Maybe it’s the vintage cars or the fine cigars, but something keeps bringing the senior lawyers division of the South Carolina Bar back to Cuba.
The group’s first trip in January 2013 was such a success that the second excursion, slated for the first week in November, filled up so quickly that a third jaunt was planned for March. So far, 10 of the 28 available seats were already taken, said Nancy Layman of the S.C. Bar.
She went on the first trip and plans to go on the next two. There will be rumba lessons, trips to museums, Ernest Hemingway’s house and visits with Cuban lawyers.
“It was great fun,” she said of her first experience in Cuba. “Our oldest person, who was 85, was the best dancer. … And people loved the cars, especially. The food wasn’t that great but the drinks more than made up for it.”
They also visited a cigar factory, Layman added: “I may have tried a puff.”
She said the Cuban lawyers they met – and just about everyone else they spoke with at the time – wanted to see an end to the U.S. embargo with Cuba. She also noted that the Cuban lawyers they met didn’t have a lot in common with their U.S. counterparts.
“They pretty much go in line with the government,” she said. “I think our system in the U.S. didn’t quite compute with them as far as having jury trials and that sort of thing. I think their [system] is much more narrow.”
Attendees of the first trip didn’t receive CLE credit, but Layman has applied for approval for credit for the next two trips.
Drinking mojitos and smoking cigars for CLE credit? Yo voy!