How Rocky Helps Clients
Rocky Rodriguez helps clients resolve problems and achieve business objectives using a 360-degree perspective she has gained throughout her career in law, business and government. She serves as Chair of Buchanan's Florida offices.
Whether representing Fortune 500 or closely held companies, life science companies, nonprofit entities, high net worth individuals or entrepreneurs, Rocky dives into understanding the client’s business and goals to develop strategies to achieve those goals. She looks beyond the obvious and seeks novel approaches. In confronting regulatory issues, for example, this may mean lobbying to change the law, something she’s achieved in both the insurance and financial fields in Florida, which has permitted her clients to expand their businesses in the state and attract newcomers as well.
From 2002 to 2007, Rocky served as general counsel to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, during which she counseled Governor Bush on more than 200 judicial appointments across all levels of the Florida judiciary. During her tenure Rocky worked on some of the most critical issues facing the state, including conceiving and co-drafting the legislation for and negotiating the then-largest economic development project in state history - a $310 million economic incentive grant to The Scripps Research Institute. Her leadership on the Scripps Florida project led her to develop expertise in the life sciences industry, an industry in which remains deeply involved, counseling some of the most prestigious research institutes and life science companies in the world.
Rocky brings over three decades of state and federal litigation experience in banking, commercial, international, real estate, constitutional, administrative and election law. She provides counseling on corporate governance and related employment matters including trade secrets, crisis and risk management, data breaches, dispute resolution and strategy, economic development and incentives, government relations, and government investigations. Her experience extends into domestic and international arbitration, and she currently serves on an arbitration panel in an investment treaty dispute at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Using her background in government, Rocky has advised both domestic and international clients on issues involving Florida business, financial and healthcare regulations, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.S.A. Patriot Act and government investigations.
What Clients Can Expect
Rocky is a strategic and creative thinker who uses her 30-plus years of experience, as well as her understanding and appreciation of business, to serve as a trusted advisor to her clients. She thinks of herself as the client’s quarterback within the firm, anticipating issues they may not have thought of and assembling the right team to get the job done. Whether it’s in negotiations or dispute resolution, she won’t take “no” for an answer and will persevere to get to the right result.
Many of Rocky’s clients have been with her for over a decade - a testament to her working style and successes. She makes it a priority to know her clients well and develops a solid working relationship with each and every one. She will go the extra mile for her clients.
Honors and Awards
- Recipient of the International Women's Day Award from the World Trade Center Miami (2022)
- The Daily Business Review Lifetime Achievement Award
- Named to the Best Lawyers in America list consecutively since 2016
- Selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers since 2008
- Named leader in Florida Litigation: General Commercial - Chambers USA (2009-2017)
- Named one of the "Top Women in Law" by the Daily Business Review (2017)
- Selected as one of the 25 Most Influential Business Women, South Florida Business Journal (2011)
- Selected as a Key Partner by the South Florida Business Journal (2011)
- Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, Government Lawyers (2005-2006), International (2010-2011)
- Florida Trend's Florida 500, Law (2021)
- South Florida’s Legal Guide, “Top Lawyers”
- AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Exceptional Participation Pro Bono Service Award, Dade County Bar Association and Eleventh Judicial Circuit “Put Something Back”
Outside the Office
Rocky believes that taking time to recharge and focus on interests outside work helps her develop her creative approaches to the law. As a life-long Miamian, she loves the beach and occasional rounds of golf and is an avid baseball fan cheering on her hometown Miami Marlins, even in rebuilding years. In recent years, she’s also taken up painting and drawing, which she says has honed her ability to look at things from multiple perspectives. Rocky can also be found from time to time in the Ocala area, riding horses or enjoying the fresh country air near the Florida Horse Park. Despite her Florida roots, she also enjoys winter activities such as skiing and snow-shoeing.
Since childhood, Rocky was fascinated by people, languages and cultures from around the world. She’s an avid traveler, having visited 40 U.S. states and 31 countries. For two years, she was executive director of an international law firm referral network, headquartered in London, which gave her a deep understanding of the countries, people and legal systems around the world.
Rocky’s parents were Cuban political exiles who came to America in 1959 immediately following the communist revolution. Their experience of having lost their country instilled in Rocky a deep appreciation for the importance of democracy, rule of law and individual freedom. A self-described “political junkie”, Rocky is deeply involved in the democratic process through her involvement in political campaigns and election law.
Rocky also believes strongly in giving back. Throughout her adult life she has been involved in numerous non-profit organizations in a leadership capacity.
- Represented chairman of public entertainment conglomerate in suit against United States Department of Justice to enjoin service of Chilean Letters Rogatory pursuant to Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory
- Represented bank in lender liability action by borrower alleging fraud and breach of contract against bank resulting in involuntary dismissal of counterclaims and foreclosure judgment against borrowers and guarantors in bench trial
- Represented Spanish-language radio network in obtaining dismissal of federal constitutional rights claim by former head of Cuban National Air Force, who claimed radio personalities had encouraged his mistreatment for advocating normalization of relations with Cuba; also obtained Rule 11 sanctions against plaintiff’s counsel
- Co-counsel for major petroleum marketer in defense of a putative class action suit by Florida boat owners alleging damage to fuel tanks and systems from use of ethanol-blended gasoline; class certification was denied
- Co-counsel for advocacy group in putative class action suit alleging peer-to-peer text messages violated the Telephone Consumer Privacy Act (TCPA); case settled before class certification
- Party-appointed arbitrator in investor-state treaty arbitration at Permanent Court of Arbitration
- One of the lead attorneys representing the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County during the 2000 Presidential Election recounts before the Miami-Dade Canvassing Board and the state courts
- Counseled publicly traded biotech company with respect to Florida healthcare and clinical laboratory regulations
- Lead lawyer for the State of Florida Governor's Office on over $1.5 billion in state and local incentive deals involving Florida biotechnology sector, including conceived the structure, co-wrote the legislation, and negotiated the contract terms for the award and oversight of $310 million in state incentives to The Scripps Research Institute
- Developed the strategy and structure for obtaining nearly $200 million in state and local incentives for the Max Planck Society, one of the leading scientific research institutes in the world in the establishment of the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience in Jupiter, Florida
- Successfully led multi-year effort to change Florida international banking laws to create new section in Chapter 663 allowing qualified limited service affiliates
- Defeated injunction and obtained summary judgment in favor of Clerk of City of Miami in injunction action seeking to remove strong mayor referendum from 2018 general election ballot
- Defeated injunction and obtained dismissal of action by neighborhood group seeking to invalidate City of Miami’s license for 2019 Ultra Music Festival on Virginia Key
University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 1985, class valedictorian, summa cum laude, Law Review Editorial Board
University of Miami, B.A., 1982, class valedictorian, Golden Key National Honor Society, Delya Theta Mu, Phi Kappa Phi, Politics & Public Affairs; minors in history and economics
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. Supreme Court
American Bar Association – former positions: Standing Committee on Election Law; Chair, Young Lawyers Division; House of Delegates; Executive Committee, Section of International Law
Florida Bar – former positions: International Law Section, Executive Council and Co-Chair, Amicus Committee; Judicial Nominations Procedures Committee
Dade County Bar Association - former position: President , Young Lawyers Section
Federalist Society – former position: President, Miami Lawyers Chapter
Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, Arbitrator
Member, The Florida Council of 100
Board of Directors, BioFlorida, Co-Chair, Government Affairs Committee
Board of Trustees, Foundation for Florida’s Future; past member, Audit Committee
Chair, Investment Advisory Committee, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
National Board of Directors, Warriors at Ease