FFVA trade associate member update

Compres + McCaffery, P.A. – A focus on fresh produce

FFVA trade associate member Compres + McCaffery, P.A. enjoys a niche in the world of law firms. The boutique firm focuses on the legal issues found in the fresh produce industry. Those include Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act law, grower/marketing agreements and other trade agreements, general litigation, and food safety defense. In addition, the firm offers outside in-house counsel services and handles general matters that affect the industry such as copyright, trademark and real estate law.

The firm’s partners are husband and wife Tiffany Compres and Robert J. McCaffery Jr. Each has specialties, but they collaborate. “I focus mostly on the transactional side along with some arbitration and litigation,” Compres said.  “Robert is a great litigator. We work together on many things and take each other’s advice.”

Attorneys Tiffany Compres and Robert J. McCaffery Jr. specialize in the fresh produce industry.

The specialization in fresh produce came naturally for Compres. She grew up working with her family at Customized Brokers (now Advance Customs Brokers & Consulting) and J.R. Compres & Asociados, growers and shippers of fresh produce from the Dominican Republic.  “I grew up going to the port and taking documents to customs and visiting clients, warehouses and farms in the Homestead area,” she said. “My parents wanted me to join their businesses, but I really wasn’t interested. Since I speak several languages, my father suggested I pursue international law.” She did, earning her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center and two Master of Laws (L.L.M.) degrees: one in law and globalization at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and a second in international business law at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris.

Compres has represented clients for firms in South Florida, New York City, New Jersey, and South America, focusing her practice on complex transactional matters and real estate, in addition to several large litigation matters dealing with fraud and non-payment.

McCaffery is a seasoned and award-winning criminal defense and civil/commercial litigation attorney. He also earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and has represented clients in front of courts in the District of Columbia, New York, Florida,  and the U.S. Parole Commission.  After graduating from Georgetown, he joined the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office, 11th judicial circuit of Florida, the largest and busiest of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits. McCaffery went into private practice full-time in 2009.

The fresh produce industry is built on relationships, and trust is the foundation of those relationships.” – Attorney Tiffany Compres

After practicing law for several years, Compres was drawn back to her roots. “I was attracted to the business because I really think, now from a legal perspective, that it’s quite fascinating and it’s interesting to see how people make huge deals with a phone call or a hand shake. The fresh produce industry is built on relationships, and trust is the foundation of those relationships,” she said.

But trust can be betrayed.  “Because millions of dollars can change hands in a deal, it’s important that we educate our clients as to what can go wrong and what their options are to address these situations, so they know what’s riding on that phone call or handshake. And then they can make an informed decision.”

Compres + McCaffery’s clients usually learn about the firm after encountering a legal problem or through existing clients or mutual friends. Along with handling the problem at hand, the partners talk to them about how similar situations can be avoided in the future. “Then they start calling us at the inception of their deals. We try to mitigate as much as possible so that they don’t have a problem down the road. It saves time, money and frustration,” said Compres, who believes having a lawyer is similar to having insurance. “My goal as a lawyer is to get inserted into the situation at its inception so that we can avoid litigation down the line. Nothing is 100 percent, but luck favors the prepared.”

McCaffery’s philosophy is equally pragmatic. “Most people simply want to do business without losing money.  Unfortunately, the way many attorneys operate means that people with legitimate problems don’t like to call them for fear they’ll be nickeled and dimed. Our clients are usually shocked to find out we don’t charge for phone calls, and we don’t bill them for photocopies. While some attorneys view it as a ‘win’ to draw out litigation and bill their clients, we regard ‘winning’ as solving our client’s problems with a minimum of fuss.”

To learn more about Compres + McCaffery P.A., visit the firm’s website or call them at 305-607-2717. You may also inquire by email at inquire@compreslaw.com.  Offices are at 1090 Kane Concourse, Suite 206, Miami Beach, FL 33154.

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