
comparative law--I was interested in foreign law. I also taught corporations and
business organizations. At the end of the two years I knew I would move.
S: I find it interesting that you seemed to discipline yourself.
G: Yes. I suspect that other people think that I am very disciplined. I think my wife
thinks that I am. I think she is enormously well disciplined. I do not know what
it is, whether it is a New England Protestant work ethic or so, but it is something
that is sort of an albatross that I have often thought that I carry, and that is that if
I sit down and am not doing something that is in some way productive, whether it
is making something, I am wasting time. Our house is constantly under
construction; we are constantly adding a wing or changing something, so I
always have long lists of things to do. I live by lists. I just feel that if I sit down
and I am doing nothing, somehow that is not what I am supposed to be doing. I
have to go either to my word processor and get onto a writing project, or I have to
go and get the list of things that have to be done at home or something like that.
I suppose that keeps you from doing a lot of leisure activities, and that is why I
have continued to play tennis. I just have given it up in the last two or three
months, and part of the reason ... I can see this, and Buff saw this, because we
met one of my tennis colleagues, and he said, "Mike would not have to give up
his tennis if he would just play his age, but as long as he insists on running
around like a maniac the way he did in college, he is obviously going to tear his
knees up." I just find it difficult to do something without doing it intensively.
Consequently, I can play tennis only one way, and that is to go all out and try to
play hard. I do not care whether I win or not. It is fun to win, but that has never
really been all that important to me. I had as much fun playing on losing teams
as I did on winning teams. I like playing. It is the playing that is the fun.
But I have often thought, I wish there were some way to go home and relax at
times and smell the flowers. Well, I do that because I raise orchids. I have
raised them for twenty years. But again, at sort of an intensity level. We
started by bringing a dozen orchids back in about 1974 from Mexico. By 1980
we had 10,000 orchids at our house [in] three greenhouses. I built all the
greenhouses for them. We bought an orchid company in Apopka and shipped
all the orchids up here. We had four or five loads with a trailer, and we started
selling orchids, through all the florists around here, when they came in bloom.
So it is this sort of thing that once we get interested in something, and my wife is
a bit the same way, and we just carry it to extraordinarily silly dimensions. We
are now back to one greenhouse, and we have sold all but 1,000 of the best
orchids. I am now going through that 1,000 orchids to pick out clearly the best,
say, 250 or so that I can really work on carefully and get them all to bloom. My
goal is to make sure that they all bloom every year. So maybe we are getting
more sensible as time goes on, but we are not in the overkill mode.
We have six acres out to the west of here, and much of it is planted. We are
backtracking. We have dug up a lot of azaleas; we had hundreds of azalea
plants around. We have bamboos, exotic trees, and all this stuff we have
planted, and now we are trying to scale back. We are not thinking of
zeroscaping, which is doing everything in native plants and rainwater, but we are
trying to cut back and do things that require much less maintenance.
We built a house last year on a barrier island near Marineland, and we are over
there a lot. We have not missed a weekend since last July other then when I
have been off lecturing, and that has become a marvelous place to unwind.
That is our relaxation, but what it really is, is a nice place to go and do the same
kind of work, but with the ocean in front of you and the marsh in back and a lot of
birdlife. We do have friends coming over; we try to arrange so we do have
people coming over, and that keeps us away from our word processors. And I
have a little boat, and I keep saying I am going to do some more fishing. I do
not get to do much, but it is there when I can, and I do a little bit, probably only
once or twice in the last six months. But just going over there and being over
there is fun, and that is our form of relaxation. I guess I am overly disciplined
and take on too may things.
S: I think that is interesting. Maybe that shows that parents should not crack down
on their kids so much to where you destroy their doing it on their own.
G: Yes, you really cannot. There was only one place, I think, that my parents ever
put pressure on me, and it was a kindly pressure, it was not a "I will pay for your
college only if you go to engineering." It was showing me the opportunities for
electrical engineers, showing me how during the 1950s there was such a
shortage in postwar product development. Dad did not have an engineering
degree, and he thought it would be wonderful for me to have that and how well I
would do with it. He saw that I really liked making electronic products. When I
started having to think about the theory of electrons, that just did not interest me
at all. I liked the hands-on part. I really did not like the theoretical part of it very
much. So it was never a kind of conditional thing. But that really is probably
the only time that I had any pressure and felt any pressure, and I reacted against
it very strongly. I worked very hard at flunking out of school. I had lots of fun
S: And all of your projects are do-it-yourselfers? Like you said, when you are
adding on a wing or are making these major changes, are you in there doing it
too, or do you hire out contractors?
G: We both are. We added an outside wall about three years ago. Our house is
Spanish, and we are putting some additional elements onto it now. It has long
six-foot high white walls out in the front, and they run about 250 feet and go down
a slope. I dug the trench, built the forms for the concrete, and then we would
call the concrete truck. My wife and I would be out there overseeing the pouring
of the concrete. We did all the smoothing of the concrete and put all the iron in
it. Then we called a block person to come in and lay thousands of blocks, so
they did the block work. We wanted to top of the wall to be half round, which
you find in Latin American, but we do not have half-round blocks. So we mixed
our concrete and poured our concrete and molded the whole length of the wall by
hand. Then we called people to come in and do the final stuccoing. I have
done all the electrical work on things like the wiring of all the lights out in the
front. I have done all the irrigation all over the property. We do a lot.
I did a front addition to the house which has as its main beams--it is an addition
that is about 10x14 or so, 15x14, 15x20, something like that--some 6x12 cedar
beams about twenty-five feet long. I did cut those beams, I put up the back shelf
piece and bolted it into the wall. I cut those beams in our garage about 300 feet
away from the house and then built a harness, and I was the puller of the
harness. I attached logs, and I pulled those pieces, which were a couple of
hundred pounds. I then built levers and tripods to place them up against the
wall. I did those exclusively on my own.
Then I did the block work on that. That was probably about 1,000 blocks or so.
I worked as a mason's helper one summer in college when I was trying to get
ready to play soccer. I wanted to work on some hard, hard labor. I learned
how to be a brick mason and learned how to be a block mason, so I was very
comfortable doing that. I laid all those blocks and put all the iron in it. I then
had someone do the final stucco. I did the shingling; we have done the
shingling. I did all the roofwork, all the cedar on the roof. We did most of that.
So we feel pretty comfortable in being able to do that kind of work.
I do not have time to do it all, but if I see something done out there I want to know
that I can do it. If it is something being done that mystifies me I want to work on
it and learn to do it. I have done plumbing--toilets and sinks and all that kind of
stuff. I do not like to touch 220-volt electricity because there had been
occasions when I have done my own electrical work and have paid the price with
a nice shock from it, and 110 volts is enough for me. But I do all the greenhouse
wiring and all of that. I did all the greenhouse construction. The one
greenhouse we have now, the newest one, is 40 x 16 or so, and it is about nine
to ten feet high. I just did that last year. I am getting in my late fifties, and I find
I tire a little bit more, and some of these things are a little heavier than you ought
to do. Your back feels it, carrying a 200-pound cedar beam. But I really like
that sort of hands-on activity.
At the beach place I did not do a thing. We had that all done when we were
gone. We were in London last year when most of it was built, and we are really
looking upon that as minimum maintenance. There is no landscaping that is not
native landscaping put in just to restore the dune process, so that is truly thought
to be a place where we go where there is no outside work to be done.
Obviously, there is some inside work. Saltwater and salt air are terribly hard on
metal, so we have the painting of boltheads and things of that nature to do.
S: So that is off Marineland?
G: It is just north of Marineland. Marineland is the northern-most part of Flagler
County, and we are in St. Johns County. We are on what used to be old A1A,
but it was breached north of where we are. We are in an area called Summer
Haven. There is a breach to it, so the state built A1A to curve inland; we can
see where it curves inland several hundred feet behind our house. That left the
old A1A as simply a road that no longer has north-south access; it has access
only to probably about fifteen houses. We are all up on stilts; we are all at great
risk to the sea, ultimately taking the beach and causing difficulty, so it is exciting
to be over there in a storm. You really feel as though you are in it.
Behind us is a marsh area filled with roseate spoonbills and a variety of egrets,
herons, osprey, just absolutely extraordinary birdlife. And right behind that is the
Intracoastal Waterway. We see this constant parade of boats, particularly
heading south in the fall and back north in the spring.
S: And that is on an island, on a barrier island?
G: Yes, it is on what is called a barrier island. You actually have access to it from
the mainland. Actually, a lot of those barrier island are very, very long.
Marineland is partially on a barrier island. But where we are, from the
high-water mark in the front to the marsh in the back is probably only about 200
feet, so it is quite narrow. Some of the houses are at a location where it is about
100 feet, others where it is about 300 to 350 feet, so you feel you are a bit
precarious. When you get very high tides and a very substantial northeaster,
the whole marsh area in the back fills, so you have all water in the back and all
storm water in the front, and you are on this long, narrow strip of land. So it is
quite exciting. It is just beautiful. The winters are beautiful.
S: So you do not relax, but you have a lot of diversions.
G: I think that is the best description. That is the nice thing about the job. This
combines spending so many hours in a classroom, so many hours getting ready
for the classroom, so many hours doing consulting, so many hours doing writing,
so many hours going to various conferences and giving papers, and that amount
of diversity is really wonderful. There is no sense that it is going to be 8:00 to
5:00 month after month after month, and I like that. I guess our personal life is
as diverse as that, with the different things that we do.
S: I am sorry you have given up tennis. I took it up about three years ago, and I
G: It is wonderful. I played for years and years with Mandy Glicksberg, who is a
very fine tennis player on the law faculty, and he also has had knee difficulties
and some back difficulties, and he has also reached a point where it has taken its
toll over the years. You begin to get some arthritis or a combination of arthritis
and ligament damage and like things from the soccer. It is choice of continuing
to play and maybe having to have knee transplants.
One thing that Buff and I like to do is walk. We have been going to London in
successive years, and we have been doing some of the walking tours. We are
doing bit-by-bit a fifty-two-mile walk around the Isle of Wight. We love the Isle of
Wight. It is a major sailing center, so it combines our sailing interest with our
just getting out into the English countryside. So we go down and do maybe a
six- or seven-mile stretch of that walk whenever we are in England. We did two
of them this past time, and we had done one the previous November. We have
walked about half the island, and we will finish it off in the years to come. I do
not want to jeopardize being able to take those wonderful walks for the sake of
getting another six months or two years of competitive tennis. It is not worth it.
S: Okay. You still continue to sail? Did you say you have a boat?
G: We have not done a lot. You see disappointments and things that you wish you
could have done more of over the time. When we lived in New England we
sailed quite a bit from the time we finished building the boat. We had it for the
summer of 1967 and the summer of 1968, and we moved at the end of the
summer of 1968. We kept the boat in Stonington, Connecticut, and you always
think in New England that you will get your boat in the water about the first of
May. It can be very cold in the month of May; there can be ice. And you take
the boat out around Labor Day. So you get the month of May as so-so, June is
good, July is great, August is great, and sometimes people will leave the boat in
through September. We used to bring it back to haul around the beginning of
October. You plan for that because you knew you are not going to be able to do
it in the winter. You made sure you use it in the summer, and you usually took a
couple of weeks or whatever your vacation time was to go off and sail. So we
did a lot of sailing. To combine them when I was doing the lectures I was going
off on other people's boats, and I was doing ocean racing with friends. Our
daughter was born while I was out on a major ocean race off the coast of New
England. The skipper of the boat was my wife's gynecologist, so we were both
gone. She was delivered by an intern, I guess, in Hartford Hospital.
When we moved here we had the wonderful summer of coming down on the
boat. We put the boat in St. Augustine for a while, Daytona for about a year,
and then in Melbourne. We had taken the boat down to see a space launch,
and we left it in Melbourne. In the two or two and a half years that we had the
boat while we were here we were on it for about six weekends. It was wood,
and it was beginning to deteriorate. From the time I arrived here I started going
to Latin America. At just about every break I had I was doing some kind of
lecturing or work in Latin America. So I did not have the time. We started
developing these summer law programs in Mexico. I spent one summer
teaching in Costa Rica, and we just did not have time on the boat. So we sold
About ten or fifteen years ago we wanted to get back into sailing. We have done
some chartering occasionally off the southwest coast of Florida and down in the
Virgin Islands for a week at a time, and that was enjoyable. We always had that
feeling--again, that albatross--if you are going to do, do it right. Get a boat.
Own the boat. Sail the boat a lot. So we went in and co-owned a thirty-foot
sailboat with Terry McCoy, who is the director of the Latin American [Studies]
Center and has been a long twenty-five-year friend, and that worked out very well
for the year, year and a half that we did that.
We found we were using the boat less and less. I was doing a lot of
traveling--this was in the early 1980s--and at that time I shifted from Latin
America to Europe, and I was in Europe every summer. We sold our interest in
the boat to Terry, and he went out and bought a larger boat, which he still has
and continues to use.
We have just begun to think of doing some sailing again, and part of that, I think,
is that our granddaughter is one, and we have thought that we brought our
children down the waterway when they were three and five, and we thought that
was a wonderful trip for them, a good experience, and we would like to take our
grandchildren back up the waterway maybe when they are three or five. So we
are thinking down the line four or five years of taking off a summer and taking a
boat back up the waterway with the grandchildren and then leaving the boat up
there, going back up to sail it for a month or so in successive summers, and see
where it goes from that point. I would be at the point of being able to retire. I
used to say, "I am going to teach my grandchildren. I taught my daughter, and I
am going to stay around till I teach my grandchildren if health permits."
I do not think I am going to do that. I do not think I will stay that long. I like
what I am doing. I am doing enough writing and consulting that I could move out
of the teaching if I really, really wanted to in another few years. And if the
financial situation of the law school is poor I would do it; there is no question
about it. I will go do something else. I will not go into retirement. I will just
simply do something different.
But I think we will come back. We have done a pretty decent job the last couple
of years of holding things. One has to hope that things are going to get better,
and if they do in the next four or five years then that will be fine. I will stay
around. If they do not get better here they probably are not going to get better in
many other places. It will be a continued problem everywhere.
But I think that much of the restructuring of America is going on, and I think we
are finding our place in the world a little bit better. It is not necessarily the kind
of place it used to be when we used to be a large country that exported all over
the world. We do not have that. And the days of fairly high salaries for
production workers are not going to come back unless we want to be so
protectionist that those high salaries would be at the expense of our consumers
paying twice what they are paying right now. I think things will get better.
People keep talking about returning to the 1950s or the 1960s and the U.S. as
the sole world economic power. That is just not in the cards anymore. We
were helping Germany get back, we were helping Europe get back. We have
done that. They are back and doing very well. We are one of many strong but
relatively coequal countries now, and I think we have to realize that. We are
much more service oriented. There is still going to be some transition, but I
think we will be pretty good.
To me, being in Florida has been a good place to be. So much has happened in
the South in the last twenty years. I think I am much happier that I spent my
time here than I think I would have been had I stayed in Connecticut. The
University of Connecticut has done well. It always lives in the shadow of the Ivy
League schools. We are essentially the preeminent school here. There is not a
major private school that overshadows us, so it has been a nice place to be. I
think I have been in the number-one school, certainly in Florida and one of the
principal schools in the southeast. I think I am at one of the best law schools in
the country. There are a lot of good law schools. I do not like to rank schools,
but if you have to pick thirty or forty law schools in the country that are really fine
schools we are in that group. So I think we will stay.
But I would like to sail, that is the one thing I keep thinking. A year goes by, and
we go chartering. We say, "We will do this every year. That will be the
minimum," and it has been three years since we chartered the last time. We are
not doing it. We are doing other things.
S: Your focus in teaching, then, was corporations. Was that it?
G: It started off as corporations in Connecticut. I guess I taught two sections of
corporations, and I think as many did coming in I taught a little lighter load at first
because I was assistant dean as well, so I had a half teaching load. I guess I
taught a section of corporations and a section of business organizations, and the
following year I did the same thing. Then I asked to teach comparative law as
an overload. It had never been offered at the school. I was interested in
foreign law, so I did that.
S: And that interest in foreign law was from your trips to Cuba?
G: That was the Cuban experience. I had been reading a bit; in my master's
program I had been reading about Cuban law and the Cuban legal structure. I
did not know very much about that. I never learned anything about foreign law
in law school. Law school was very provincial in the sense that you learned the
common law, and that was it. We learned a lot about English law in law school,
but not about European law.
So when I came here I came essentially to teach corporations, and I did. I
taught corporations, business organizations, antitrust, and securities regulation.
When I came we did not have anybody here teaching antitrust and securities
regulation. They were beginning to become important courses. I also was
asked by Roy Hunt [acting dean, 1970] to coteach in a seminar he was teaching
called Law and Development of Latin America, a sort of legal investment in Latin
America, and with Bill Macdonald, who was teaching another course called Legal
Systems of Latin America.
S: So you still had some interest.
G: Yes, we had those two courses here. It is strange what has happened. We
had those two special courses, and we offered those for about three years. I
was enormously fortunate, again, coming into this kind of faculty, to find people
of the quality of Roy Hunt and Bill Macdonald who would say, "Come and help
me teach in this area." Roy Hunt had written to me in Connecticut without
knowing me and said, "I know you have written something that was just
published"--I had done this while I was teaching in Connecticut--"on joint
ventures in Central American Common Market." I was curious about that, and I
published that in the Vanderbilt Law Review. He had read it, and he was
planning, along with the Florida Bar, a symposium in Costa Rica, and one of the
subjects was joint ventures in the Central American Common Market. He asked
if I would go down there in March of my first year here. I came in 1968, so that
would have been March of 1969. So I did.
Again, one thing I think you always have to do if you are interested in something
enough is to try to make your own way a bit. Some people will sit and wait for
things to come to them. I was brand new in this area, so I wrote to the dean of
the National University of Costa Rica. Our groups of lawyers from Florida was
to go to Guatemala, Salvador after Costa Rica, and then come on home. So I
said, "I can stop in Nicaragua." I wrote to the dean at Nicaragua and the dean at
Guatemala and said, "I am coming down. I am going to be doing this lecture on
the Central American Common Market. I am particularly interested in comparing
those kinds of joint-venture laws with joint-venture laws elsewhere." In each
case the dean wrote back and said, "Wonderful. We would be delighted to have
you come. Of course, you are coming free. We are not paying for your round
trip. We are not going to give you anything other than a lunch or so." So I
lectured at the National Universitie of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and when I got
back home I had a letter from the dean at Costa Rica saying, "If you can find any
funding, maybe through your Latin American center, we would like to have you
come back as a visiting professor." I found the funding through the Latin
American center and went back the following year, their summer term of 1970.
And drove. We drove to Costa Rica. It took us eleven days with the children.
That was the first of nine drives to Mexico or Central America over the next
probably twelve years.
I had asked our faculty if we could develop a summer law program, probably in
Mexico. Since I was driving through Mexico, I could stop and make inquiry.
The faculty gave me authority to develop this program. This was under Frank
Maloney [dean, UF College of Law]. So I did. I made arrangements to stop.
We had to think of what school. The National University of Mexico, the oldest
one, was in political chaos at that time, so that left that out. The next most
famous school and maybe the best law school--I think it is; we have worked with
them for so long--is called the Free School of Law, Escuela Libre de Derecho. I
was put in contact by their dean with a young professor about my age named
Alejandro Ogarrio, who had been educated in Mexico and had an LL.M. from
Harvard. He is now one of my closest friends. He has taught here twice. We
formed for the following year the first Mexican Summer Law Program.
In 1971 Roy Hunt, Julian Juergensmeyer (who was a guest [professor at the law
school] from Tulane), and I went to Mexico and had two Mexican professors,
Alejandro and Louis Creel, and we had about five courses and about thirty
students, probably twenty of them from Florida. One of those students was Bill
Hill, who is now the chairman-elect of the International Law Section of the Florida
Bar. Bill lives in Ponte Vedra and works out of Ponte Vedra. So a number of
people that have gone through those programs have gone into international law.
We repeated the program in 1972. I flew to Europe for my first time in Europe to
give a week's series of lectures on expropriation while I was in Mexico. I gave
lectures in Amsterdam Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
morning, got on a plane, flew to Miami, lectured all day Saturday and Sunday at
a bar program at a hotel in Miami Beach, flew to Mexico City Sunday night, and
was back in the classroom at 8:00 in the morning Monday. I used to keep up
this kind of a pace. I do not quite do that anymore.
We ran the program in 1973. Julian Juergensmeyer came on our faculty [in
Julian started the second international program using Andre Burzynski in
Warsaw and Philip Allot and Tony Weir at Cambridge, in England. Julian went
and directed that program. I think we did both of the programs in 1973 and
again in 1974. Around 1974 we thought, it really makes sense to divide them,
so beginning in 1975 we did just the Mexican program, and then the European
program in 1976. In 1977 we did the Mexican one again.
After the Mexican program in 1977 I was on sabbatical, so I stayed in Mexico for
a little bit at the end of the summer. Then I went to Guatemala, and we lived in
Guatemala for the fall. I had an association with Rafael Landivar University.
While I was there I thought it would be interesting if we could make our program
a program between Mexico and Guatemala. We did not do it in 1978, but in
1979 we did four weeks in Mexico City and three weeks in Guatemala. That
allowed students to compare development in Latin American. Development was
going quite well in Mexico, but poorly where time was really standing still, in
Guatemala. We did the Polish program in 1978, and in 1979 we started the
Mexican-Guatemalan program. In 1980 we did the program back in Warsaw,
and in 1981, because Nicaragua was in such chaos that was affecting
Guatemala--there were several Americans who had been killed--we did only the
Mexican part in 1981.
That was the year that [Frank] Tom Read came here as dean, and he came with
some rather strong views as to what he wanted to do with the law school, I think,
and he wanted to implement a number of these views. He did not provide the
support for those summer programs. As a result, I withdrew from directing that
program at the end of the summer of 1981. I just told him that without the kind
of support that we had had. .. We were not going to get the financial support. It
was a constant problem with dealing with a university that wanted to charge our
students student activities fees even though they never came to campus. We
constantly had to get out-of-state tuition waivers, and there was a question as to
whether he would back those waivers. Well, he did not, so we cancelled that.
We attempted to run it again in 1983 with another faculty member here. Dean
Read went to four or five faculty members, and they all said no, they were not
interested in that area. He tried one, and the program did not go. He tried to
associate the program with, I think, the Universities of Utah and New Mexico, and
we had about three people sign up. So that was the end of that program.
Julian ran his program for another year and ran into the same kind of lack of
support from the administration. So those programs were lost, and that was
really sort of a downslide for us, I think, with the summer programs, and I did not
have very good relations with Dean Read at that point.
They became much better, to the point when he left I thought we really had
become quite good friends. I think he had begun to see that the international
programs were important here, and it was certainly under his guidance, and with
Jeff [Lewis] as associate dean, that we began to get the money for these foreign
programs here that we are conducting now, where we have people coming for
S: What do you think was Dean Read's reason for letting these programs
deteriorate? What was he more interested in?
G: One thing I think he thought was that the programs were programs that continued
on their own, that they had a sort of inertia to them and that it did not matter who
ran them, that they were institutionalized programs. Dick Julin always had a
view that programs like that are a function of the people who are interested in
running them. If you have people interested in running them, you support them.
At the time when the people are no longer interested in running them, you
The last summer that I was running the program I had done all the administrative
work on putting the program together. We had probably forty people. We got
up to sixty-eight people one year. We were running thirty to forty generally. If I
had stayed here in Gainesville I would have gotten my summer salary and taught
one course two hours a week or maybe three hours a week. For the program in
Mexico--again, we were simply put on our summer salary--I taught two courses,
two substitute courses. I also did all the administrative work. We were not able
to get support to hire an administrative assistant to arrange tours and visits, so I
did that, and I ran our clinic program as well; we had about six people in the
clinic. I had a friend who runs the San Diego program say, "Why on earth do
you do that? We do not have our people do that. I go and teach one course.
We hire an administrative agent, and the university supports us." In fact, San
Diego asked if I would join their faculty and help with their programs and run a
new Mexican law institute. I went out and interviewed--I took my wife out--and
came very close to moving there. Then I thought, it is crazy for me to be doing
this if we are not getting this kind of support, because San Diego is asking me to
go teach in their program in the summer. I would have no administrative work, I
would teach one course, I would have much more time to see things in the
I did not mind continuing to do this as long as we had the support. We were
given minimal financial support. We were also supposedly given per diem. We
never rented our houses in the summer since it was for a short period of time, so
we had to pay very substantial costs in Mexico City. Housing is very costly.
Plus we had to pay our transportation. Well, under Dick Julin we were able to
get and we generated enough money to pay for that. Dean Read said he was
not going to pay for any of that. Even when we got back from our 1981
program, which was created under Dick Julin, when we went to put in for that
money, Dean Read cancelled the request for those several hundred dollars.
The other person to get that money was Steve Rubin, who left the law school
within the next year. He was very much angered by that. I was angered, too,
and I essentially told him, "I am all through with the Mexican program. You can
get someone else to run it. If you are not going to provide this kind of support, it
makes no sense for me to go there. I can stay and teach here." And he
essentially said, "It is not your program. We will run the program." So he went
through all the people teaching international law, and they all said no. He finally
went to Professor Glicksberg, and as kind as he is, he said, "I will try. I will go
teach real estate law." That is not what one ought to do in Mexico. You ought
to be teaching comparative real estate law or Mexican topics, international topics.
So the program did not go.
I think over time Tom realized [what he had done]--I hope he realized it--because
he threw himself into international programs enormously. By the time he left
here we had run [an international program] for two or three years; Fletcher
Baldwin had diverted program for foreign students to come here. We were
bringing about twenty-five students here each year, an enormously successful
program, which lack of funding has now cut out. We started this program with
having people come for several weeks, and about the time Tom left we were
doing two in the fall and two in the spring.
We had built and we very substantially built under Tom Read the various
exchanges. I think we started the Leiden [Netherlands] exchange under Dean
Julin. It was a tax developed exchange, and under Read we developed it more,
and Lewis has continued to carry this. We developed the Frankfurt exchange
under Read. I was the first one to go in that formal Frankfurt exchange. So we
were in much better relations at that point in time.
In a sense I think we did the right thing by cancelling those programs, because
we were using resources for those programs. We had been able to bring their
people here. Instead of our going down there and hiring Mexican faculty, we
brought Alejandro Ogarrio here twice, we brought Ignacio Gomez-Palacio, our
other professor, here twice. So we brought more of them here. There are other
programs that our students can go to. There is a San Diego program, and I
helped them move their program into Mexico City when ours left. They took
over our Guatemalan program, and I have gone down to teach for San Diego in
the Guatemalan [program] using my former contacts. So our students have the
benefits of going to those programs, but they also have the benefits of where we
have used our resources differently. The problem was it was not a decision that
was made on that. It was a decision that was made at kind of an unhappy time.
Certainly I think Julian and I both felt that we clearly were not getting the support
and that we had lots of other things we could do. We did not need that kind of
treatment, particularly after having had enormous support by Dick Julin.
S: Were you involved in Julian's program?
G: I never went to teach in that because I was always either going to Mexico or
doing something else. We were running it every summer, so I was there every
summer. Then in 1974 we built a house, so I decided I ought to teach here
while we were building the house that we are now living in. In 1975 I was back
in Mexico. In 1976 I do not know what I did, but I was off somewhere. I never
went to the European program to teach in it when we ran it. We stopped it about
the time I began to teach in Europe, but for San Diego. I have since taught for
San Diego four or five summers in London, twice in Paris, once in Mexico, once
in Guatemala, and I have pretty much of a standing offer to teach in one of their
courses every year. One of my coauthors on the book is currently the director of
the program out there. In fact, on two books, and soon on five.
S: Are those programs money makers for the schools?
G: San Diego has an institute, and it does make money because they now have
about six programs. They have them in London-Oxford, Paris, Russia-Poland
(picking up our idea), Mexico, and Dublin. They do get enough money. Now,
the reason we were not able to make any money on them is we had to give the
University the full tuition amount for each student. We then charged an
additional amount to bring them up to be reasonably competitive with other
programs around the country. We took that additional amount and paid our two
Mexican professors, paid our administrative expenses, and paid our two faculty,
myself and someone else, a per diem amount to handle the living costs there. I
think maybe Dean Read saw this as a way of getting a little money for the school.
It was not going to generate very much. The money was there to run the
program, to provide most of the support. We could have used a little bit more to
provide for an administrative assistant. San Diego takes a University of San
Diego language professor with them to France, which is wonderful. Maybe the
French department helps support that by providing some of the funding.
But they are not really looked upon as being money-making programs. I think in
the long run it probably is not good to ever have such a program. I sometimes
find when I am teaching one of those that I am in a classroom in America,
because most of the students are American students who have gone abroad.
Maybe 10 percent of the class will be from abroad. That is nice, but that is like
what our classes here are getting to be. I think in the long run we are going to
see--we see it happening--Leiden or Louven or Paris will develop
English-speaking programs for American students, but they will be at their
program. And it will not be just for American students; it will be for students
anywhere, so there will be European students as well. I think it will be a much
better mix. Now, to me that is maybe the kiss of death for my teaching in those
programs. I may be out of that by then anyway. But I think that will be better.
I always encourage our students who go to, "For gosh sakes. Don't take me
when you are in London. Take British professors, or take a University professor
who is there." One of the nice things about the San Diego programs is they
have the people who are really known in the trade and international law area.
They will go to Oxford this summer and will take Mark Janus, who teaches at
Connecticut where I was. He has written extensively on public international law.
He is a former Rhodes scholar, one of the real bright people in international law
in America today. I say, "Get someone like that. Take him. You will not have
a chance to take that person here at Florida." That is very healthy for them.
We have always been concerned with the program that FSU runs at Oxford.
From the time that it started out it was what we thought reflective of what one
ought not do in a program. You take a bunch of your people over whether they
teach international law subjects or not. It did not really matter. It was a place
for them to go abroad. Well, they have some English professors teaching now,
and some good ones, so it is a much better program. They used to have some
reading periods at the beginning to give students a full seven weeks, but they
were there for only five weeks. The reading periods were absolutely ridiculous.
But our students would prefer to go to one of the others. The others sometimes
were more expensive. You can go to the FSU program and pay in-state tuition,
so you pay much less money. But I think in the long run these programs will be
better. They are better.
S: [Let me ask you] one question I had here. At the end of your article on the
Cuban Democracy Act where you state that President Clinton ought to order
enforcement of the act only to the extent that it does not violate foreign
sovereignty, how could he do that?
G: That is the hard part of this law, because unlike a number of laws where the
president could simply not implement it, this law interrelates to our whole export
practice, and that export practice includes the licensing of products. Technically
whenever an American corporation is to export products abroad they have to get
a license, and for countries like Cuba which are listed in a sort of "bad country"
group--they are listed with North Korea and Cambodia and North Vietnam--you
have to get a special kind of license. The problem with that is the new Cuban
Democracy Act has said to the Treasury Department, "Do not issue anymore."
Since 1975 the Treasury Department has issued quite a number of these
licenses, and that has constituted the trade.
S: So they would allow the ones that were already issued.
G: The state will allow those, yes. This situation is unlike some of the previous
presidential orders. When the Soviets invaded Poland, we gave some orders to
American subsidiaries in Europe not to even proceed with contracts for the
construction of the Soviet gas pipeline across Europe. In that case we had a lot
of very negative reaction as well because they were essentially ordering them to
cancel contracts. In this case they are saying, "Go ahead and fulfill the
contracts that you have been licensed for, but that is the end of it."
I think you have to get a little more sophisticated with the argument here, and
that is the question as to whether or not any law passed in the United States
which violates international law is therefore not the intention of Congress to
violate international law. The intention of Congress would be to do everything
the law says, but do not violate international law. That would be one side of the
The other side of the argument is that international law is only U.S. law when the
United States accepts it by pronouncement as international law. In that case the
passage of the Cuban Democracy Act essentially would be saying, "We are
disregarding international legal concepts of sovereignty, and we are imposing our
sovereignty on other nations." Of course, the response to that is the other
nation simply will not tolerate that. It is really unclear what these other nations
are going to do.
I think right now the ball is in President Clinton's court, because certainly what he
could do would be to issue a statement which essentially says that he would not
want to see the Cuban Democracy Act or any U.S. laws implemented in such a
way as to cause serious breaches in diplomatic relations with friendly foreign
nations. That would have pretty substantial impact on a lot of our laws, and it
would certainly have an impact on the licensing procedure, because our licensing
procedure essentially says that you must license exports if you are an American
company or if you are an American-controlled-or-owned company located in
another country. That is where it conflicts with sovereignty. He could certainly
make that kind of statement, and what that signal would send to the subsidiaries
is that you do not even have to go and get special licenses anymore from
Treasury. It certainly seems to me that Treasury is in a very difficult position. I
do not see how Treasury really can license a company in a foreign country under
the Cuban Democracy Act.
S: Even if it is U.S. owned?
G: No, it has to be U.S. owned or controlled first in order to issue a license. But it
seems to me that the Cuban Democracy Act simply says, "You do not do this
anymore." So I do not think they do it anymore. What you are essentially
saying is they never needed to do it in the first place, that it really was an
intrusion upon foreign sovereignty to require a French-chartered company
located in France with mostly French employees to go and get a license from the
United States. That is up to the French government. But we said no. Since
we own or control, and there are definitions of ownership or control that
essentially deal with 51 percent ... I am not sure that it is 51 percent or not, but
even if your ownership is lower if you have effective control of the corporation,
then you are supposed to exercise that control considering U.S. law. Of course,
you have to exercise that law considering foreign law.
Now, there are a number of possibilities, of variations. What happens if you
have a French company that is trading with Cuba that is a French company but
American owned, and the president of that is American? That American is
subject to the jurisdiction of the United States courts, so that person stands in
some jeopardy if he fails to carry out an order of a U.S. court. He is going to
come back sometime, if he does not return under a subpoena. If the president
is French, the French president can simply say, "I am not going to pay any
attention to what you do, U.S. courts. One, I am going to stay out of the U.S.
because I do not want you getting jurisdiction over me, [and two,] France is never
going to extradite me if you bring charges that I violated the U.S. Cuban
Democracy Act." So what it would encourage foreign countries to do would be
to disallow United States managers in a position. It would allow a Japanese
manager to run the company in France, allow a German manager to run the
company in France, but not a U.S. person.
S: But it would still be U.S. controlled.
G: Sure. It would still be U.S. controlled, but there simply is so much Frenchness to
that enterprise. I mentioned the Freuhauf case at the end, that we could look
back to the experience in the mid 1960s. I guess it was when the Freuhauf
company in the United States had, I think, two-thirds ownership, so it clearly was
controlled through ownership interest in the French Freuhauf enterprise. They
contracted with the People's Republic of China to manufacture so many trucks.
Not for military purposes, but of course a truck could be used to carry military
equipment. The United States ordered the Freuhauf company to stop, and the
French government came in and intervened. That is why I use the word
intervention. Intervention essentially means you step into the office and say,
"We have taken over this company. The French government has taken over the
company. We are going to be here only for the purpose of making sure the
foreign contracts are fulfilled." Again, the difference is that it was to fulfill that
particular contract which was in process. One of the reasons why the French
said they were intervening was that it would embarrass the French government
to be breaching contracts.
We are not talking about that with the Cuban Democracy Act, but we are talking
about the other facets. It is a French company, they are French employees, it is
an interference with French sovereignty to be telling this French company what to
The alternative, of course, is for the foreign government to take over the
company. I believe it was Argentina that said it would do so in the 1970s when
these control regulations were changed. The U.S. was telling Ford of Argentina
and I think General Motors of Canada, "You may not sell to Cuba anymore."
Canada reacted very strongly, just as they have now. "We will order our
companies not to comply with this." Argentina said, "We will take over Ford of
Argentina if necessary." We backed off on that.
I think what may happen is that if these other countries that are friends of ours
raise enough of a complaint, and we see that forming. England to my
knowledge has not yet passed any Parliamentary legislation. In a sense they do
not need to because the European Community speaks for them. But they could
do that separately. And now with the United Nations. But the United Nations is
deluded a little bit by that large block of abstentions; they had about fifty-some
"yes" votes and seventy-some abstaining and only three that were against it.
Israel tends to vote with the U.S. and Rumania, for some reason.
The president really has a very difficult position. I think what he would like to do
is not irritate the foreign nations. Right now he no longer needs the Cuban vote.
He got enough of that, if that made any difference for him. But now he has to
deal with Canada, he has to deal with France, he has to deal with England, so
those now take center stage, whereas the Cuban-Americans in Miami have
decidedly moved into the wings. How does he now respond? He is very much
of a consensus president, it seems. He is going to react where the voices are
very strong. He did this with [attorney general nominee] Zoe Baird, and I think
he will do it with Cuba. I think when the voices come very strong from Europe
he will respond. After all, he spent a lot of time in Europe. I think he is
sympathetic to the fact that there are people in Europe who have good minds
who think reasonably. They are not all bad people abroad.
Maybe one could go through these export rules and find some little loophole on
which they could hang their decision. "Oh, they are really entitled to a special
license. The act does not quite touch upon this." I think it probably is better for
him to take the kind of argument that we do not want to breach international law.
International law does say that you ought not interfere with the sovereignty of
S: Even if the company is U.S. controlled, though?
G: Even if it is U.S. controlled.
S: Just because it is located in a foreign [country].
G: One of the troubling aspects to me is this volume of trade that is being done by
Europe. It is so much U.S. Someone has raised the question, "Are the U.S.
companies simply using foreign bases for trade with Cuba, or is this just sort of a
natural resurgence of trade with Cuba worldwide?" One would think that if there
is $500 million of trade with U.S. companies in Europe with Cuba there would be
at least that amount with European-owned companies in Europe. Yet there is
not; there is only about another $100 million of trade. But again, traditionally the
natural trading partner for Cuba until the late 1950s was the United States. We
have a sort of natural inclination to trade in this hemisphere.
But I think there is a troubling aspect: why is there not more trade being done by
other areas? That leads you to raise the kinds of questions, What are the
trading terms that U.S. companies are willing to deal? If a German company
were able to get a good deal and get cash and all--there is a great shortage of
currency for Cuba--what is it the U.S. companies are obtaining for all this? In a
sense I would like to know a little bit more about that before I would react, but I
think that my reaction would have to be, as an adviser to the president, "Just do
not send the word out to companies that you are going to strictly enforce this law.
Let's find out some more about the trading pattern. Are U.S. trading companies
using it simply as a base to trade and violate [the Cuban Democracy Act].
The troubling thing is, go back to the hypothetical at the beginning of the article.
Would we tolerate that Japanese supporter? The Japanese are trying to
strangle the Korean economy and bring down a Korean dictator, and they are
going to use every influence they can, and one that they see is the fact that they
own companies around the world. Because they own them, they would be able
to order them what to do.
I think there has to be a balancing of interests. We have talked about balancing
where we have an extension of our antitrust laws abroad. There is a famous
case, the Timberlane case, that says you balance the interests abroad with the
interest in the United States before you ask for discovery abroad, before you
attempt to exert your influence abroad. So I suppose I could see if we were to
have some kind of litigation. If a company were to begin to trade and someone
were to challenge this--I guess it would have to be the Justice Department
enforcing the Cuban Democracy Act--maybe a court would balance interests
before imposing our conditions upon another country.
One of the problems is we simply do not have good international rules that say,
what is a company? What is a company on your soil? Is it based on ownership
of shares? Is it based on registration? We do have one case, the Barcelona
Traction case, that dealt with expropriation by Spain of a Belgian company, and
the International Court of Justice refused to go for it. In a very long decision it
essentially said they did not have jurisdiction over the matter. I think they said,
"While the shareholders were Belgian, the corporation was registered in Canada,
and it would have to be the Canadians who brought the case before the
International Court of Justice." Now, that shows the problem with this. The
Canadians would not do that because although Canada was the place of
registration, the Belgian shareholders were the real parties of interest. So in that
case the Belgian government wanted to protect its shareholders. In our case
the U.S. government wants to control the shareholders. If we got that into the
International Court of Justice, I suppose using the Barcelona case the U.S. would
really have a serious problem.
But the International Court has not done a very good job--nor has the world--in
setting down rules for who has the right to control a corporation. After all, the
whole theory of corporations is initially that they were chartered by the crown,
chartered to go off and explore in places like India, and set up a trading
company. Then, as in our country, the crown is replaced by the state. The
state charters a particular corporation for a particular purpose. So the state
keeps very clear control over the enterprise because of its charter, not because
they are all shareholders in the U.S. Mostly they were when they were
chartering it, so you did not have that kind of problem. What we now say is that
"you may have a right to come in and register a corporation with the secretary of
state's office. You do not have to get a special charter from the legislature."
They have given a blanket charter for anyone to come in and charter in the state.
If you charter in the state you are subject to Florida law. So can't France say,
"You have chartered in France. You are subject to French law, and you are
subject to French foreign policy. We tell you who you can trade with." What
would be the case if the United States were to say to a company in France,
"Even though France has a boycott against Algeria, you are an American-owned
company. You trade with Algeria." France would not tolerate that company
trading with Algeria. They would say, "We the French boycott Algeria. No
French-chartered company owned by foreign interest may send goods to
Algeria." Why has the U.S. done that? Not on the basis of shareholders.
They have done it on the basis of presence in the United States.
You cannot have it both ways. You cannot say, "For U.S.-chartered
corporations the U.S. controls them all absolutely because they are U.S.
chartered. For foreign-chartered corporations the U.S. will control them because
the shareholdings are majority U.S. citizens or they are controlled from the U.S."
You simply cannot have it both ways and then expect other countries to tolerate
that, because you are taking something away from other countries. You are
taking away some of their sovereignty.
S: That is tough one. Very complicated.
G: So what do you do as president?
S: It is interesting that a foreign country could force a U.S.-owned company to trade
with someone. I could see them saying, "You can trade with . ."
G: That is almost another thing. Now the French government comes to a
U.S.-owned company in France and says, "We insist that you enter into contracts
with Cuba. We insist that you do that. We insist that you sell your products to
Cuba." If France says to a U.S.-owned Ford subsidiary in France, "You must
enter into contracts with Cuba," that seems to me to violate, in a sense, French
corporate law, because France is delegating to individuals the right to form a
company under French law and to manage it as long as it does not, in a sense,
violate French principles, as long as you do not sell to somewhere where France
says you cannot sell.
But now what you are essentially doing is you are really intervening in the
general management of a corporation. If France wants to trade so much with
Cuba, maybe they should be French-owned companies with French-appointed
managers. If you really want that, what you probably could do, I suppose, is to
say that "every privately-owned corporation must have a board which has a
majority of state-appointed people." It would be a quasi-public, quasi-private
corporation. But that is sort of a third alternative which I do not think they would
But does that help us with our problem? Do they have the power to say "sell
there"? I do not know. I think they probably do, and I think for them to do that
would constitute an intervention and maybe constitute a nationalization of
property. Part of the concept of being able to own commercial property is being
able to make decisions as to what you do with it. I do not think you can violate
statutes that say, "Do not do this." I do not think those statutes can say, "You
must do this." Some of them do. "You must file an annual report." Fine.
"You must hire under affirmative quota so many minority people." Fine. But
there is a point at which you have actually begun to manage all the commercial
decisions of the corporation.
S: Right. It sounds like they need you to advise them.
G: No, no. I think what they need is good advice. What they need to do is no
longer to listen and respond as candidates. They need now to listen to a lot of
advice and respond as a leader.
S: Okay. And you said in the article that first President Bush backed this Act and
then opposed it.
G: He first opposed it, but he signed it. He came on board once Clinton responded
as a candidate to favoring the Act. Bush all along thought he would get the
conservative Miami vote, but he had reservations about this law. There have
been pushes for this kind of law for several years, but he really did not like this
kind of constraint on free trade. I think he is business oriented, and that
interfered with American business. While he had no interest, I think, in renewing
relations with Cuba, probably simply because he did not need another headache,
and that would create so many problems. He thought he would get the vote, but
when he did not back this and Clinton did, there were a lot of rumblings from
Miami about shifting to Clinton. So he thought this would offset that by saying,
"Okay. I will go along with it, and I will vote for it."
It is a strange-titled law. My daughter read this [article] yesterday--she
graduated from here a year ago and was interested in international law--and
when she got to the point ... I had changed it a little bit because I did not say
President Bush signed it. I just said, "The U.S. reacted by the Cuban
Democracy Act." She thought it was a Cuban law. Why would the U.S. be
passing a Cuban Democracy Act? Why not pass a British Democracy Act and
set down those standards which we believe that England ought to comply with to
be a true democracy? We do not recognize the parliamentary system as a true
democracy because you do not elect your leader. They are appointed by the
crown, and we do not think that is democratic. So why do we not we enact a law
saying that we cannot trade with England, but we will trade as soon as we see
them moving along the path to democracy?
In a sense that is a terrible title for a U.S. law. I think it is an unnecessary smack
at Cuba. Certainly Cuba is not a democracy, and we would like to see them as
a democracy. There are a lot countries that are not. There are a lot of
countries that call themselves democracies that really are not. For all that
purpose, Mexico is making changes toward democracy, but they still elect their
leader basically in the back rooms. It is a planned election and a controlled
election. It is not really a democratic election. The PRI [Partido Revolucionario
Institucional] had been in control of that since the 1920s as the PRI's
predecessors [Partido Nacional Revolucionario (PNR) and then Partido de la
Revoluci6n Mexicana (PRM)]. So why not enact a Mexican Democracy Act?
Mexico would react so strongly. We would never do that to one of our friends.
But we have done that to Cuba, and it is really kind of a misnamed act. It would
be better to call it, I think, "No Trading or Relations with Cuba Act."
But this act is the product of a very conservative, right-wing group of people in
Miami, many of whom have suffered, they built up businesses and were very
successful, lost a lot of property, and came to the U.S. They do not have the
hope of settling claims against Cuba in the sense that our citizens do. We have
the claims act where we have nearly $2 billion in claims established. With
interest, I think it is up to $9 billion or so. But the Cubans as Cuban citizens
have to rely only on the largess of whoever is the new Cuban government to give
properties back, to compensate Cuban citizens. So these people really have
good reason to intensely dislike Castro, intensely dislike what has happened on
the island to a lot of other people as well, and they form a very strong political
block. But we have more things to consider than the Miami Cuban block. As a
national leader Clinton has more things to consider. He has to consider our
relations with other countries.
The troubling aspect, again, is are American companies--because they will do
this--using Europe as a springboard for enormous increased trade with Cuba?
S: Okay. Why would U.S. companies bother to do that? What are the
G: The answer is twofold. One money (the answer is current profit), and the
second answer is a foothold. Something is going to happen to Cuba at some
time. I have been saying that here for twenty-five years. We do know that at
some time Castro will pass on. It may be that an heir-apparent will take over
and run the country the same way for a while, but ultimately that system has to
come apart. It may be another thirty years; maybe two years; maybe things are
happening right now. We do not know.
S: What are the restrictions on U.S.-owned companies located in the U.S. from
trading with Cuba?
G: They cannot.
S: They cannot at all?
G: No. Basically they cannot. There is some humanitarian [help]--medicines and
food--but even that is very, very restricted.
S: But they can just by locating elsewhere.
G: They can sell Frisbees by locating elsewhere. They can sell the most innocuous
product by locating elsewhere. They can sell all of the products which help
Cuba survive. Now you raise the question, "If our foreign policy is to bring Cuba
down economically--that is a contestable foreign policy, but if it is--do you want
your companies going abroad for the purpose of trading with Cuba?" In that
sense, I think no. That is different from, "Do you want to prohibit companies that
are legitimately abroad and have been there for the local market, say, the French
market, from engaging in some trade with any of those third countries with which
that nation has diplomatic relations, including, in this case, France having
diplomatic relations with Cuba?" The answer to that is that disallowing such
trade becomes more of an interference with that country's sovereignty.
The difficulty here, and nobody seems to be talking about it, is maybe the act has
more justification on the basis of this European platform to trade. We certainly
do not want our companies circumventing [our policies and laws]. There is a
piece in the paper in the last week talking about how if the trade embargo were to
be lifted, Cuba's economy would improve markedly.
Now, there is another side to all this, and that is, how is Cuba paying for the
products that American companies are selling? I would want to know that, I
think, if I were the president. Just as if we were to now all of a sudden open up
relations with Cuba, how would they pay for them, because they are not
generating much foreign exchange. The only way Cuba gets hard currency is
(1) to have tourists coming in, [and] there is very little of that; or (2) to be able to
export, and they are not an export-based country. They export sugar, they are a
monoculture still, basically; and (3) by borrowing. We have done an awful lot of
the third [option] with the Third World in terms of giving them the money which
they in turn use to buy our products. What happens is that our companies
selling the products are all very happy, but we end up with our banks that have
made loans to them in very bad shape.
I do not think that is happening in this case. I do not think we have American
banks using foreign bases to loan Cuba dollars or francs to buy American
products made by an American owned French-based company that is selling in
Cuba. I would be very upset if I were in the administration and I learned that.
So to some degree I think we are short of information, which I suspect the U.S.
has, because in obtaining these special licenses, U.S. companies abroad had to
disclose certain information. I suspect that Treasury could find out more
information on the basis of "We do not grant you a license unless we learn a little
bit more about this. How are you being paid?" There are very strict limitations
on U.S. currencies going to Cuba. You and I simply cannot get on a plane and
fly to Cuba. You could go as a journalist; I could go as a scholar; but there are
strict restrictions on what we can spend when we get there. The U.S. does not
want to be supplying Cuba with hard currency. This was a problem when Cuba
has opened up the country to Americans going to Cuba. A lot of Cuban
Americans were going back and giving dollars to their relatives in Cuba.
Humanitarian. Family love and all. And that was building the reserves up,
because Cuba was taking those dollars from these people and giving them pesos
for them and then building up their reserve and using it, in that case, to buy
supplies for their military. So we have very strict currency rules, and I think we
would be very concerned it we thought that the goods were being sold to Cuba
on credit and that credit was coming indirectly from any kind of U.S. institutions.
Now, maybe they are getting credit from French institutions. But if French
institutes are giving credit, why aren't French-owned companies taking
advantage of that and selling lots of products?
G: I do not know.
S: So there is not enough information.
G: Not fully, no. But I think there is enough information to say this specific provision
of the Cuban Democracy Act, and that is the major provision of the Act, is
causing a severe conflict with foreign relations.
S: Is this new? Has this ever happened before?
S: Say we move back in time when we were at war with Korea or Vietnam. Has a
U.S. company located outside our borders and tried to sell to them?
G: There are a lot of documented instances of American companies selling to the
Germans even during the war through circuitous routes, of American-owned
companies making profits by having products transshipped through Zambia or
Iran or somewhere ending up in Germany being used back against American
troops. There are enough instances like that--I suppose one gets a little cynical
if you are in government--that American corporations do not act fully responsibly,
responsibly in the sense that I think one can say that American corporations
should be considering American foreign policy in the way in which they are
acting. After all, the parent company is an American-based company and has
all the protections of an American company. If it loses property abroad the
diplomatic corps will help them. It is essentially an obligation; the U.S. is
obligated to protect its citizens and property abroad. If IBM is taken over in Iraq
we have an obligation to try to negotiate as a government with Iraq to get that
back. Maybe break diplomatic relations. Much of what we did to Cuba was a
result of Cuba's expropriating American citizens' property. That is when we took
major steps--we broke relations, enacted these laws to block assets, and
enacted all of these very, very extensive rules involving Cuba.
I think there is an obligation on the part of management of an American company
to say, "We do not want to set up enterprises abroad to take advantage of Cuban
trade." But if we have given a certain amount of autonomy to our French
companies, our German companies, our Australian companies to grow and trade
as Australian, or German or French companies, we ought not to be interfering
with that. We ought not to be saying, "Remember. You cannot trade with
Cuba, you cannot trade with Libya, you cannot trade with Iraq, because the
center of control is back in the United States."
The head of Dow Chemical Company once said, "I have often dreamed of being
able to have an island somewhere in which I could incorporate the headquarters
of Dow and where we would be beholden to no nation." The head of one of the
big American labor unions picked that up and said, "This is how American
corporations think. They do not want to be responsible to anyone," other than,
one might say, to the shareholders, but in many cases it is not the shareholders.
It is management. Current American companies are often managed for the
benefit of management, not for the benefit of the shareholders. It is clearly
management controlled, not shareholder controlled. That is a troubling kind of
statement when you see an American-based company saying that. Yet an
American company is not part of the U.S. government in the sense that it does
not call Washington with every kind of contract. "Do you think I should move
The U.S. government does not always play fair with American corporations. I
did some work for Exxon a few years ago dealing with Cuba. The Exxon
corporation was expropriated, as was the Texaco company, and as was Shell.
The three were doing business in refining oil. Cuba does not have any
marketable oil, so they were refining oil coming in from Venezuela. After we
began to have our serious break with Cuba the Cubans entered into a trade
agreement with the Soviet Union and replaced all the crude oil coming in from
Venezuela with oil coming in from the Soviet Union. So there was a question as
to whether these companies should refine it. Well, they came out and publicly
announced this was a different-quality oil that they could not refine. What was
behind that was the U.S. government had called in the presidents of these
companies and, at President Eisenhower's request, said, "Do not refine Soviet
oil. It is in U.S. foreign policy interests that we go against this and stop this trade
agreement with the Soviet Union." So they did; they went along with it. They
said, "We will not do that." So they were taken over; they were expropriated.
They lost millions and millions of dollars.
Then in subsequent years they went to take this as a write-off, and then in comes
the Internal Revenue Service saying that "You acted improperly in Cuba. You
should have known that this action would have caused an expropriation. It was
totally predictable. You allowed the amounts that they owed you to run up too
high, and we are not going to let you take these as a deduction." Well, on the
one hand the U.S. government is saying, "Trade," and on the other hand, "You
are not going to get any benefit if you do trade, and then [you will] lose as a result
of that trade." So companies, I think, are often correct in looking at our
government and saying, "You speak out of both sides of your mouth, and we
cannot function with that."
But there still is a sense that American corporations have some loyalty to the
country in which they are incorporated. The difficulty is this vast network of
corporations that U.S. parents own around the world. They own them; they had
control. How much control they really exercise other than the bottom line,
saying that "We do not care what you do in France as long as you make X
dollars. If your profits look good, fine. You sell where you want to. We are not
going to tell you where to sell." I think that is how most of the corporations are
We do not know that about this. We do not know why there is so much trade
with Cuba from the European base in contrast to the trade with Cuba from the
truly European-chartered-and-owned base. I am sure companies in the U.S. are
thinking, when the big bang comes in Cuba, if that is the way it goes, we would
like to be able to go and say, "You have a lot of our products there already. You
already have our dictating machines, and consequently it is natural for us now to
come down and set up formal distributorships so it will be much easier.
Products are already spread around. People are accustomed to those. They
are going to want to have those. The same thing is true if you can get a lot of
Fords. If you can get your Fords into the country now then that becomes a fairly
dominant car in the country over Chrysler, over Chevrolet. Once that change
comes, who is going to have a good base already established? The Ford
company. So I am sure they are thinking of that.
S: So it is not too chaotic if there is the separation of corporations and state if they
were to allow them to trade with whomever they want.
G: See, that is a problem. The other side is we pass a law saying, "Free Trade
Law. American companies are fully able to trade with Cuba if they use a foreign
base." Well, then the next logical question is, Why do they have to use a foreign
base? If we know that we are going to sell 10,000 Fords to Cuba through a
French Ford subsidiary or an Argentine Ford subsidiary, employing all the French
or Argentines to do that, why on earth not sell them from Detroit and employ
Americans to do that? So if we really want to see American products ending up
in Cuba, let them go from the U.S. to Cuba, not from the abroad to Cuba.
S: What do you think of that?
G: Well, there is a question. Let us say we take a Ford that is manufactured in
Detroit and is all knocked down and put into a Sears Christmas kit or so, it shows
up in France, and they put it together in what we call a screwdriver factory, and
then it is sent off. Total subterfuge around U.S. law. That is obviously troubling
to me. But again, if the French subsidiary of Ford is essentially told, "You have
a management, and that management is mostly French. There will be one or
two people from world Ford, Ford International, who occasionally will be rotated."
So the person who has done very, very well in the Ford Division of Ford in the
U.S., and then has done very well in the U.S. Ford International entity is now
made vice-president or president of Ford of France and is sent over there. I
think something that is discouraging to Ford to do, because of this law. The
word of advice to that person is, "You are now going to run a French company.
We own it, but what we own it for is to make a profit for the shareholders, and the
shareholders are us, the parent corporation," indirectly the shareholders of the
Here is the problem. "We do not want you to violate the law." Then the
question is, What law do you mean? "Certainly we do not want you to violate
French law, but we really do not want you to violate American law either."
Which one has priority? Certainly if this is in Britain and the owner goes over
from America to Britain and begins to drive on the right-hand side of the road and
has an accident and is arrested by the British and says, "I was told, 'Do not
violate American law, because it applies wherever I go, and we drive on the
right-hand side in America, and I have to do that.' Why? Because I am
controlled by the U.S." Obviously the English are not quite going to
understand this, and certainly they are not going to accept that. They are going
to say, "When you are here, British law is primary."
So what law is primary in terms of governing the corporation? I think we would
say, in my hypothetical [scenario] in Korea and Japan, the primary law is U.S.
We do not follow the Japanese dictate. The primary law is U.S. because this is
a U.S.-chartered corporation [and] it has principally U.S. employees. We
acknowledge that it is 100 percent owned by a Japanese company, but it is here
on American soil, and it does what the U.S. expects it to do. If we have
contracts with Korea, if we have built up a good base in selling to Korea, [and if]
we have good relationships with Korea, we will continue to sell those products to
Korea. We will not tolerate this Japanese interference. That is exactly what
these other countries are saying about the Cuban Democracy Act.
S: Getting back to what we were talking about before, why, if you are going to sell to
Cuba via these foreign subsidiaries, why not just do it directly, what did you say
G: Well, if you have relatively nominal sales from your foreign unit to Cuba, one is,
what is the product? If this is a French Ford, there are a number of Ford
products in Europe that are not sold in the United States, so this is really kind of
a French Ford. So you are really selling a French product to Cuba. The
troubling thing, I think, is clearly a transshipment. A finished car goes from the
U.S. to France and then to Cuba. That is clearly using that as a subterfuge. It
is not even a manufacturing base. It is a transshipping base.
So I think what we are trying to do, and this is where I get back to balancing of
interests theory. I think what the president really has to do is say, "How is the
trade functioning? I want to know first how much trade is there by these
companies?" We know who the companies are because they have gotten
licenses. So "how much of the trade of Ford of France is going to Cuba? How
much of Ford of France trade is going to Nigeria, where we have good relations,
or how much is going to Korea? How much is going to other parts of the
European Community? Is this just sort of a nominal amount of Ford of France's
trade, or does it really appear that Ford is using Ford of France as a way of
getting their products in?"
Now we can take a look and see. Are they using U.S. technology? To some
degree, yes, but these cars in many cases are becoming much more world cars.
They are designed more on a worldwide basis. They have components coming
from all over different places, and we call them a kind of world car. In a sense it
is not really an American product anymore, but sort of a world Ford product. But
I would want to know all of that. And then I would think I would want to balance
things. The balance in the U.S. is we want Castro out; we want to be able to do
everything we can to get Castro out. We know that trading with Castro allows
him to sustain his economy. Certainly a lot of trading. A modest amount of
trading is not going to [sustain him], but [a considerable amount of] trade does.
So that is negative, because we would like to force him out.
On the other hand, everybody is after us on this. We have really irritated
Canada, we have really irritated the European Community, specifically England,
we have irritated the U.N. Someone has commented that the U.N. is not the
forum to work this out in, and I agree that is not really the forum. The U.N.
General Assembly resolutions are not law, and because of the nature of the vote,
with so many abstentions it is not a big message. But it is a message that some
people are unhappy about us. I think the more important thing is the bilateral
relationship with England or the European Community. Mexico has reacted very
strongly because Mexico has relations with Cuba. Not really good relations, but
certainly they have better relations than we have. They have been trading with
Cuba. We have put a lot of pressure on them not to.
Another nation that has spoken out against our doing this is Argentina, because
they see a replay of what happened in the 1960s, leading up to the 1975 [events]
that led Argentina to say, "We will nationalize Ford of Argentina." Maybe they
will come out and say that again. I do not know. We have a very good
relationship with Argentina. Argentina is trying to be a market economy now,
and they are less, in a sense, belligerent, than they were in the 1970s. In the
1970s a lot of the Third World nations were speaking very belligerently with this
north-south dialogue, and Argentina was doing that as well. I think they are a
little different now. But they have spoken out rather strongly.
We do not know how many other messages have been sent through diplomatic
channels from countries objecting to this law. What about Australia? I just do
not know. What about Eastern European countries that have traditionally traded
with Cuba and now are inviting American companies to come into Eastern
Europe? Are they going to put conditions on that that you comply with Eastern
European law? "We traditionally do trade with Cuba, so we will want you to do
that. As long as you get hard currency from Cuba we want you to trade with
I think at the end you have balance. You have balanced all this, and you have
made a decision that is not based on the Miami-Cuban vote, the
Cuban-American vote in Miami, and it is not based on this theoretical notion of
"we have control because they are American shareholders" or strictly on the
theoretical basis that they are chartered in X country abroad. It is based on a lot
of input. That basically is what you have to do.
S: Okay. So it really becomes possible to circumvent trade restrictions by doing
G: Yes. People have been doing that. For every government that is able to come
up with one rule that says, "You cannot do this," people will often find ways of
working around it.
S: I guess it still puts theoretical pressure.
G: What could happen is some of these companies could establish Cayman Island
holding corporations for foreign trade, and they could not call their company
Ford--it is a little hard to do with a company as noticeable as Ford, but just to use
Ford; I do not use it [in a derogatory sense, as] Ford has been very successful
around the world. So now what Ford has is a company called the Ford Cayman,
and that handles everything outside of the United States. Now, the U.S. cannot
penetrate that because the Cayman Islands will not disclose the ownership of
companies which are chartered in the Cayman Islands. The ownership of this is
going to be Ford of the United States. You get Ford before a congressional
committee, and they begin to ask you about all of your records. Can you simply
say, "Well, you will have to get that information from the Cayman Islands,
because we do not have access to that"? In a sense that is nonsense. You do
have access. But you keep that information in the Cayman Islands in an office
subsidiary there, over which the United States does not have jurisdiction. But
they will try to discover it, they will threaten the American managers and say, "We
know you can get those documents from the Cayman Islands anytime you ask
for them, and we are ordering you to produce those documents."
This is what this has led to, and this is what it may lead to. The president of
Ford of France, being an American, is ordered to do this. Ford of France
continues to sell to Cuba, and they then charge Ford of U.S., and Ford of U.S.
defends it on the basis that the sale was an action of the French government.
The U.S. then says, "Yes, but the French president is an American. We want to
subpoena him to have him come back." Well, this is why I think Ford of U.S.
then, long before this happens, replaces the American president. I would almost
think that any company that is dealing with Cuba through a European base would
not want to have an American president of that company. They would want to
have a foreign one who is not going to respond to U.S. law and whose country is
not going to allow that [to happen]. The country will not allow that person to be
deposed in the country, they will not allow that person to go to the United States,
they will not give him clearance to go to the U.S.
So then what do you do? You drag in the board of directors of Ford U.S. and
you say, "We are going to throw you all in jail. As long as we find here that
products are going to France we are going to throw you in jail." I think we are
leading to the situation where there will be--and this is hard--will the country
continue to get new orders, continue to do new trade? After all, it is causing
employment in France and Canada. New contracts are affected. Old contracts
are not. So what happens when you find no new contracts? Presumably the
companies have responded to the U.S. law.
Then those foreign companies are now led to intervene. In one way I suppose
there is a sort of quasi-intervention by the American companies, saying, "We will
no longer put an American in charge of the French plant. We will put a French
person in charge of the French plant," because that person is much more likely in
their marketing to do what they would as a French person in charge of a
French-owned company. I think that may be where the person comes from, the
person who has been the manager of Peugeot--let's say Peugeot has been
selling Peugeots to Cuba--is now hired to be the president of Ford of France.
He wants to continue his marketing of cars; he wants to compete with his former
company and build up the Cuban business. He gets these orders coming from
the EC nations.
He has two concerns. What does he hear from the board of directors back
home, and does he hear anything from the Justice Department directly, saying,
"You people have not been asking for licenses, and we understand you still are
trading to Cuba. We want to know." Well, that may be a problem. If these
other countries say, "You may not disclose your sales record to the United States
Justice Department," how is the Justice Department going to be able to fine Ford
of U.S. or Ford of France if they attempt to exert jurisdiction if they do not know
the trade? Now they know the trade because now they have said, "Tell us about
it and we will give you a license for a certain commodity"--not military, not
strategic. I suppose the whole thing could lead to selling strategic goods to
Cuba. I do not think France is going to allow that, or England, but theoretically if
the companies now become more French, if they are pushed [in] that direction
and become more French, they may sell anything.
S: Whatever they want.
G: Now they are selling only what the U.S. would allow them to sell, which is a pretty
broad range of products. So we could find the law backfiring in that sense.
Again, the way it would be enforced is to go after the closest U.S. people to
France that you can go after, and the company. You go after the company and
just start fining them a $50,000 fine. I am not sure the $50,000 is in the new
law, but that is not a very big fine if you are making lots of money sending things
to Cuba. That raises a very serious ethical question: Should you determine
whether you are going to comply with something like the Cuban Democracy Act
on the basis of the penalty? Well, you are driving here to work, and there are
not any spaces except the one space for service vehicles, you make a judgment.
Do you park in that and gamble on being caught and paying a $5 or $50 fine?
That is not the same as murder; that is not the same as extortion. Companies
often consider U.S. trade rules in the same fashion. It is an ethical problem.
How do you respond when they say, "What is it going to cost us if we do violate
all of this?" Do you say, "No, I cannot tell you that. That would be unethical"?
Do you follow the U.S. law, or do you say, "I will tell you exactly what the law
says. It is $50,000 for a violation." I think you could do that, but I really think
that you ought to follow American law if you are subject to American law.
But then I could say in this case, Do you think we are subject to American law?
That is where I have a dilemma. My view is I think you are subject to American
law and I think you are subject to French law; I think you are subject to both. I
think we have an unfortunate situation where American law has intentionally
been enacted contrary to French law. French law has not been enacted
intentionally to be contrary to American law. French law is simply French law
that allows you to sell according to French foreign policy where they have decent
trading relations, diplomatic relations. The U.S. wants to exert more control over
So what do you do? I guess what I would want to do if I were representing a
client is I would want to talk to people in the administration and say, "What are
you going to do about this act?" Now, if they say, "We are going to enforce it," I
think you need to find out a little bit more on that. "How are you going to enforce
this? Who are you really going to go after? Let us show you the problem. We
are going to get orders from courts in Canada or from courts in Europe that say,
'You may not comply with that order."' That is what the Canadian order is; it
essentially is an order that says, "Do not comply with the Cuban Democracy Act."
It orders American subsidiaries not to comply. It orders them to carry out
transactions as though that law were not in existence. So essentially it is saying,
"If under normal circumstances you would sell to Cuba, you must continue to do
S: But then it seems like that is getting into Canada imposing its laws on a
U.S.-owned company. I guess it is located in Canada or in France.
G: Yes. And remember, it is a U.S.-owned company, but it is a Canadian company,
because it is a Canadian-chartered company. There is a Canadian corporation
law. The number of people on the board of directors is determined by Canadian
law. How often that meeting must be held is determined by Canadian law. We
take the Florida Corporation Law, which applies to companies chartered in
Florida whether they are Canadian owned or French owned or German owned.
We have fifty or sixty pages of specific rules that apply to that. We exert almost
absolute dominion over the operation of that local corporation which is foreign
Germany now orders all companies around the world to adopt codetermination.
Codetermination is a process where you have to have so many employees on
the board of directors, a managing board. We would not allow that. Even
though that company is 100 percent owned by Germans, we would simply say
no. We have conflicts with that by American companies going in to Germany.
An American company cannot go in and say, "We are an American-owned
company." If the U.S. ever said, "Do not comply with codetermination laws while
you are in Germany," it would be out. It would not be permitted to exist.
S: So it remains to be seen.
G: We have these two mandatory laws that have come to clash. When they come
to clash they are overriding foreign policy interests that the nations need to get
together and resolve. The difficulty is that if Clinton were to say, "Yes, I agree.
I do not think we should enforce that law," how does he go about doing it? One,
try to have the law repealed. That will not be popular. I think what he does is
he asks his advisers, "What can we best do not to interfere with foreign relations
but without having to repeal the law?" I guess one could take an interpretation of
the law that when it clashes with host nation law that is based on sovereignty, we
ought not [enforce it strictly].
There are all sorts of things. It is an American company that is on another
territory. Territoriality has a lot of history in developing and framing international
law. After all, who controls a particular land mass? It is those who have come
in and asserted territoriality. We have had a lot of conflict over who will claim
the moon. We are the only ones who have been on the moon. Could we have
planted a flag and said, "We claim"--like Columbus did--"this territory for the
United States of America"? We agreed not to do that by way of international
conventions on space exploration. And many would not recognize that now,
because we did not leave anybody there to colonize, so we do not have any
control. But territoriality says when you are there, you have control over the
area, [is a very powerful factor]. France has control over its corporations, and
there are lots of French in France. The principle that we ought not interfere with
what is going on in France is pretty strong.
S: So you have mixed feelings, it sounds like.
G: I do. My leaning obviously is against laws to please small voting blocs. I do not
think that is good. I am very sympathetic to the Cubans. I am very anti
Castro-qua-Castro. I would like to see him out. I think we have enormous
numbers of people in Cuba that are suffering needlessly from lack of being to
able to develop the economy and provide resources. There is terrible rationing,
terrible conditions for many people living there. And particularly to freedom.
They are not free people. They are constantly watched, constantly restrained in
what they can do, and I think that needs to be changed. In one way I would be
much more supportive of sending an invasion into Cuba, a massive military
invasion, to get rid of Castro and start a democratic government going again. I
do not like doing something like that. To me it is not inconsistent to say I would
agree to doing that. But I do not like taking it out on a lot of our friends around
the world. I think we have too much of a history in the post-Second World War
era of attempting to enact laws with extraterritorial impact, and I think we have to
get away from that. We just do not think of that. Our Congress does not think
about it at all, so we leave that for our president to think about and, I think, to act
S: And to the unfortunate international lawyers who are trying to deal with this.
S: All right. Why don't we move on to NAFTA [North American Free Trade
Agreement]. I will go ahead and ask you the questions I have, and then you can
tell me if this is going to be covered in your article. Is the agreement still
scheduled to take effect at the end of this year? Is that where we are now?
G: No, it cannot take effect until it is approved by Congress. It has not been voted
on by any of the three nations' legislative bodies. The agreement has been
signed by the presidents, and that has started a period of discussion. I am not
sure, but I think under the Mexican rules the president could send it to the
Mexican Congress at any time. Generally, Mexico favors it, overwhelmingly so.
There is an opposition party that does not. It is a socialist party that wants to go
back to Mexico of the 1970s and be very restrictive, so it will be a Third World
leader and not be a member of the First World; it does not think of Mexican
development so much as it is an anti-American group.
Canada is a very tenuous situation because they have elections coming up, and
there is an enormous opposition in Canada to the act. There is a lot of
opposition to the Canadian-U.S. Free Trade Agreement on the grounds that it
has been distorted in helping the United States. I do not think that is true at all.
Canada really has to trade with the United States. Just from their geographical
location they are dependent upon the United States. But there is a lot of
opposition. The thought is because it is a parliamentary system that Prime
Minister [Brian] Mulroney can get the bill through. When they have
parliamentary elections or something were to happen, like if the government
were to collapse, that could be a problem. But basically I think the thinking is it
will get through Canada [and] it will get through Mexico, and in many ways if it
gets through Mexico and through the U.S., Canada does not have much say in it.
If they stay out of it we end up with a hub-spoke arrangement. We end up with a
U.S.-Canadian agreement which continues on, and we end up with a
U.S.-Mexican agreement which Canada has not signed. When you have a
hub-spoke arrangement it is the hub that gets all the benefit. So then there is
free trade between the U.S. and Canada, free trade between the U.S. and
Mexico, but no free trade between Canada and Mexico. That is not big, but it
can develop, and I think that is important. Also, the idea of three parties tends to
diminish a little bit the power of the stronger when you have two parties. With
the U.S.-Canada, the U.S. is viewed as so much stronger and the dominant
party; the same is true with U.S.-Mexico. When you have the U.S. with Canada
and Mexico, Canada and Mexico can gang up on the U.S. a little bit and say,
"Oh, wait a minute," and I think that is pretty healthy.
What has to happen in the United States now is that the bill has to be voted on
within a period of time. Fast track authority is going to run out. I am not sure,
but the dates come up sometime this spring. I would have to look them up. But
we will have to do something; I think it probably is by late March. Fast track
authority runs out, I think, maybe at the end of May. This fast track authority is
the authority by which Congress has said, "If you negotiate a free trade
agreement, we will vote yes or no on it with no proposed amendments." It is
being discussed a lot in various committees, but when it comes down to the final
vote, it will be yes or no.
Now, what happens is we have to pass implementing legislation. Every country
does. That implementing legislation could simply be "The U.S. Congress hereby
approves the North American Free Trade Agreement."
There are lots of little elements in there where we have to do something more, to
create something. There are going to be U.S. people that are going to be
nominated to and put on dispute-resolution panels. I have not seen all the
provisions of the NAFTA. It is 900-1,000 pages long. Each country is given the
right to determine how it is going to be. We could pass a rule that says that our
people will come more from retired judges and practitioners or faculty or so.
Mexico might say, "No, we want more practitioners to be on the panel." So this
is what we call implementing legislation. It would implement the agreement. It
ought not amend the agreement; it simply carries it out.
There will be people in Congress who will try to essentially and effectively amend
the agreement through implementing legislation. I do not know what happens if
you have implementing legislation. We have the Canadian-U.S. Free Trade
Agreement on the one hand, and then we have an act which is called the U.S.
Implementing Legislation for the Canadian-U.S. [Free Trade Agreement]. That
is the U.S. law. That incorporates this other trade agreement, but that is U.S.
law, and if that says, "We shall be a member of this for two years," at the end of
two years we are not a member of it. Mexico's could say, "We are a member of
it indefinitely." So we have to pass that implementing legislation, and I think
there is some kind of a March deadline to get that before the Congress. I am
not sure of all the deadlines now. All I know is we do not have very much time.
We have essentially the first six months of this year to do it. Otherwise we have
to ask for an extension of fast track authority, and that opens up the agreement
What is fascinating about this agreement is President Bush has not released the
agreement. Copies have been obtained by so many people in Congress, and
you can now write to various organizations and buy copies on disk or printed
copies. But you cannot write to the Government Printing Office and get it, and
that is absolutely wrong. They are trying to minimize discussion of the
agreement, and that is not proper. There is a time for the discussion of the
agreement. All it means is that people who want to have a copy of the
agreement have to pay a sort of noncompetitive price for it to those people who
have snuck the agreement out.
S: Besides import taxes, what else will be eliminated through this agreement?
G: There are two sides of it. It is fairly brief, even though the agreement is very
long. The table of contents, I think, is the best thing to take a look at, because
one could compare it to the GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade,
or the European Treaty of Rome. First, it has a number of provisions that deal
with specific areas. One, agriculture, which GATT has not agreed to yet; so we
have an area that deals with agriculture. We have one that deals with energy.
We have one that deals with financial services [and] a section that deals with
telecommunications. So [it is] unlike the GATT, which is not industry-specific,
with the exception of, I think, cinematography (a strange provision). What we
are trying to do is to open trade in specific services that are very sensitive.
Energy is very sensitive. Mexico says we do our gasoline through PEMEX, and
we are not going to break that up. It is a nationally owned, federal monopoly on
gas. So we said, "But what about, say, gas exploration or oil exploration? Can
we chip away little areas around the edge?" So energy tends to try to chip
around a sort of nonnegotiable area. We do that in several areas that are
Financial services are very sensitive. Mexico does not want us to come down
with Citicorp and Bank of America and overwhelm private Mexican banks,
particularly because Mexican banks were nationalized in 1982 and have just
been privatized again. They are not as sound, as large, as capable of
dominating banking services. Yet Mexico needs U.S. banks there to serve
American companies. They do not want U.S. companies to go into Mexico and
draw all the credit available of Mexican banks. They would rather see them
draw upon foreign resources. So we have a series of those kinds of provisions.
Those in a sense are, in many ways, positive, taking an area that there has not
been very much trade in and saying, "Let's do trade. Let's allow people to
Then we have a breakdown of trade, and that is the elimination of tariffs basically
over a ten-year period. But tariffs are not very high now. The average tariff of
products coming in is about 3 percent. The average tariff in Mexico, which I
suppose was in the 70 percent range ten years ago, is now about 13 or 15
percent. So this is why I often say that the NAFTA is in many cases irrelevant.
The trade is really going on. Mexico has been reducing its tariffs, partly because
it has wanted to reduce them and partly because it has joined GATT and it has to
reduce them. It has only been a member of GATT during the Uruguay round,
and that round has not concluded, so Mexico's tariffs can come down as a result
of concluding that round. They can come down simply with unilateral actions,
and they have made a lot of unilateral actions of reducing tariffs.
There are also sections that deal with the automotive industry and a section that
deals with textiles. In many ways what the agreement does is take a group of
specific industries and try to improve trade and create more trade in those
industries, get rid of some trade barriers, such as tariffs, such as barriers that do
not give the same treatment to nationals as foreigners, so we have a national
treatment section that essentially says, "You really ought to treat foreign
companies in the same way that you would treat American companies."
There are sections that deal with customs procedure to try to smooth customs
procedure--customs can be a headache--sections that deal with government
procurement. When the government is buying a product we will no longer
simply say we will buy only from Mexican suppliers, unless there is a reason,
[such as] military reason. We say, "We are going to buy jets from McDonnell
Douglas or from North American suppliers for national security reasons." We
have tried to get Mexico, and they have now agreed, to say, "We will open up
government procurement to bidding from U.S. companies and Canadian
companies as well as Mexican companies."
This agreement has a section dealing with intellectual property, essentially to
say, "Mexico ought to be protecting property better," and it is. It passed a new
Industrial Property Law in the summer of 1990. It has substantially, in advance
of NAFTA, rearranged its scheme of laws to make them much more open. They
have traditionally been very restrictive.
What has really happened is we have an enormous trade surplus with Mexico
now; we are sending so many goods to Mexico. Somebody has those jobs in
the United States. The opponents in the U.S.--labor unions and
environmentalists and so on--are not looking at the job creation in the U.S. If we
were to say, "We have to protect the U.S. from these jobs that are moving south,
therefore we are going to close our borders more," for every border that we close
from goods coming from Mexico or coming from Japan, we have to expect the
reciprocal to occur. We have to expect Japan to say, "Therefore we do not take
your goods." That is exactly what we have been doing with the European
Community, particularly with France. "You are not taking our soybean oil.
Therefore we have given you this list of equivalent dollar volume, $100 million,
for example--like white wines and things that hurt France, because we would
have to impose them on the European Community. So we try to pick out
particularly French goods, and we say, "We are not going to accept those." So
whenever you act to preserve something in your country, you are going to have
the people against whom you are taking those actions react as well.
So if we went to see the Caterpillar company lay people off who are
manufacturing Caterpillar machines to send to Mexico, or John Deere machines
to send to Mexico, we can do that, we can then save the Smith-Corona
production and have it continue in the United States. But only if we say that
those cannot come in from anywhere around the world, because if Smith-Corona
does not manufacture in Mexico it will manufacture in Taiwan or in Singapore or
in some other low-labor-cost location. So then what we say is, "All right. Then
we do not take goods in from Korea or Taiwan," and then Taiwan says "Fine.
We cancel the order for six Boeing aircraft for Taiwanese airlines." It is a
two-way street. What the problem is, is it is so easy to quantify the 450 jobs that
are lost when Smith-Corona closes a plant in North Carolina and says it is
moving production to Mexico. You can say, "There is John Smith out of work."
What is hard to quantify is the fact that the Mexicans are now, by selling products
to the U.S., typewriters to the U.S., selling lots more products to the U.S., earning
more money. It is taxed, and they also need to have a factory to build that
Smith-Corona plant. They need to dig a hole to build a basement for the factory
in the backfill. They do not make heavy equipment, so they are buying it from
Caterpillar. Now John Smith has been hired by Caterpillar because they have to
put another shift on because all of a sudden they are getting all these orders from
Mexico. You cannot quantify that job quite as easily--how many jobs are added
because of Mexico compared to how many jobs are lost because of Mexico?
Then we reach a very difficult problem, and that is, is it not true that we seem to
be losing more jobs than we are gaining? The answer to that is absolutely
correct. These talk show people and newspaper writers and all that are saying,
"We really should be seeking the kind of productive capacity that we had and
trading capacity that we had starting in the late 1940s and 1950s and carried
through till sometime in the 1960s and maybe early 1970s." We cannot go back
to that because there was no Japan competing, there was no Europe competing
in their era of reconstruction. There was no strong Taiwan or Singapore or none
of these Third World nations of Asia that we call the Four Dragons, the smaller
countries that have done so well. They were not around. We are now in a
competitive society. Those countries are no longer willing to say, "We will
simply be importers of U.S. products." We were in a wonderful situation. We
were manufacturing products for ourselves, we were manufacturing products for
abroad. We were not buying products from abroad because for the most part
we were the ones who had the technology and the productivity. But that
changed. We helped these countries restore themselves and become
productive economies again, and they want to sell to us. We began to buy, and
they began to find where they could manufacture better and cheaper. So now
we have much more balance.
Our argument is not really against Mexico and the NAFTA. The argument is
against Japan and countries that are unfair traders, and Japan continues to be
an unfair trading nation. It also takes a lot of "unfair" hits. Japan also is a
productive nation. Their workers are not as productive as our workers, and they
are now being paid about the same as our workers are. So one has to ask, why
are they not buying as many products? Part of it is cultural barriers, part of it is
Japanese individuals are more inclined to buy Japanese products than you and I
may be inclined to say simply, "Buy American." We have not thought very much
about going out and looking for a car and saying, "We will buy a Toyota as much
as we would buy a Ford." We have had a tendency to say, "We will buy the
better car," and for many years it was quite clear that the Toyota was the better
car. Now we are seeing that the Ford Taurus is selling more than the Honda.
The quality of particularly the Fords, I think, has improved enormously. I sort of
sense a lot of people now saying, "Gee, if the quality is even, I ought to buy our
product." I certainly hope that is [the case].
S: Sam Walton [owner of Wal-Mart] has people looking at buying American.
G: Yes. Sure. People are saying "Buy American." Now, I do not blame an
American, and particularly a middle-class American and lower-middle-class
American who does not have very much surplus income and probably will have
less in the years to come, for saying, "I have to buy the very best product that is
going to last the longest period of time. If that is a Toyota, I had better buy the
Toyota, because I just do not have the money to keep repairing a Chrysler or a
Ford." One can understand that. They are still our products.
Japan has been unfair. Japan has made the argument that Head skis cannot be
sold in Japan because the nature of the Japanese snow is of such a different
quality that people would be at great risk in using a foreign ski. The Japanese
skis are made taking into consideration the quality of the Japanese snow. With
those arguments you just have to come out and say to them frankly, "That is
nonsense. We will not accept that." We have been, in many cases, totally
unwilling [to do that]. We have two sides. [Richard A.] Gephardt in Congress
[D, Missouri] has said, "We will reduce the surplus with Japan by 10 percent a
year or we simply create a list of products that we do not trade anymore." That
is the tough one. The other is we have enacted what we call Super 301, and
that is a provision in which we designate countries that we believe are unfair
traders, and we negotiate with them individually to make changes. One of the
problems with the Japanese is they are very, very clever. They are like a
pillow--you hit them, and they will collapse a little bit on one argument, and they
will come out strong on another one where you are not watching at that time.
They will act unfairly in that area as well. But there is a little bit of both. There
is still a lot of feeling by the Japanese that they would prefer [goods
manufactured by their kinsmen]. The Japanese are a really closed society.
You are not really all that welcome as a foreigner. It is not easy to become a
citizen in Japan. It is a homogeneous society. They protect themselves. They
do not have the natural resources. They have human resources, so they see it
necessary to keep Japan Japanese. This will come back, obviously, to hurt
them in the long run.
Europe is far more effective in dealing with the Japanese than we have [been],
more effective in that they simply have said, "Enough is enough. We are not
going to lose all of our industry." We have said that. "We are not going to lose
the auto industry. You are going to be able to send so many cars in," so we
have a quota now. It is not really a quota--it is a voluntary restraint agreement
that sets a quota, so it is outside of the violation of quotas under GATT.
The Japanese realize that if they were not to agree to that kind of quota
Congress would simply come in and cut back the number, whether it violates
GATT or not. So what do they do? They keep the quota at ten million units or
so, and then they begin to manufacture in the U.S., and we do not count those as
under the quota. I think the Europeans count any Nissan manufactured in
Europe under the agreed-upon, voluntary "quota" for cars coming in. There is
talk about that in the U.S., but, again, they put a plant in the U.S., putting a lot of
jobs in the U.S. to manufacture those, depending on what is done. If it is a kit
sent to the U.S. to screw together, that is not, but if most of the products are
sourced in the U.S., that is different. But we find that is not always true. The
Honda corporation gets a good many of its parts, if not most of its parts, from
Japanese-owned companies, either coming in from Japan or Japanese-owned
companies in the U.S. So while the jobs are provided in the U.S., the profit
[goes back to Japan].
S: I am wondering what would be the benefits of NAFTA for the U.S.?
G: NAFTA is a strange being. In many cases what NAFTA speaks about is not
what NAFTA is about. It basically is a document of relationships. I do not talk
about Canada much when I talk about NAFTA because, again, we have an
agreement with Canada. The relationship is very different. We did NAFTA
because of Mexico.
Our major concern with Mexico has been and continues to be illegal immigration.
We really would like to see this stop, as a national policy. We cannot absorb
the number of people that are coming in. We simply have had a lot of conflict.
We understand this, I think, in this state with Hispanic and Haitian immigrants to
Miami and the financial burden this puts on the system, on the schools and so
forth, because most of these people are economic refugees, and they come in
without many skills and without jobs, and we do not always have jobs for them.
What we would like to think of is that Mexico could provide enough jobs for its
own people so that they would be less inclined to come to the U.S. They do not
come to the U.S. because they have great affection for the U.S. They come
looking for work, and many of them go back after they have had work and have
earned money. Many of them are not bringing their families here. Many are.
The thought is, and studies show lots of different things, that NAFTA will have an
impact on immigration. Some of the studies suggest that it will have a nominal
impact because Mexico will not create that many jobs at the rate at which the
population is growing. Mexico clearly still has a population problem which many
would deny, but it does have a population that is growing at a rate far faster than
it can create jobs for, and I think still faster than at the rate which it can create
jobs with the NAFTA. Surplus labor will continue to seek jobs in the United
Strangely, some people have raised the theory, and I think it is a fascinating
theory, that as new jobs are created in Mexico that are decent-paying jobs, who
will take them? Not the Mexican surplus labor that is in Mexico now but the
Mexican families that have come to Arizona that cannot really find good work and
are doing gardening or something like that. They would rather go back and live
in Guanajuato where they grew up and work in the new Ford factory in
Guanajuato. So we may have sort of a reverse migration even of those,
because after all, I think to some degree who is the worker you would rather
employ--the sort of entrepreneurial, independent person who took a bus and
walked and snuck across the border four times, the first three times caught and
returned, and now has a job working as a gardener for someone in Arizona or
working as a chauffeur for someone in Hartford, Connecticut, or do you hire the
person who says, "I am too timid. I do not want to try to do all that" and has
stayed in Guanajuato? I think this other person has the kind of spirit that you
would like to have as an employee.
S: But if it will not have that big of an effect on immigration, and if we are going to
lose some jobs to Mexico, then what are your feelings?
G: Well, both are probably true. One of the [questions that arises then is,] Why
have the agreement? Mexicans spend about $300, I think, annually per capital
for consumption spending. We spend about $3,000 per capital. If you take the
number of Mexicans and triple their per capital income capacity, they have to
spend it on products made somewhere. A number will be made in Mexico.
Many will be made in Mexico by American companies, the profit of which will
come back to the United States to benefit the big corporation. But who is the big
corporation? You and I may be the big corporation because we are both
dependent on the Florida pension fund for our living in retirement, and the Florida
pension fund may own 15,000 shares of Smith-Corona company. now
manufacturing typewriters in Mexico. So the more typewriters we can
manufacture and sell in Mexico the better off we are going to be back here as
Secondly, the Mexicans are going to buy products from abroad that are not made
in Mexico, so they are going to be buying the products from companies that if
they were to sell only in the U.S. would employ far fewer people than now by
employing more to sell abroad--the Caterpillar company, [for instance]. The
Microsoft company continues to manufacture its software principally in Utah, but
it is going to sell a lot of Microsoft software to Mexico, and that is going to mean a
lot more jobs in Utah. Again, that is happening.
But that is not what the labor unions are looking at. They are looking at the loss
[of jobs here]. A little bit of this is losing those wonderful jobs that we had in the
1950s where labor unions were able to get much higher prices because we had
an oligopoly situation of three companies producing the product. So General
Motors caved in to the unions because they knew Ford would follow and Chrysler
would follow. We had people who had a high school education having an $18-
or $25-an-hour salary and another $15 in fringe benefits. These people had a
little cottage up on the lake or so, and they have a RV camper, and they travel
and tour in Florida every couple of years for a few weeks. Those days are
numbered. I think those days were principally because we were a dominant
world enterprise supplying the world with products. I think it will be different
when we have a much more even balance of trade, when we are bringing in
about as much as we are sending out... you always want to be a net exporter if
you can, but everybody cannot be. Everybody who is not a net exporter wants
to try to become one, and they often think of doing it not by being good at
manufacturing products but by being protectionist. I think if we come to a
relatively even balance we are not going to have people earning that [kind of
salary]. Certainly that is sad. We are going to have a lot more people earning
much more modest incomes, living much more the way people do in Europe.
They are spending a lot on health care through taxes, which we are going to
have to do. They are spending a lot on food; Europeans spend much more on
food than we do, partially because it is a protectionist atmosphere.
If we want to be protectionist, if we want to say to Mexico, "We are not going to
have this agreement with you, or Canada, we are really going to close our
borders. We are going to produce the food we eat, we are going to produce the
cars that we drive, we are going to produce the electronics and the cameras that
we use," when you and I go to look for a television set, it is not going to be $385
for a particular set. That set may be $700 or $580. So we may buy one of
those television sets and use it much longer than we [do now]. We are not
going to turn it in when stereo comes out and buy a new one. We are going to
buy a lot fewer of those products that are made.
So what we are trying to seek is some kind of reasonable balance. We are
trying not to put all of our people out of work. Obviously, if all our jobs were lost
abroad and everybody were out of work, where are they going to earn enough
money to buy these goods that Mexico is now making that they want to sell in the
U.S.? Where are they going to buy the Japanese goods that are coming in?
They will not be able to buy them.
It is interesting. Retail sales are very good in many industries now. There is a
lot of money in the United States that is still being spent. So much of this is
S: Okay. I wondered how long it will take for the agreement to affect the Mexican
economy and its people.
G: That is a fascinating question. There is another side to that question: How long
will we see a marked improvement in the Mexican standard of living so that they
will be buying our products, and how many more of our people that are currently
employed have to worry about the jobs being shifted to Mexico? A little bit of
that is asking, How long will it take before the Mexican standard of living comes
up close enough to the U.S. that we can no longer ship jobs to a cheap labor
base in Mexico? In Japan now labor is about what it is in the United States, but
what are they doing? They are manufacturing parts in Korea. They are looking
for low cost labor. They are going into Mexico. They are going to Central
America for low-labor-cost bases.
We would like to be able to answer these questions. I think the administration
has said something like 150,000 jobs will be lost with NAFTA. Many of those
would be lost anyway, I think, without a NAFTA simply because of the shift that
we are seeing going on. In fact, I would argue that not nearly as many jobs will
be lost. If NAFTA goes through, the sugar industry will lose jobs. Who holds
those jobs? A lot of them are illegal migrants that are cutting cane, or migrants
that we temporarily allow from Jamaica to cut cane who then have to go back.
Are those American jobs?
S: Are they including those numbers in the 150,000?
G: I do not know. In a sense that ought not to be a lost job. To me the sugar
industry ought not be located in the United States. One, it is not a strategic item.
It is an item that we are increasingly realizing is not good for you for health. If
we are interested in the economies of Central America, particularly the
Caribbean island nations, sugar is one thing they can produce. When we have
relations with Cuba again, if we expect Cuba to pay off the $2 billion-plus-interest
debt for having expropriated American property, there is only one commodity that
they really have been able to export in any quantity and earn foreign exchange
for, and that is sugar. Are we going to take a lot of Cuban sugar?
The sugar law in the United States is very, very forceful. I have talked with
people in sugar families, young people who are maybe a little more liberal than
their parents, and they say they are having a great ride. The U.S. government
has this sugar quota, and they are making enormous amounts of money. They
admit they are not doing a very good job for the environment, and whenever this
runs out they are just going to shift to winter vegetables. They will not make as
much money because they will not be subsidized the way they are with sugar.
They know the end is coming, and they are going to fight like mad to save all this
largess of the American government.
The NAFTA is going to cause drops in segments like that. It is not going to
affect McDonald's, it is not going to affect Microsoft (I do not think they are going
to shift manufacturing abroad), but it is going to affect the manufacture of
commodities where Mexicans as dexterous as Americans can put together this
lamp, [or] they can put together these eye glasses as well as Americans. Lots of
things like eye glass frames or so are the kinds of things that one would think of
setting up a factory for in Mexico. Light freight is inexpensive. It is probably a
pretty easy thing to stamp out and manufacture.
So I think the overall difficulty of NAFTA is true of any trade agreement, any
movement towards integration--this happened in the European Community--it
creates dislocations. It is intended to. You do not go into a trade agreement
unless you intend it to have some impact on different parts. You want it to have
an impact on the most inefficient sections of your economy. Great. That is
sugar. We should not be supporting the sugar industry. One very interesting
company that has long been successful in arguing for protection has been
Corning glass in the glass industry. Mexico can make glass. Lots of other
companies can make glass. What did Corning do in anticipation of all this? It
formed joint ventures with some Mexican glasswork companies. That is the best
thing they can do, I think. They can begin now to have Mexico produce the
lowest-cost glasswork products using low technology. They can continue to
develop high-technology Corning glass, making telescope lenses and
high-quality, high-technology items. Mexico now will be able to buy those
Corning products from the United States Corning production.
But dislocation? Absolutely. There is dislocation, and it is sad. We are not as
mobile in moving because you lose your job from Smith-Corona in North Carolina
when they move, and there is a pretty good chance that that is one member of a
two-member working family that has lost that job. So now what do you do?
Your husband has a job working in that same town in North Carolina with a textile
plant that is not closing down. So we say to you, "We will retrain you for
something, and you can probably work in that area in Oklahoma." So what are
they telling you to do? Commute from Oklahoma to North Carolina? Tell your
husband to give up his job and see what he can find in Oklahoma? These
dislocations are very difficult to deal with. We have laws that provide for
adjustment assistance, retraining, trying to get people into other industries. But
we are not as mobile as many government planners would like to think. We are
more [mobile] than many countries. Many countries culturally are not very
mobile at all. You can go to many places in France or in Mexico and ask
directions for a town that is twenty miles away, and they will not know because
they have never been there. That is much less likely in this country.
So we are going to have lots of dislocation. The agreement is intended [to do
that], and that is kind of negative. The consequence of the benefits we hope will
arise from the agreement, will be some recognizable and unfortunate dislocations
for people. We would like to smooth those out, but they will exist, and we will
have to do something about them.
S: What about the benefits to Canada? We already have this agreement between
the U.S. and Canada.
G: Much of the Canadian agreement continues to exist and is brought into the
NAFTA agreement. Canada continues to protect its cultural industries. Since
Canada entered into its agreement dealing with the automotive sector with the
U.S. in 1965, I think Canada probably has been the main beneficiary of that
agreement, mainly because there are things you cannot control. It happened
that minivans were manufactured in Canada, and they are enormously popular,
so that helped Canada. The Canadian dollar dropped, so that meant that
production costs were lower in Canada vis-a-vis the [U.S.] dollar, and that meant
that the Canadian-produced items could be sold for less in the United States.
So that 1965 automotive agreement was incorporated into the Canadian-U.S.
Free Trade Agreement, and the Canadian Free Trade Agreement with the 1965
automotive agreement is, for the most part, effectively being brought into the
NAFTA agreement. Parts of the current U.S.-Canadian relationships are being
preserved. It was awfully early to revisit the Canadian agreement. Many
Canadians were upset that it would be revisited and some of the protective
groups in Canada, such as those protecting the cultural industries, radio
broadcasting, and other things like that, feared their industries were going to be
lost. Mexico did not insist on protection of those cultural industries, and Canada
thought, Well, if they do not it will be hard for us to do in a fully renegotiated
I think the benefit probably for Canada is that it avoids the hub-spoke relationship
of having a U.S.-Canada, U.S.-Mexican, two bilateral agreements. It opens
some opportunities for efficient Canadian industries to trade with Mexico and sell
to Mexico what they can manufacture efficiently. But what it probably really
does is it recognizes reality for Canada. Canada is tied to the United States,
and it cannot afford to have a big border barrier to products. Probably the long
run with Canada ought to be some kind of fusion of the "United States of
Canada" and the U.S. We could do that. Culturally and politically our ethnic
background is much more similar throughout a good part of Canada. Mention
that to a Canadian, and no matter how nice you can phrase it and no matter how
sincere you are, Canadians are more territorially resource oriented, they see the
greedy neighbor that wants to dip its hands in what are vast natural resources in
Canada. I do not mean that at all. Certainly we will tap those resources.
Canadians will sell those resources to us as one of the items that Canada has to
sell in return for items that we have to sell. But we certainly could lose a lot of
the problems that we have. Many Canadians move back and forth across the
border absolutely freely and would much benefit. Canadian food prices are high.
Go along any location along the Canadian border where there is a crossing on
weekends, and it is the time when families come across and spend their
Canadian-earned money in U.S. stores, buying food which is far cheaper than it
is in Canada.
But yet Canadians do not want to lose their identity. They do not want to see
Canada gone. What is going to happen to them? Will we add one little maple
leaf along with a lot of stars or so? [laughter] That is not going to be
satisfactory to them.
S: Okay. Half stars, half maple leafs. [laughter]
G: Yes. Mexico is different. We are not ready culturally to assimilate Mexico into
this country. We are worried about Mexico.
How different the European Community was. The European Community was an
idea of "let's bring everybody together. Let's have free mobility of people and
labor." For the most part it was that free movement of people around [that was
enticing]. To some degree the NAFTA is "let's keep the Mexicans out. Maybe
this is one way of stopping immigration. We do not want Mexicans in the United
States. We will stop them from coming in." There is a lot of anti-Mexican
feeling about the number of Mexicans that have come in and the social problems
that have been created--the clustering of Mexicans in the border areas. Areas
of many of our states are Mexican now; they are largely Mexican. You cannot
really function very adequately if you are in parts of the U.S.--Texas, New
Mexico, Arizona, California--if you do not speak Spanish. You cannot get a job;
you cannot get lower-paying jobs unless you can speak [Spanish]. You cannot
get a job in El Paso in a Woolco or K-Mart unless you can speak Spanish,
because so many of your customers are Mexicans coming over from Mexico or
Mexicans in the U.S. who do not speak any English. So you have to be able as
a cashier to speak the language. You have to be able as a complaint
department that takes products back on return to speak Spanish. We do not.
We are monolingual. So who is hired? The Mexicans who come over, usually
legal Mexicans in those kinds of positions.
S: Okay. So you see this, then, as strengthening this region of the world. In your
article you said, "No U.S. investment abroad should have to go farther than
G: Sure. We should not have to set up a factory in Taiwan to manufacture things in
Taiwan for the American market. We should be able to do this in Mexico. After
all, we are neighbors.
S: So you are hoping that this would encourage these three nations to look here, at
this region first before they would go [elsewhere].
G: Yes. Sure. And it is; it clearly is. What is happening now is the jobs that were
going to many nations [are going to one]. One factory was cancelling 200 jobs
and going to Taiwan, another one to Korea, another one to Singapore, so there
was not one country. Now they are doing this to go to Mexico. So now there is
an identifiable country to which they are going. That is irritating people because
now everything is going to Mexico. Before it was a lot of countries that were
getting the benefits of these jobs.
S: And more opportunities for international lawyers as a result of all of this?
G: Oh, yes, very much. It is going to be very difficult for a lawyer not to be able to
understand something about trading rules. But very few lawyers are ever going
to become involved with interpreting the provisions of the NAFTA agreement.
Much of this is through government regulations. Much of this deals with how do
we deal with dumping? How do we create rules of origin which determine
whether a product can come into the United States or not? These are going to
be issues that are going to be determined by a trade group of lawyers in
What the Florida lawyer needs to know, because there is going to be much more
trade, [is some knowledge of international law. For instance,] let us say the
Drilltech Company up in Alachua now begins to sell drill bits to Mexico and is
selling a lot of them. Now what happens is there is a conflict; there is a normal
commercial conflict. A group of drill bits has arrived in Mexico, and the
Mexicans have tried them, and they are brittle; the steel is brittle. They say, "We
should not have to pay you for this." Let us assume that Mexicans now come
and say, "We will come and sue in Gainesville court." The Mexicans are going
to hire an American lawyer. The Mexicans are going to make arguments maybe
based on Mexican law. They might say, "This was a contract signed in Mexico.
Mexican law applies." Will the American court apply Mexican law? What is
Mexican law? How do you go about proving it? It is easy for me to determine
what contract law in Florida is because here it is, right in these statutes and in the
cases down here. But Mexican law? I am going to have to translate it. They
say it is in the civil code. Is there a translation of the civil code? We have to
find out whether there is a translation. The judge does not speak Spanish, [and]
the lawyers here do not speak Spanish.
Or it may be that the Mexicans have sued the company in Mexico, and they have
a judgment from a Mexican court, and they now want to enforce it in our courts.
Will the Gainesville court enforce this Mexican judgment? After all, let us say
the American party went down there and contested the action; they had a full day
in court, and they now want to say, "Oh, yes, but the Mexicans did things
differently in their court. They did not use a jury; I did not have a jury trial. So we
should not enforce this." Well, our court is likely to say, "If certain standards of
fairness were met we will go along with it."
We probably will ultimately have an international convention that will deal with
this. This is what we need. We will have a seminar here in April with a
Mexican, an American, and a Canadian coming to discuss this exact issue--the
harmonization of law, the difference in laws involved in general commercial
litigation. This is totally outside the context of the NAFTA. So again, it gets
down to there is so much trade outside of NAFTA that is not affected by NAFTA
than NAFTA is ever going to generate. There are going to be so many more
disputes that are [going to be] generated by this enormous amount that is already
developing that are not in any way assisted by the NAFTA document. The
NAFTA dispute resolution applies to an entirely different realm of dispute. It
applies to dumping actions before the governments and setting up special bodies
instead of using local courts. But it does not deal with our selling of drill bits to
Mexico at all.
S: While we are talking about lawyers and international law, what about plans for
increasing our focus on international law here [at the UF College of Law] and
developing an LL.M. program?
G: There are two kinds of LL.M. programs, really, to develop. One is to train our
people to do international trade law, to train Americans. The other is to bring
foreigners here who want to learn about the American legal system. It is
important for that Mexican lawyer who is representing that Mexican company that
bought that drill bit to have a comprehension of American law, just as it is
important for Americans to go to Mexico and study Mexican law.
We are doing several things. In 1974 this faculty approved the creation of an
LL.M. for foreign students to come here. At that time probably one-tenth of the
American law schools had that kind of program; Harvard, Yale--the major schools
had that program. We have had a problem in getting that through the Graduate
School in the same way the tax people took ten years to get their program
through the Graduate School, mainly because of a power struggle within the
Graduate School. That power struggle is coming to an end because the dean of
the Graduate School is departing forcibly because the Graduate School has been
broken up. The whole reason that the Graduate School broke up was to remove
Madelyn Lockhart from that position. She wanted to be a candidate for the new
position, and she was turned down. She was on the initial list of people
suggested, and not one member of the committee voted to keep her on. What is
happening is the president [John Lombardi] is trying to do this graciously, also to
acknowledge that there are, I think, only two women who are deans with major
positions at the University, and this is one of them. But we have had a constant
fight with this one person. She has exhausted my patience, she has exhausted
Roy Hunt's patience, she has exhausted, I think, Dean Lewis's patience. The
only time I ever see him get a little bit angry--he is one of the most patient people
I know--is when you say "Florida Graduate School; Madelyn Lockhart," and you
begin to see the hair stand up on the back of his neck. We have had absolutely
no cooperation with the University administration until Lombardi came, and he is
trying to cooperate, and we think we are going to have this solved.
We are hopeful of starting in the fall of 1994--twenty years after the faculty
approved this--a program which will bring perhaps twenty foreign students here.
We have people besieging us with requests to come here and study for a year.
They assume we have a degree because now not 10 percent of American law
schools offer an L.L.M., but most American law schools that one would say are
decent law schools have now had them in place for ten years. We were on the
cutting edge of trying to develop it, [but] we are a long-behind follower. The
important thing is to look positively, and that is that we must have this in place in
order for us to take advantage of helping our students.
We are working on a program with Mexico whereby our law students who speak
fluent Spanish could do their last term at the Escuela Libre in Mexico. They
would spend their whole year in Mexico learning law. They would get credit for
their last term here, just as one of our students can go off to any one of a number
of places and do their last term in the U.S. They will be able to do it in Mexico,
and they will come away with a Mexican graduate degree. They will come away
with a master's degree in Mexican law. Very few people in the United States
have a master's degree in Mexican law. I know of only one. I have a Maestro
en Derecho from Ibero-americana, and I did this because I wanted to learn more
about Mexican law. They are one of the only two schools that have had this,
and now we have two or three other schools in Mexico developing it.
The quid pro quo is that we will take so many Mexican law graduates into our
L.L.M. program. In other words, we will designate maybe four people a year
who will go down there, and they will be able to designate four people a year to
come to our program. They will not have to go through any admissions
procedures. They will know there are places. We have to have that program in
place. They are developing this with Texas, and they are developing it, I think,
If we do not say yes and get this program through soon, and President Lombardi
knows this, we will lose that, and that is one more loss. Winston Nagan and
Fletcher Baldwin [professors of law]--particularly Winston--both know of a
number of instances where we had an opportunity to get major grants given to
the University, but they were not granted because the law school did not have a
graduate component. These were people who would, say, come to a unit that
would be for graduate environmental studies, but they had to have graduate law
The sad tale is during the long power struggle of the Graduate School it has
never recognized the J.D. as graduate study. They cannot do that because they
know they cannot get control of that. If they recognized that as graduate study,
then they would have to recognize anything else we do as graduate study. So
they say what we do as a J.D. is not graduate study, but if we want to develop an
LL.M. it is graduate study, and it therefore comes under their power. We have
made an inquiry throughout the United States [and discovered that] that is a sole,
exclusive, unique argument made here. It makes absolutely no sense
anywhere. They want our students to take the Graduate Record Examination
[GRE] instead of using law examinations. They want our law faculty to be hired
over here to be interviewed by the graduate head because they will be teaching
graduate work, which many of our people coming into the tax program have
simply refused to go over there and have an interview. I refuse to participate on
the graduate faculty. I am a member of the graduate faculty--I was when I first
came here. I had no idea what this interview was, but I went over, and Madelyn
Lockhart sat me down and wanted to know about the quality of the journals I was
writing in. It was an absolutely absurd experience. I got qualified. When I
learned what has happened I no longer have any participation with the graduate
S: So it is a power struggle.
G: It is a power struggle, and it was a personal power struggle. It started with
[Linton E.] Grinter. He did not like the law school having any separateness, and
it continued on with her. It is not solely her. It is essentially sort of an
institutionalized view at the Graduate School.
What had to happen was that they essentially had to be terminated; they had to
change the structure in order to do it kindly. We tried to get [UF president
Marshall] Criser [1984-1989] to do it, and he simply would not face the issue.
He effectively said he was not interested in international students anyway, and
he really was not. He was a very provincial person. [Robert Q.] Marston did
not want to do it. We really started things under [Stephen C.] O'Connell
[1968-1974]. O'Connell was probably the one who was more likely to do it
anyway, because he was always sort of willing to take the bull by the horns and
do what was right.
We have lost a lot so far. We stand to continue to lose more in the next few
years. I very much want to see us develop that program. We have students
now from our exchange program with Leiden. They are enormously enriching.
Our students love having them in class. Everybody that we have had that has
come from a foreign country into our class has been, I think, well received in
terms of the substantive dimension that they add in that class. I have four Dutch
students in my trade course right now, and they are wonderful as additions to
say, "We do it this way. How do you do it? How would you look at this
problem?" We had a wonderful discussion this morning on a very different
fundamental approach to a problem, our lawyers need to know that this is the
way they are thinking. So we really need to get that L.L.M..
It is a very inexpensive program. We are not adding any courses. We are just
bringing foreigners to sit in on courses we offer already. We need a coordinator
to do the administrative work for the program. So it was never a matter of
Some other ones are a matter of funding. How far we can develop our visiting
courses here with the various visitors is really dependent on two things--getting
adequate funding, adequate room which we are a little short of, and that is a
matter of funding; and also having adequate people here who are willing to take
these people to lunch and take them off on weekends and do things and invite
them to their homes. We have a Polish fellow now who had never been in the
United States before, and except for the kindness of some of our faculty who are
treating him to time in their homes and time away for a weekend or so it would be
a pretty lonely existence. We have had one person coming from a Third World
country in Asia who was really upset. He thought he was not really treated very
well in that program because he was not catered to enough. We learned he
expected hourly socializing, I think. But almost everybody we have had has
been absolutely wonderful and has enjoyed their experience here. And we need
money to do that.
We are operating under a one-time grant by an alumnus and matching money
given by the University. We do not have money for that program for next year.
Dean Lewis is working on that. He very much wants to continue that next year.
Both of the courses that are running under that are oversubscribed. There is no
question about its success.
S: So there is great interest.
S: Who is that alumnus?
G: You would have to ask him [Dean Lewis]. It is an alumnus who graduated a
long time ago, well before we started doing much in the way of international
work. I think he is from Georgia; I think he is from Atlanta. He has done very
well; [he is,] I think, a very successful practicing attorney. It just sort of came out
of the blue. Now, I could understand it if it were someone who went through [the
program] and took one of these courses four or five years ago and now said, "I
heard you lost them. I have been successful early in my practice and would like
to help." But here is the kind of alumnus you really love to have, and that is one
who all of a sudden comes out of the blue and says, "I would really like to help
support you and do this." So he is very important to us.
S: Okay. Well, I feel like it is important to the history of the law school as well as
the University to have an understanding of what has gone on for the past twenty
years. You said at one point that that is off the record, and I hope you will allow
that to be in the history.
G: Yes. I do not want you to write about how I have been complaining about
S: No, I will not. I am sensitive to that.
G: I think Madelyn Lockhart deserves what she gets. In fact, to me we spent far too
much time working around being kind at, I think, enormous expense. It would
have been much better if one of the presidents had simply said, "I agree with the
law school's reports and analysis." We had Kermit Hall [Professor of History] do
a report on all of this on the whole role of Graduate School. That need was
generated mainly by the law school. It would have been much easier simply to
say, "Madelyn," and before that to Grinter, "we do not recognize you as having
jurisdiction over law school programs. They are professional programs, and
they are going to develop their graduate programs on their own. End of issue."
See, we have to send things to Tigert because they say it has to go to the
[Faculty] Senate, and it has to go through the graduate program. If we try to
send it to the senate directly the graduate program people would go in there and
block it in the senate unless the president comes in and says, "It does not even
belong here. It ought to go right to the chancellor's office." I think Lombardi's
view was, let's try and work it through more normal channels, but let's change
Now, the danger is whoever comes in in that new position may be interested in
power too. You never know until the person wears the mantel.
S: But Lombardi has demonstrated some support.
G: I think so; I think that is pretty clear. I think what we have to do is continue to
push him to say, "We cannot afford to have someone come in and sit down and
say, 'I am going to need to review this for a year or so.' We need someone to
be able to go in and sit down and say, 'Here is our problem. We do not think we
come under the Graduate School. We do not want to come under the Graduate
School. Other law schools do not come under their graduate schools. We just
want you to acknowledge that."' And all that person has to say is, "Fine. I
acknowledge it." But if they are concerned about losing a little bit of connection
and power, doling money out to scholarships, and that kind of thing ... we do
have to fight. Our tax people get some scholarship money through the Graduate
School, so that is quid pro quo in dealing with them. We will look for our money
separately. But we just have to do this.
S: So first we would be looking for an LL.M. for foreign students.
S: And out of that would come an L.L.M. ....
G: Then the question is, should we move anywhere? I think we could develop a
very, very good graduate law program in international business. We have a lot
of people here that would teach courses that would be involved. Stuart Cohn
has often suggested an interest in teaching a comparative corporation law class,
which would be very useful. Bob Moberly is very skilled in foreign labor law and
comparative aspects of labor law. So we have a lot of people who are now
teaching four domestic courses who could continue teaching three domestic
courses and teach one foreign course in that kind of program. So we would not
have a special tax faculty necessarily. We have some people [already on the
faculty] who teach mostly international courses. I really teach three out of four
courses in the international and comparative field. I am probably the only one
that does that. But in a sense I would almost like to see us not be like the tax
faculty where everybody is basically a tax faculty member. I would rather see
people who teach generally throughout the faculty teach one course in this area.
What that would mean is that if Stuart Cohn gave up one course and Bob
Moberly gave up one course or so, currently domestic courses, for every four
new courses we are developing in this program taught by our current people we
would need a new position. I think we probably need three or four new faculty
positions to do that program, and we would end up being able to do it well.
I have only one concern. We could do a wonderful, quality program, attract, I
think, first-rate students. Where do we place them? Placing people in the
international field is not easy. So much of international practice is something
you develop on your own because you have that sort of spark. You almost
would have to make your admissions of people coming into that program people
whom you feel are not going to come and say, "Okay. I am ready. I have the
degree. Find me a job," because if you take in thirty people and twenty of them
are like that and do not get a job, they are going to be angry at your program,
and it quickly is not going to have a very good reputation.
How do these people get their jobs? A lot of self-initiative. The person who
says, "I would really like to work in Paris. I am going over to Paris over the
holidays, and I am going to knock on doors. What doors should I knock on?"
Fine. We can tell them, "Go to the OECD [Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development]. Go to UNESCO [United Nations Educational,
Scientific, and Cultural Organization]. There are lots of places to look for these,
but you are going to have to present yourself," because people working in the
international field have to have language--we may have to take only people with
language skills--they have to have a cultural assimilation--we may have to take
only people who show us that they already have some of that, because if they do
not they are not going to be easy to place. We are going to have people who
have some sort of affinity for dealing with other cultures, who are decent with
other people, who are not going to say, "Why do you people do these strange
things? These are stupid, little habits that you have." They are going to have to
have the attitude, Gee, I am interested in what you do. What is the background
of driving on, as we say, the "wrong side of the road," driving on the left side?
S: So maybe people also who are starting out who are moving in that direction in
their practice and who would be willing to take a year.
G: They would come back for a year. A lot of our tax people are like that. They
will get out and will practice for a year or two and then come back. I think we
can do it, but I think we have to have a much better control over admissions. I
think we probably would have to go to interviews with admissions. It is really
sad to see someone walk in your office who says, "I am in the upper 20 percent
of my class," or, "upper 10 percent of my class. I am on the Law Review. I
have been trying job interview after interview after interview. I cannot get a job."
You sit and talk to them for half an hour, and you understand why they cannot
get a job. One, their personal appearance is rotten. They may be able to do
work when they keep editing and write pretty decent exams, but their voice is
kind of obnoxious, their tone is aggressive and unpleasant, and you can say after
half an hour, "I would not want this person working for me." How do you tell that
person that? I have never been willing to say, "Let me tell you why you are not
getting a job. Go look in the mirror and talk to the mirror for half an hour. It is
simply because you just do not have a lot of the human personal qualities." How
do we measure those in getting to come in here? That is hard.
But I do not want to run a program like so many programs on campus that offer
Ph.D.s in the Graduate School that cannot place their people. Why do they run
those? So the faculty can get graduate assistants to do a lot of their teaching
and a lot of their exam grading and lot of their research. There is a whole
structure that has built up over the decades. We have probably produced far too
many Ph.D.s in many disciplines. I do not mind producing them if you tell
someone who is going to come in and study oboe and get a Ph.D. in the oboe,
"You will probably never get a position at a university hiring. You will probably
never get a position with a major symphony. You are probably going to end up
directing a high school band somewhere and teaching young kids several
woodwind instruments, and probably not the oboe, because it is too hard. Do
not expect us to find you that kind of job." That is fine if you come in and the
understanding is there. I think we probably have to tell people that "getting a job
at the end of the year is much of what you make of this yourself. We can do
some job identification for you, and we will have to have part of the placement
people for our own." I think the tax people have to do this. You have to identify
where the positions are. I think we can do that. I would like to see us go that
S: And the dean is supportive of that now.
G: We have not talked much about that because we have been shot down so
strongly with the first one.
S: Well, of the program, though.
G: Oh, I think generally yes. I think of moving into that direction. But we are not
even thinking of having a significant program here for American students in
graduate work until we can get this other program which is much less costly and
much easier [to implement in place].
S: And the dean is behind the other program.
G: Very strongly behind the program. They have tried all kinds of things. They
have tried to get the University to say, "Well, you already have an LL.M. in
taxation. That is really more an LL.M. than an LL.M. in taxation. We will say
you already have gotten permission for an LL.M., and now that gives you
permission to do an LL.M. in taxation, an LL.M. in comparative law, an LL.M. in
trade." That ought to be where we are. I suppose if there is a blockage, that
could be Lombardi's way of dealing with it. If he ends up appointing someone in
the Graduate School who then begins a power base struggle, I do not think he is
going to appoint someone like that. I do not know. But there is a strong
candidate, an inside candidate who has gone through that system who we have
reason to believe is not as strict as Madelyn Lockhart, but has come out of that
system and maybe sees about a way of building his base.
You have to realize that most of us who would be involved in the program here
are not going ahead with one that gives in to them. I am not going to waste my
time trying to convince students why they should take the GRE or why they
should do some of these stupid things that to me really are stupid. They are
totally inconsistent with education, totally consistent with power and territorialism.
I am just not interested in the territory. I would rather not gain the territory than
to gain some that is so misused that way.
S: All right. Let us switch over to you personally and your [career]. I guess quickly
on your books, I am wondering about your casebooks. Which should I identify
as leading, or do you have leading casebooks?
G: The international trade casebook for West [International Business Transactions:
A Problem-oriented Coursebook, by Ralph H. Folsom, Michael Wallace Gordon,
and John A. Spanogle, Jr., West Publishing Company (1986, 1991)], which is its
second edition, is one of, I think, about four or five casebooks from which one
may select to use for a course if you do not have your own materials. The West
people have told us consistently that it sells more than all other casebooks
combined, so we are told that this casebook is used by more people than any
other casebook available, than all other casebooks available, which is obviously
very pleasing. I think one of the major reasons for that is that it is a
problem-oriented book. Every day we start off with a new hypothetical of real
people, of real problems. Many of them are real situations. It is like the
Harvard case method for business. The students really have taken to this kind
of thing because they are given a hypothetical problem, then they are told what
we are trying to do with this problem, and then they are given the kind of material
that if they had to solve it on their own they would pull out of their research. We
give them parts of the cases, we give them parts of law review articles, lots of
secondary material as well as primary material. I usually divide the class: "You
represent one side, and you represent the other." How would you have gotten
us out of this mess? How would you have planned this better in the first place?
So none of the other books have a problem approach. Many of them are
traditional casebooks where you just march through a lot of dull statutory
material. If you want to learn that, fine. That has been successful.
The nutshell [International Business Transactions in a Nutshell, by Ralph H.
Folsom, Michael Wallace Gordon, and John A. Spanogle, Jr., West Publishing
Company (1984, 1986, 1988, 1992)] is in its fourth edition, and it is very
successful West tells us. From what West tells us it is also one of the major
nutshells. So those have been very successful, and that is why, I think, that we,
the three of us, have become essentially the authors for West in the trade area.
West has two other superb people writing for them: [William J.] Davey at Illinois
and John [H]. Jackson at Michigan who are much more focused on U.S. trade
law and the GATT. We are focused on that a little bit, but we are much more
focused on what lawyers do in international business. The GATT does not affect
most of them, U.S. trade laws do not affect most of them in many, many ways.
For example, selling oil drilling bits to Mexico [is typical of the kind of cases we
concentrate on]. You have to know a little bit about Mexican law. We are so
much broader. We have about forty-five problems. Other casebooks may
touch upon it--maybe twenty-five or thirty of those areas, and some of them
maybe only five or ten of those areas. I could never have done the book myself.
I work in one area, my two coauthors work in other areas, and we bring all of
The comparative law casebook that I have done with two other coauthors
[Comparative Legal Traditions, by Mary Ann Glendon, Michael Wallace Gordon,
Christopher Osakwe, West Publishing Company (1982)] we are now in the
process of doing a second edition, and that has been a very successful casebook
for comparative law. I do not know where it stands with other casebooks.
Again, there are not very many. As much as I can tell, it is probably also used
by more than at least any other single one--probably not by all the others. But I
know it sells very well. It is coauthored by a Harvard law professor and a former
Tulane professor now in practice, and we are revising that. We have done the
comparative law nutshell, which also has been very successful. It has been
translated into Chinese; there is an enormous distribution in China. It is now
being translated into Lithuanian. I understand it was translated into Japanese,
but I have never seen a copy of that. So that has been successful.
I think the trade books is the reason why we are now writing a Hornbook for West
[on the] same topic--international business transactions, and we are doing a
two-volume practitioner's treatise. So we will have for West in the trade area the
whole area covered, which no one else has, I think, in that area. We will have
the nutshell, the casebook, the Hornbook, and the treatise. They usually do not
like the same people to write them because they feel there would be too much of
an overlap, but because of the sales and what we have presented to them [they
have asked us to write them for them]. The casebook is very different from the
nutshell, and they are both very different from what we are now doing. We are
giving people much more practical advice in the treatise, how to do it, and the
Hornbook will be a little bit more of that. So that is really kind of fun.
The other thing that has been continually successful is I have five volumes on
Florida corporation law [Florida Corporation Manual] for Butterworth. I revise
that--that was the telephone call--seven times a year, so I am constantly working
on a revision. That is why I think I am prepared when I teach corporation law.
That is used by lots and lots of lawyers in Florida, and that has led to a good deal
of consulting work, because very frequently they find you have said something,
and they want authority, and they would rather have you there explaining it
further than otherwise. There really is not much [else] available [in this area].
Three practitioners have authored something for Matthew Bender on Florida
corporation law, but it is much more of a walk through the statutes, how you form
a corporation, very little discussion of Florida cases. I have almost every Florida
corporation case cited and anything of importance discussed, many of them
discussed at length. It would be intimidating, I think, to try and repeat reading all
the Florida cases in the area and redoing something. So we have sort of
cornered the market, I think, in many ways in that, certainly when there are twice
as many lawyers in the state, someone else is going to be willing to take a small
market, and someone else will come in. But that has been successful.
I have done three volumes on Georgia corporation law [Georgia Corporation
Manual] which has not been anywhere nearly as successful. The market is very
small in Georgia, and Georgia lawyers are less book buyers, apparently, than
Florida lawyers are. But I did that because Georgia had a different corporation
law which I thought Florida would adopt--the Revised Model Business
Corporation Act. I wanted to learn it, so I wrote that as sort of a learning
The other thing that is, I think, really successful now and is really going to grow is
this three-volume set called Doing Business in Mexico. That was initially done
by SMU. It was edited by faculty at SMU, and those faculty tended to drift away
from it in the 1980s. One went to Tufts school, one retired, one became dean
and could not do it, and the work was not getting done. It is a lot of work of
coordinating chapters, doing some chapters yourself. I am coauthor of two
chapters and author of about six, and there are forty or sixty chapters; I do not
know how many there are. But it is done by Mexican authors [and] American
authors, and authors are notoriously difficult to work with, particularly
practitioners. I have a few faculty who have written before, but mostly they are
practitioners because it is mostly a practice-oriented focus. That has about a
volume and a half of articles, maybe a little bit more, and the balance of the
volume is documents, both in Spanish and in English. So I have to keep track of
what is coming up on new Mexican laws. I either translate them myself or get
[someone else to do that]. I have now done so much translation I am tired of
doing it, and I would rather find someone else to do it. Law firms will usually do
these right away, the American embassy will do these right away, and I have
enough contacts that they feed this stuff to me.
We have talked about adding two more volumes if NAFTA is signed; one will be
for the NAFTA documents, which will more than fill a volume, and one volume will
be articles dealing with NAFTA. So it will become a very substantial project.
I am really at the point where it would not be very difficult for me to go away from
teaching and law school duties and simply work on all of these. I could make it
occupy all of my time. They probably occupy forty hours a week as it is, but I
spend a lot more then forty hours a week working.
S: But that would be a tremendous loss to academia.
G: Well, I do not know. Nobody at this law school is irreplaceable, and that is one
of the strengths of this law school. There really is not anybody [who cannot be
replaced]. There are a lot of people that I would hate to see go, and I would say,
"Gee, that is really a loss to the law school." And it would be. But the law
school would not be much different. And certainly I could name eight or ten
people who if they were on an airplane and it crashed and we lost them
altogether, that would be a pretty tragic loss, and it would really hurt the law
school for an indefinite time. It would survive; the institution is a lot greater than
the people. That reminds me of an English scholar who once said that the
House of Lords made much more sense than the people in it. I do not mean to
say that about the law school. [laughter] The law school is an institution which
will endure. It is a good law school; it is a very good law school.
S: Okay. Are there any other involvements of yours, anything you serve on or any
other civic, charitable, church activities?
G: Well, I have not done an awful lot in the community. My wife does a lot in the
community, so I try to get credit for part of that. That is unfair. I have done
things like I have been president of Friends of Music; I did work in the music area
about ten years ago for about ten years.
I think the strange thing is that there are so many people in this University
community who are very quiet when they are here in town, they do not participate
much, they work hard, and they are gone a lot, and they are really very well
known in other parts of the country or the world, and nobody really knows what is
going on. This to me is a loss here that I do not know more about other people
that are doing things around the world--even on my own faculty. Winston Nagan
is doing fascinating things, and Fletcher Baldwin with human rights in South
Africa. Now, he is close enough that I can sit down and see him. But there are
people doing this in other departments that I would really like to know about that I
do not. I guess [it is a] "you are never a prophet in your own land" kind of thing.
I go off to other areas and do newspaper interviews, television interviews, radio
interviews, and all these kinds of things. You have people meet you at the plane
and take you all over, and you come back, get off the plane in Gainesville and
nobody knows who you are, which is a wonderful kind of anonymity to have, I
think. Coming back you need that.
S: And you do not have to live in New York City to get it.
G: No. I do other things. I am on the advisory board now of a new U.S.-Mexican
Law Institute, which is an ABA-sponsored institute located at the University of
New Mexico. I go out and do my work out there for that kind of thing.
The things that I have really had that I think I have enjoyed most have been
being at the London School of Economics [LSE] this past year. That was to be
given a chair, a centennial chair. They created about five or six of them
apparently throughout the London School of Economics for visitors from around
the world. The only other one that I know in law was a Soviet professor who
was there part of the time while I was there. The London School of Economics
to me is the preeminent international trade institution in the world. I have taught
there periodically as Baker & McKenzie Visiting Lecturer in a course, and that is
something which continues to be open that I have to work out in the future. I
have done that for three weeks a year solely because of the accommodation
which Dean Lewis has allowed, to be able to schedule my classes, to be able to
be gone for three weeks in the middle of a term, which puts some strain here. I
cannot meet with a committee that I am on that meets during that period of time.
But I bring back a lot more, I think, than I lose by not being here. That was an
extraordinary experience, being with one of the finest law faculties in the world
and being a part of that.
I immediately found that they have a resource center, a news center, that sends
out all kinds of things. They really promote their faculty at LSE, and their faculty
in turn are contacted for views on all kinds of things, and I found while I was there
that people would call you and ask you about this. If you are there for any time
you see this much more. So that was a wonderful thing. I do not see that
necessarily as the pinnacle of my career. Maybe there will be other
opportunities that will come about that I will take.
The other very, very attractive thing to me was being selected as a
Scholar-in-Residence at Bellagio about four or five years ago. There are
forty-eight acres of wonderful land in Italy facing the Italian Alps and the Swiss
Alps right on the lake [Lake Como]. There are twelve scholars from around the
world who were selected to come there for four or five weeks. We were treated
royally, given our own rooms that are just beautifully decorated, all overlooking
the lake, and then given a studio out somewhere in the woods or in another
building or in your own building--sometimes a studio connected off of your
room--also overlooking the lake, with everything you need--typewriter [and] they
now have computers.
You get together with these people that are all from different disciplines. There
was no one in law while I was there. There was a musician writing a quartet
while I was there. There was a woman who was doing a book on Elizabeth
Barrett Browning [English poet, 1806-1861]. We got together every night. We
had one evening when she read her poetry, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poetry,
and our musician sat behind at the piano, making up music to go along with it.
She would read a poem and he would do something, and then he would say, "Do
that again, and let me try something very different." It was just an extraordinary
time to be with nonlawyers, which is fun. You are confined here; we are isolated
here. We are not part of the University very much, which is unfortunate, so it is
much easier to have lunch with a lawyer here than a physicist or a musician. I
would like the experience, though. But that was an extraordinary experience
There were twelve people, most of whom had spouses. In some cases there
were joint work efforts, and in one or two cases both people were scholars at that
point. In fact, I am hoping my wife might get a position as a scholar when she
gets along with this book on Florida architecture and I would go along. I want to
get back there somehow, and I cannot go back as a scholar for ten years.
Usually there is a pretty fair chance of going back if they do not change their
policy. But it is just an extraordinary experience of being with these people from
all over the world and being given such superb food. The food is just grand.
The food is cooked to order at breakfast, anything you might want, and then you
have a set menu at lunch and a set menu at dinner. You dress informally;
nobody wore ties during the day, including for lunch in a sumptuous room,
beautifully decorated with tapestries. You went into an even different room for
dinner. We had cocktails before. After lunch we had coffee out on the lawn or
out on the terrace overlooking the lake.
The idea was to provide scholars from around the world--mostly U.S., maybe 60
percent U.S., because it is Rockefeller Foundation owned--with a wonderful place
of contemplation and to provide you with all additions and have everything done
S: And there you go without family.
G: You can take your spouse. You may not take children. You may not have
friends come for meals or anything like that. They are permitted to come and
walk through the grounds. There are a few tours in the summer. The grounds
are gorgeous, and tourists love to come in. You are looked upon from the city
as being in this very private place, because it is up above this little city of
Bellagio, which is heavily visited by people from Milan. There are weekend
places there. It is an exclusive little [retreat]. It is kind of like a little Nantucket.
In other words, you are in this gated community, and you walk down and come
up to your gate and take your key out. Of course, everybody around there is
looking at you: "That is one those people that is in that villa!." We would go
down early every afternoon and have cappuccino at a little cafe, and people get
to know who you are.
There are twelve people, and they rotate. I would be there for a week, and at
the end of my first week someone was finishing their five, so I got to know twenty
or twenty-five people, some for only one week. Only two or three came in the
same week that I came in. People are coming in all the time, but they tend not
to come in on the weekend because some of the staff are off. The conditions
are to feed you grandly, and everyone in the first week said, "How can we stay
here? As a gardener? We will take over the place." [laughter] Almost
everyone in the fifth week is ready to go home because everything is done for
you, and you probably grew up in a very different kind of society, everything is
not done for you. But there are people standing around at the meal, and you do
not get to pour a second glass of wine. It is poured when your wine gets down a
little bit. You do your own laundry, but they provide laundry machines in your
building large enough to do your own laundry.
Our building that had just four of us as scholars in it--and we all had offices in
that--had a sitting room. Every morning plates of cookies are put out, fruits are
put out, the tea and the coffee is all prepared for you, the Herald Tribune is flown
to Milan and brought out for you. There are CD players and lots of classical
music. After a while it is a little too much. It really is.
You are expected to stay there. You are not expected to travel while you are
there. We traveled to the point of taking a day trip to go to see Baron Theissey's
art collection in Lugano. We took a day trip to go to Bergamo to see the art
museum and to see the city of Bergamo, which is a museum in itself. Then we
would work through the weekends. The weather was quite poor, and we did not
have many sunny days. When the weather broke we tended to hop off and go
do something. But you were not expected to go off anywhere like skiing for five
days, which you might want to do in the Alps. Our musician went off to Stuttgart
and had the premiere of his quartet. Quid pro quo for that was the Stuttgart
orchestra came and did their rehearsal with us, so we were able to hear it being
In fact, one of the Rockefellers--I think it was Happy [Margaretta Large, Mrs.
Nelson] Rockefeller--called and said she was coming over and she expected to
stay, and she was disinvited to stay on the premises, even though this was
Roy Hunt came, and one of our graduates and his wife. I guess there were
seven of us altogether, but five came up, and that was fine. Buff and I were able
to take them all through the premises and show them the area. We could go
into our [lodgings]; we could go in and I could show then when mealtime was not
in session where the dining halls were and show them the building. They could
not have a meal. No other guests were invited. We did miss one lunch and
had them come in, and we went down on one of the areas near the
boathouse--there is a wonderful lawn overlooking part of the water--and had a
picnic lunch. In fact, some of our meals were moved down to the water;
sometimes we had a meal that was taken down and put out on the lawn. The
staff was wonderful. They were superb people. The director, I guess, was
Italian but grew up in America. They always try to find a director who is as
comfortable in Italy as he is in America and knows the quirks of us who are
coming from there.
Those are the kind of pinnacle [experiences I have had]. Frank Allen is the
reason I went to Bellagio; pure and simple it was Frank Allen. This is the kind of
resource that he has been at this school. When he came [in 1986 as the Huber
Hurst Professor of Law] he knew I had a sabbatical coming, and he said, "Maybe
you would like to think of Bellagio." You really cannot get invited to Bellagio
unless you have recommendations from people who have been there before.
When I was there I was going to do an article like the "Letter from Frankfurt"
[earlier alumni newsletter]; I was going to do an article from Bellagio. I got it
about half done, and I asked the director one day, "I am doing this piece that will
be in the alumni magazine and probably will go to some other law schools
around. But now I do not think you really want that done." He said, "No, we
really do not. We do not need to promote the center. We do not want a lot of
applications. We cannot handle that number of applications. (They go to New
York.) We would rather have it go by word of mouth." What is critically
important for the selection of people for Bellagio is people who want to go hear
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poetry being read to music, who want to go to these
fireside chats for four nights a week or so. We occasionally get someone who
becomes reclusive. We had a minister from Egypt who was totally reclusive.
We did not see much of him, and we resented, I think, the fact that we were not
able to draw on his experiences, with changes going on in the Middle East. He
was a minister in a ministry that had a lot to do. It was agriculture, but we just
did not get to know him. His wife was there, and they were always off. They
never stayed after supper [but] went back to their apartment. He had good
English; there was no problem with communication skills.
So what they really want you to do is sort of pass the word along to people and
not write letters of recommendation for people who you really do not think are
going to fit in. Fitting in is extremely important.
S: Had Frank Allen been there?
G: He has been there; yes, he has, and he said it was one of the most wonderful
times of his life. And it truly was for me. There is no question. E. T. York
[Distinguished Service Professor, Agronomy] has since been there. You hear
about this at a later time. I think one other person from the University has been
there. It used to be an absolute stronghold of Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the
Northeast schools. You rarely had people from outside. While I was there we
had me from Florida, we had a former president of Auburn who is writing a book
on sports, Ethics and Sports, the Elizabeth Barrett Browning scholar who was a
gal who has an English chair at the University of Georgia, we had a person doing
a book on Japanese businesses who had a chair at the business school at
Alabama, so we had representation from four SEC [Southeastern Conference]
schools, and we had people from North Carolina [and] Virginia [of the] Atlantic
Coast [Conference]. There were people from Harvard, a physician from
Harvard, but it is relatively well balanced throughout the country now. I think
they try to do that.
S: Very interesting. So you have had a rewarding career in a number of ways.
G: Yes. I have been here for twenty-five years. I have been in Gainesville
probably for seventeen or eighteen of those years. The other time has been six
months away, or a month away, usually short periods. Rarely have I been away
a year. I spent a year in Washington in the chair at George Washington. That
was the most difficult decision that I ever had. But all these chances we have
had to go away our children have gone with us, and they have had, I think, an
enormously enriching experience.
I think probably the only real temptation not to come back was the Washington
position. That was a very substantially funded chair in trade, the Alverson chair.
I went there thinking it was simply a visiting year. I had lunch with the dean the
first week, and I said, "I know you are looking for some people for this chair for
next year. I have gone through my list of all the people in the trade area and
comparative law area, and I have a list of some people that I would be very
happy to tell you about." He looked at me and said, "We are going to keep you."
I said, "What do you mean?" and he said, "We plan to have you stay in the
chair. We want you to stay in the chair." I said, "Oh, my gosh. This is not
going to be the kind of year I thought," and it was not. The first whole term was
essentially going through an interviewing process. It was not an interviewing
process with any other people. I just did a lecture; instead of just a pleasant
lecture to the faculty it was a lecture on which they were going to make
evaluations on. So I went through that process rather quickly and was offered
the chair permanently.
There were a lot of difficulties. Being in Washington you are immediately thrown
into contact with interesting people because you are there, and it is easier to
bring you to something than paying for someone from Florida or from California
or Texas. So the chief justice of the Mexican Supreme Court came up to give a
lecture that the U.S. Supreme Court had arranged. One year someone goes
from here--[U.S. Supreme Court Justice] Sandra Day O'Connor has been down
there to speak, and Carlos del Rio came up here to speak. The [George]
Schultzes threw a dinner party for him. I was known as having a Mexican law
interest, so I was invited to that. Wonderful, wonderful people to meet. He
gave a brilliant lecture. Lots of fun to go over to the State Department for this
So you get drawn into things like that. There is a lot more consulting work. It is
different. It is government-kind of work to do. So your life becomes very
different. You also have a feeling, though, that you are going to work every day
in a law office. It is much more formal, much more coat-and-tie, even though I
wear a coat and tie here unless it is during the break. Anytime I was like that.
People worked at home as they do here; they would spend a day and work at
home. But it seemed that it was going to be an entirely different life.
Climatically we thought it was horrible. We were there during the year that they
had terrible snow. The subways froze, and people could not get to work. I did
not like the weather. I thought it was entirely poor. Buff hated the cold weather.
It is a very expensive place to live, [requiring] substantially more in the way of
money and substantially in the way of costs. So that was sort of a wash-out.
It really came down to a lot more different kinds of opportunities arising there, but
I have never had a lack of them arising here. This University law school has
been extremely supportive except for the difficult period that I went through with
Tom Read and our summer programs abroad. So there was maybe two years
of some stress on that. But there have been twenty-three years of exceptionally
good support, from Frank Maloney through Jeff.
S: And you were able to jump right into the international area upon arrival.
G: Oh, yes, all these things. You have to do a little of self-promotion. I am not a
salesman. My father was a wonderful salesman, but I do not go out that well to
promote. At least I do not think I do. But I did realize that if I am going to be in
a particular country no one is going to know me and invite me to speak
somewhere unless they know I am there. But you know a place like the National
University of Costa Rica does not have a lot of people visiting there, and if they
do have people they would like to know about it, so I simply sent them resumes.
At that time I had very little international experience, but I was interested in an
outsider's view of Central American development and legal systems, so I offered
to do those kinds of things. Well, you do that for a while and then people begin
to know who you are. Then you begin to get requests. Then you reach a point
where you have to turn things down, and then you can begin to pick and choose.
Then you can apply for the nice kinds of things like the Bellagio position.
There is a sort of interesting cycle that you go through. At first you pay your own
way because you are trying to get onto something, and you hope you are going
to get support. I had extremely good support for here. I was on the faculty of
the National University of Costa Rica paid for by the law school here and mainly
by the Center for Latin American Studies, [with] Terry McCoy and Bill Carter, the
Then you reach a point where you begin to get invited to a number of
symposiums that law schools are putting on, and they pay your way. Then you
get invited to some of the things that are considered so prestigious that you
ought to pay your own way to them because it is so good to get on. The ABA
runs a series of seminars on different topics, and people love to get invited to that
kind of thing. They put out a volume on it that is extensively used. People
come from all over the country to these. They are first-rate conferences. Now I
find myself getting invited to some things like this where you are expected to pay
your own way, so now I am back asking for more funds, where there was sort of
a stretch where I really did not need to use the travel funds as extensively as I do
That is one of the problems; our funding has really been a serious problem.
Those of us who travel internationally are hit, I think, much more severely. Yet I
am at the point where I turn down a lot of things. I just turned down a [request
to] help them draft some laws in Paraguay. I did this before, and I was asked to
go back and spend two weeks, by our State Department. I turned that down.
You have to consider priorities. I just turned down a week in Greece and six
weeks in Mexico to do more lecturing. All of that would have been funded, but
you get to a point... I cannot do these books and do those kinds of things, so I
am much more likely to take two days away or so. I had a lot of pressure last
year to do a one-day lecture in Korea from London. I had classes on Monday,
and I did not want to fly to Korea all on one day, give a lecture the next, and fly
back and that kind of thing. I have a standing request for a series of lectures in
Taiwan. I am turning down a lot more things. I think we do this as we get on in
years and get more well known.
There have been times since returning from Washington, during our financial
problem, when I thought, "we probably would be better off if we still were in
Washington." Then I think we really want to live here. The quality of life to me
in Gainesville is so far superior than it was when we were in Washington, DC.
The quality of people that we know, a lot of them are people who are very
content and very happy to be living in this area. There are a lot of people in
Washington who are not all that content. I think people here do not feel that
people in Iowa or Kansas are less-nice people, but people "inside the beltway"
really feel that if you are outside the beltway you are somehow inferior. I used to
meet so many people or overhear them on the subway. One of the fascinating
things about being in Washington was overhearing conversations on the Metro
about people who were trying to crawl their way up through the federal system
and how important they were in the world because they lived in Washington. It
had nothing to do with any kinds of decisions, but because they were in that
center of power they really looked upon the rest of the people as considerably
less important. I did not like that.
I did not like the law students all that well either because they had that same
sense that they really ought to be at Virginia or Harvard or Columbia, because to
be a lawyer you have to practice with a big firm in Washington or a big firm in
New York, and that is what they still wanted to be. They did not want to be a
leading lawyer in Sioux City, Iowa, or a leading lawyer in Orlando. That was not
enough for them. Since they had not been admitted at the high national schools
that feed the Sherman & Sterling and the Baker & McKenzie, they were very
upset and very bitter. Our students are upset about not getting jobs, certainly,
but for the most part they are very content with the idea of being a lawyer in
Atlanta or in Orlando or a smaller town, like Fort Myers. So I like our students,
or I would not have stayed around here.
I think the students I met at Duke were like our students. They were at a
national law school and were very content going all over for their jobs. They
were very happy. They liked the faculty, they liked the basketball team, they
liked the university. I see our students much more like that. That was a major
factor, I think, of our coming back. The quality of the LSAT or grade-point
average's were really quite the same at the two schools. The quality of the
students as human beings [is significant]. I think they are pretty good here. I
liked our faculty at GW and I like our faculty here. I think as people they are
very similar quality people. I really liked the faculty there.
That was really the big decision. Now, when I hear the legislature is going to
say, "Well, we are going to give you a 3 percent raise and put it off till January so
we can probably take it away from you again," you have momentary pangs about
"maybe I would be better off back there." I do not think so. I am pretty happy
with being here.
S: Well, it is real interesting how your interest after visiting Cuba blossomed.
S: You could have kept your focus domestic.
G: There is something that affects people, I guess, and I see this in some of our
graduates who have gone to a summer program, and then they have gone into
general practice. They are never the same for having that foreign experience.
Then they go into something else.
S: Okay. Also I guess the Center for Latin American Studies was already in
existence when you arrived?
G: It was; it was one of the reasons I came here. I think I started to talk about
coming here. I had gotten a second fellowship to go back to Yale after I was to
leave Connecticut after two year.
G: Because of the thoughtfulness of our dean, sending me to Georgia to the
dedication of the Georgia law school, I met deans or representatives--mostly they
were deans in some way; I was an assistant dean--from different schools. I met
Associate Dean Len Powers who was from here. We got along well and talked
a lot. I was interested in Texas, UCLA, or Florida. These were the major
schools with Latin American centers. Wisconsin also has one, but I had
absolutely no interest in Wisconsin at all because of the weather. It is a
wonderful school, but I just did not want to live in that kind of weather. I had
great misgivings about Texas, although Austin is said to be a wonderful place to
live by people who live there. I just did not want to live in the middle of the
country. I am very oriented towards being somewhere near salt water. I grew
up on salt water, and I have to live within so many miles of it. UCLA was a little
shaky, going to live in Los Angeles. I have a sister-in-law we visit there, but we
really do not want to live there.
The opportunity came up to come to Florida, which was extraordinary. One of
the reasons for coming here was the Center for Latin American Studies.
S: You were already that focused on wanting [to specialize on Latin American