Robert L. Muse Biography
With over thirty years’ experience in counseling companies and not-for-profit organizations on U.S. laws, regulations and policies relating to Cuba, Muse is a preeminent authority on these subjects. He has testified before the Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate; the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Standing Committees of the Canadian House of Commons; The Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives; the International Trade Commission and the External Economic Relations Committee of the European Parliament (Brussels). Muse has delivered papers on U.S. sanctions laws relating to Cuba at conferences sponsored by The Economist and various legal and international relations foundations in London, Miami, Washington, D.C., New York, Brussels, Toronto, Los Angeles, Ottawa, San Francisco, Havana, Madrid, The Hague, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro and Amsterdam. Among the sponsoring institutions were the American Bar Association; the American Society of International Law; the Bar Association of New York; the District of Columbia Bar; the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment (D.C.); the Council of the Americas (New York); the Institute for European-Latin American Relations, Fundación Dialogos and FIDE (Madrid); the Royal Institute of International Affairs (London); Global Reflexion (Amsterdam); the Center for International Policy (D.C.) and the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (Ottawa). Muse has spoken at many universities about U.S. laws and policies regarding Cuba, including Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard, Fordham, and the Universities of California, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Havana.
He served as Principal Legal Advisor to the Brookings Institution’s project: Cuba: A New Policy of Critical and Constructive Engagement (Washington, D.C., 2009) and as Senior Legal Advisor for the Atlantic Council’s book U.S.-Cuba Relations: An Analytic Compendium of U.S. Policies, Laws and Requirements (2005). Among his many publications are the chapter, “The President Has the Historic Authority and Constitutional Power to Unilaterally Terminate the Embargo on Cuba,” in Cuban International Relations at 60: Reflections on Global Connections. (Lexington Books, 2021); the chapter on the Helms-Burton Act in Cuba Estados Unidas en la Encrucijada (Orfila, 2018); the chapter on U.S.-Cuba sanctions and Obama administration rule changes in the book, Cuba: A Legal Guide to Business (Thomson Reuters 2016); the chapter on the Cuban embargo in the multi-volume encyclopedia, Cuba (2012); U.S. Presidential Action on Cuba: The New Normalization? (Council of the Americas, Americas Quarterly 2014); The Nationality of Claims Principle of Public International Law and the Helms-Burton Act, (University of California, Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, 1997); A Public International Law Critique of the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction of the Helms-Burton Act, (George Washington University, Journal of International Law and Economics, 1998); La Fragilidad Ante El Derecho Internacional de La Legislacion de Las EE.UU. Sobre Cuba: Una Neueva Politica Hacia Cuba, (Fundacion Dialogos, Madrid, 1997); Cuba: Nuevas Perspectivas tras el Entendimiento sobre la Ley Helms-Burton (Cuba Negocios, Madrid, 1999) and Coping with the Next Oil Spill: U.S.-Cuba Environmental Cooperation, a Legal Proposal (Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., 2010).
Representative corporate and nonprofit clients past and present include: Alcatel (France); Bouygues Batiment International (France); Groupe Aeroports de Paris (France); AENA (Spanish Airports Authority); Pernod Ricard (France); Usinor (France); United Americas Shipping Services; SNCF (French national railways); Heineken (Netherlands); Dish Network; the Netherlands Development Finance Bank; Foreign Ministry of Mexico; Siemens (Germany); the Americas Society; the National Foreign Trade Council; the Social Science Research Council; Telefonica (Spain); The Harvard Institute for International Development; Condé Nast Publications; National Public Radio (NPR); SEACOR Shipping; the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; the Center for International Environmental Law; Harvard University; Oxfam (Belgium); Freedom Forum; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC); Woerner Industries; Repsol (Spain); World Monuments Fund; Environmental Defense Fund; World Wildlife Fund (WWF); National Audubon Society; General Services Foundation (Aspen); Ocean Doctor; Ocean Foundation; Indiana State University; Mote Marine Laboratory; the American Council of Learned Societies; N.H. Hotels (Spain); Pew Charitable Trust; the Kettering Foundation; the Latin American Studies Association; Baja Ferries; Connecticut Public Broadcasting; Academic Travel Abroad; Lindblad Expeditions; Variety Cruises/Group IST; The International Association of Drilling Contractors; Vulcan (Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder); Iberostar (Spain); the Baltimore Orioles; the New York Botanical Garden; the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association; the University of Alabama; and the band The Police.
Muse has been interviewed on Cuba-related legal questions by: CNN, BBC, CBC, NPR, PBS and NBC and he has been quoted in, among other publications, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, the Financial Times, USA Today, the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, the National Law Journal and a variety of Canadian, Mexican, and European publications including Toronto’s Globe and Mail, France’s Le Monde, Spain’s El Pais and Mexico’s Epoca.
Muse began practice in Washington, D.C. in 1984 as a member of the D.C. Bar. Before establishing a firm specializing in international law in 1991, he was with the New York City firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler. A native of Southern Arizona, Muse is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Law School (LL.M. in International Law). Before beginning legal studies and practice in Washington, D.C., he was called to the bar of England and Wales as a barrister-at-law (Middle Temple), and is admitted to practice before the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia; the Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit; and the U.S. Supreme Court.