Elsa is dedicated to minimizing trade and corruption risks for her clients in a wide variety of international transactions.

Overview

As a former in-house counsel and trusted partner for her clients, Elsa advises on U.S. and international regulations surrounding imports and exports, namely services, software and technology. Her clients include technology companies, defense contractors, manufacturers, retailers and others in industries including aerospace, explosives, electronics, firearms, chemicals, military training and services, consumer products, energy, and financial services.

She has successfully represented U.S. and foreign companies facing investigations by the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of State on matters pertaining to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Elsa represents clients before the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on transactions implicating U.S. sanctions and embargoes. She also advises on the import regulations administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In addition, she counsels on transactions reviewed for national security by the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Elsa was appointed by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to serve as a panelist eligible to review antidumping and countervailing duty disputes under Chapter 19 of NAFTA.

After law school, Elsa served as law clerk to Justice Ann C. McClure, Court of Appeals for the Eighth District of Texas, El Paso, Texas and as law clerk to U.S. District Judge David Briones, United States District Court for Western District of Texas, El Paso Division.

Experience

  • Export licensing of defense articles and services under U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, including technical assistance agreements, manufacturing license agreements, commodity jurisdictions, technology control plans, temporary imports, registration, reporting requirements, voluntary self-disclosures, directed disclosures, and audits
  • Export licensing of dual use and commercial goods under U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, including CCATS applications, encryption classification and reporting, deemed exports, voluntary self-disclosures, and enforcement proceedings
  • Advice on compliance with U.S. anti-boycott requirements
  • Advice on U.S. sanctions and embargoes, including programs on Russia, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela, special license applications, blocked property reports, and denied party screening
  • Advising on CBP import regulations, including product valuation, tariff classification, country of origin, product marking and duty-free treatment claims under various agreements, including NAFTA/USMCA, prior disclosures, CF-28s, CF-29s, and audits
  • Representing clients facing seizures of goods at the border for intellectual property rights violations, country of origin marking and other issues at the border
  • Counseling on antidumping and countervailing duty matters before the U.S. Department of Commerce, and trade litigation before the U.S. Court of International Trade
  • Advising companies facing investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice on corruption matters
  • Advising U.S. and foreign companies on voluntary notice procedures under CFIUS
  • Third party vetting and due diligence reviews for FCPA and trade compliance
  • Development of risk-based trade compliance and anti-corruption programs
  • Pre- and post-M&A due diligence on international trade and anti-corruption compliance
  • Advising on tariff exclusion process under Section 232 and 301
  • International trade contract drafting and negotiation, including INCOTERMS
  • Compliance with U.S. Census reporting obligations under Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR)

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

"Global Trade Sanctions War," Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention, New York, September 27, 2019

Panelist, "Updated on International Tariffs," Concierge Committee of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, International Concierge Breakfast, Richardson, Texas, August 15, 2019

"The Trump Administration and Regulatory Compliance," Symposium on Global Markets, Center for American and International Law, June 2019

"Tips for Maintaining Private Practice Viability for the In-House Lawyer," Hispanic National Bar Association Corporate Counsel Conference, March 2019

"U.S. Export Controls on Technology Transfers: What You Need to Know," Association of University Technology Managers, November 2018

Panelist, "Innovation, Investment and Productivity Flows," 2018 International Business Summit, November 2018

Panelist, Texas A&M School of Law Hispanic Heritage Month Roundtable, October 2018

"U.S. Customs Compliance in 2018: Best Practices in the Heightened Enforcement Environment," Dallas Area Paralegal Association, June 2018

"Key Takeaways From Recent Enforcement Actions and Lessons Learned," American Conference Institute EAR Boot Camp, June 2018

"Best Practices for Internships and Clerkships," State Bar of Texas, Texas Minority Law Student Program, March 2018

"Women of Justice," North Lake College, March 2018

Panelist, "Inspiring Women IX: Humor & War Stories to Reach the Top of Your Game," Dallas Bar Association, November 2017

"International Trade Policy and Sanctions in the Current Administration," SMU Corporate Counsel Symposium, October 2017

"Implications for Texas and Hispanics of NAFTA Renegotiations," Texas A&M School of Law, NAFTA Panel, September 2017

"Paving the Way for Latinas in the U.S.: The Roadmap to Power," Association of Latino Professionals for America, June 2017

"U.S. Customs Compliance in 2017: Best Practices in the Heightened Enforcement Climate," Dallas Bar Association, International Law Section Meeting, May 2017

"Hot Topics in International Trade," Dallas Bar Association, Corporate Counsel Section Meeting, April 2017

The Latest Developments and Outlook for U.S.-Latin American Trade," HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference, April 2017

"Using the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) for Exports," International Compliance Professionals Association, March 2017

"Common Mistakes in Global Trade Compliance in the Energy Sector," Dallas Bar Association, Energy Law Section Meeting, November 2016

"Global Trade Compliance 101 for Corporate Counsel," Tarrant County Bar Association, Corporate Counsel Section Meeting, November 2016

"Pearls of Wisdom," Dallas Latina Leadership Program, November 2016

"The Top Ten Things You Need to Know About International Trade," Dallas Bar Association, International Law Section Meeting, September 2016

"Hot Topics in International Trade: From Sanctions to Export Controls and More," HBNA Annual Convention, September 2016

"Technology and the Law," Hispanic National Bar Association Panel, June 2016

"Cuba Sanctions: Navigating the Recent Changes," IBI, Roundtable/1BLCT Meeting, May 2016

"Branding Yourself in New and Innovative Ways," State Bar of Texas, Asian-Pacific Interests Section Annual Conference, April 2016

"FCPA Compliance: Conducting Due Diligence on Third Parties," Association of Corporate Counsel, November 2015

"You Sent What? To Where?! The U.S. Sanctions and Their Impact on U.S. Exporters Today," ICPA Conference, November 2015

"From the Library to the Corner Office," SMU Dedman School of Law, November 2015

"Hispanic Hero," Hispanic Scholarship Fund's Youth Leadership institute, July 2015

"Import/Export Laws: Overview of Export Control Reform," Border Law Conference, January 2015

"Examining Export Control Reform: How are We Doing?" ITAR Compliance West Coast Conference, November 2014

Publications

"Tariff Turbulence Alters Importers' Compliance Priorities,"Law360, July 2019

"International Trade: Year in Review," Texas Bar Journal, January 2018

"Duty Savings Under NAFTA: How U.S. Importers Benefit," Texas Lawyer, August 2017

"Beware Export Controls on Software, Encryption, Technology," Law360, July 2017

"International Trade in the Trump Administration: Ten Topics for U.S. Importers," Noticias, March 2017

"International Trade: Year in Review," Texas Bar Journal, January 2017

"Can't We All Just Get Along?" Global Trade, December 2016

"Getting to Know Your Business Partners: FCPA Due Diligence on Third Parties," Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor, January 2016

"A Stitch in Time, Proactive Customs Compliance Saves Time, Money, and Reputations," Customs Law Enforcement and Compliance, Inside the Minds, 2014

Recognitions

Recognitions

Lawyers of Color, Nation's Best 2019

Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, La Cima Latina Entrepreneur Award, 2018

Dallas Bar Association, Outstanding Minority Attorney Award, 2018

Texas Diversity Council, Dallas Top 50 Women Lawyers, 2018

Top Latino Lawyers, 2016-2018; Most Powerful Women in Law, 2018

Accomplished Latina Woman in Law, University of Texas School of Law Chicano/Hispanic Law Students' Association, 2012

Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2009, 2011-2012

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional & Civic Activities

Law360 International Trade Editorial Advisory Board, Former Board Member

American Association of Exporters and Importers

International Compliance Professionals Association

Society for International Affairs

American Bar Association

  • Latin American and Caribbean Committee
  • International Trade Committee
  • Export Controls and Economic Sanctions Committee
  • Customs Committee

Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, Vice President and Board Member

Dallas Bar Association

  • Minority Participation Committee, Chair
  • Public Forum Committee, Vice Chair

Hispanic National Bar Association

  • Region XII President
  • Compliance & Ethics Section, Founder and Vice Chair
  • International Section, Member
  • Region XII Deputy Regional President for Outreach

Dallas Latina Lawyer Network

Harvard Women in Defense Diplomacy and Development

World Affairs Council of Dallas

State Bar of Texas, Hispanic Issues Section

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Board Member

Friends of Solar Prep, Board Member

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, Former Trustee

Dallas Bar Association, Fellow

Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Foundation, Fellow

Leadership Dallas, Class of 2015

Admissions

  • Texas
  • U.S. Court of International Trade

Education

University of Texas School of Law, J.D.

Harvard Kennedy School, M.P.P

Yale University, B.A., Economics and History

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