Jorge A. Mestre engages exclusively in a commercial-litigation practice, including international arbitration and litigation. In Chambers USA, he has been praised for “his strategic sense and creative thinking in critical litigation matters” and characterized as “a brilliant litigator with the creative edge; he sees a tactical advantage in what seems like an intractable problem.”
Among his many high-stakes matters, Mestre successfully represented a Chevron attorney in a case that was part of the $100 billion, 18-year litigation over Chevron’s alleged environmental damage in the Amazon. As part of the defense, a series of U.S. discovery proceedings were commenced that ultimately resulted in the Second Circuit ordering the production of more than 600 hours of outtakes (the most ever to be ordered produced in U.S. history) from “Crude”—a film about the litigation. The Wall Street Journal has called the case the “Legal Fraud of the Century.” Rivero Mestre was honored by the American Lawyer as a winner of a Global Legal Award in the category of Global Dispute of the Year: U.S. Fraud Litigation for its work on the case.
Mestre also represented six former directors and officers in FDIC v. Stipes, the FDIC’s lawsuit arising from its takeover of Westernbank Puerto Rico. The lawsuit, measured by the alleged loss, was the third largest brought by the FDIC during the recent financial crisis. Although the insurer denied coverage based on the “Insured v. Insured” exception, the District Court ordered advancement of defense costs—the first such order in this banking failure. Commentators have called the ruling “a significant victory for the individual directors and officers who hoped to be able to rely on the D&O insurance policies in order to be able to defend themselves against the FDIC’s claims against them.”
In yet another high-profile matter, Mestre was appointed to serve as one of four members of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee in the multi-district litigation in the Southern District of New York in a case related to the massive Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernie Madoff.
Mestre currently represents Dr. Craig Wright in a lawsuit that alleges he is the inventor of the crypto currency Bitcoin—and the blockchain itself— and that he has stolen half of the $22 billion fortune thus created.
A seasoned practitioner, Mestre has litigated cases through trial in both federal district court and Florida state court and has handled appeals before numerous state and federal courts. He has also litigated domestic and international arbitration matters in both English and Spanish, including an arbitration victory in Spanish. He has served as a party-appointed arbitrator in cases administered by the International Chamber of Commerce, the American Arbitration Association, the International Center for Dispute Resolution, and in an ad hoc international arbitration—experiences that give him a valuable understanding of how arbitration tribunals work.
What’s more, Mestre has conducted internal investigations in the United States and in foreign countries, involving varied allegations of wrongdoing from securities fraud to accounting malpractice to Foreign Corrupt Practices. For example, he conducted an internal investigation related to procurement fraud for the United Nations (Office for Project Services).
Reflecting the excellent reputation he enjoys in the community, Florida Governor Rick Scott recently appointed him to the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Eleventh Circuit, Miami-Dade County. Florida state court judges have also appointed Mestre as a Receiver and as an Assignee for the Benefit of Creditors.
Mestre has served in various leadership positions within the American Bar Association including presidential appointments to the Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities and the Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice and is the current President of the Hispanic National Bar Foundation. He is a member of the Florida, New York, and Washington, D.C. bars, as well as many federal courts.