Partner Kearns Davis recently spoke in the Supreme Court of Haiti as part of a delegation of North Carolina legal leaders. Davis traveled to Haiti through a growing relationship between the North Carolina Bar Association and the Port-au-Prince Bar Association.
In his address at the Haitian Supreme Court, Davis emphasized the North Carolina Bar Association’s belief in Haiti’s ability to create a bright future for the country, citing its ready workforce and geographic advantages.
“Just like Haiti, my state of North Carolina competes for investment. We recruit companies around the world to build their facilities in our state. And we also know that people and companies already in North Carolina will invest more in their businesses and hire more people if they trust our state’s legal system. Everyone who invests in a business, whether it’s an international investment or a domestic investment, wants to know that their business will be treated fairly, in accordance with the law,” Davis told the assembled judges, lawyers, and government officials.
Davis began laying the groundwork for this historic relationship while serving as president of the North Carolina Bar Association during 2016-17. On a personal trip to Haiti before becoming NCBA president, Davis connected one morning for breakfast with Haitian bar leaders. During that meeting, Port-au-Prince Bar Association President Stanley Gaston expressed interest in developing a relationship with the NCBA. Haitian bar leaders then traveled to North Carolina to witness Davis’s inauguration as NCBA president in June 2016. In May 2017, Davis, other representatives of the NCBA, and students from the Elon University School of Law visited Haiti to present at a conference on economic investment.
The latest trip to Haiti included the Honorable James Gale, Chief Judge of the North Carolina Business Court, who also addressed the Haitian Supreme Court. A group of young attorneys from Port-au-Prince is expected to visit North Carolina this fall as part of an exchange between the two bar associations. North Carolina young lawyers will visit Haiti in May 2019.