Michelle Schulz

Michelle Schulz

Attorney Profile

Top Rated International Attorney in Dallas, TX

Akerman LLP
 | 2001 Ross Avenue, Suite 3600
Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: 214-720-4300
Fax: 214-981-9339
Selected To Rising Stars: 2010 - 2011
Licensed Since: 2002
Practice Areas:
  • International
Languages Spoken:
  • English,
  • French,
  • German
Attorney Profile

Fluent in German and French, Michelle has extensive experience in international trade law, including both export and import law. Over the years, she has successfully advised U.S. and foreign companies in a variety of Customs and international trade matters such as compliance programs, ITAR and EAR licensing, commodity jurisdiction, classification, country sanctions, voluntary and directed disclosures, CFIUS, FCPA, export investigations, technology transfers, C-TPAT, foreign-trade zones, and fines, penalties, and forfeitures. She is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and the U.S. Court of International Trade.

Under the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Michelle serves on the President's Export Council Subcommittee for Export Administration (PECSEA), a senior-level advisory body to the U.S. Department of Commerce and, in particular, its Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), in Washington, D.C.. In addition, she serves as a federal advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative on the Industry Trade Advisory Committee for Aerospace (ITAC-1) in Washington, D.C.

Among other organizations, Michelle has spoken on trade law issues for the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Energy, Thai Ministry of Commerce, National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ), International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA), Association of Trade Compliance Professionals (ATCP), and the American Petroleum Institute (API)

Additionally, she is Treasurer and Chair-Elect of the Texas State Bar International Law Section.  Michelle also serves on the Board and is Secretary of the Executive Committee of the D/FW French-American Chamber of Commerce.  She is a member of the Society for International Affairs (SIA), and the Export Compliance and Facilitation Committee of the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI). Her ongoing pro bono work includes mentoring women business owners from Rwanda and Afghanistan through the Institute for the Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW).  She also serves on the board of the nonprofit organization Dallas Challenge.

A few examples of past activities include Vice Chair of the Dallas Regional Chamber Trade Development Committee; the Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) Subcommittee on Bonds and Penalties related to the Proposed Importer Security Filing Requirements (10+2); the Trade Support Network (TSN), which Customs established in 1994 to provide a forum for the discussion of significant redesign efforts for the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE); VP of Legal for the D/FW Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT); Co-Chair of the Dallas Section of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA); and Adjunct Professor of International Business Law at Richland College, where she received the "Thunderation" teaching award in 2006

Prior to co-founding her own trade boutique in 2003, Michelle worked for the Immigration and Refugee Services of America in Washington, D.C. and the International Institute of San Francisco. Michelle graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with honors from Tulane University, where she was a member of the Mortar Board National Honors Society. She studied French literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, and German at the Lessing-Kolleg in Marburg, Germany. She was selected for the Fulbright educational exchange program in Vienna, Austria, where she also volunteered her time in a major reconstruction project for Bosnia at the American Embassy of Vienna. Michelle earned her MA in German from Vanderbilt University. She then received her JD from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, where she served on the boards of the Texas International Law Journal, the Asian Law Students Association, and the International Law Society. She studied International Law at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

Representative matters include:

  • Prepared and filed concurrent voluntary disclosures under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) with no penalties
  • Represented client in U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) interviews and extensive export enforcement investigation with no penalties
  • Represented client in BIS site visit in connection with EAR voluntary self-disclosure, with no penalties
  • Prepared and filed license applications for exports of dual-use equipment to China
  • Obtained Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) Certificates for dual-use exports
  • Guided company through development of new export compliance procedures for routed exports in complex multi-tiered international transactions
  • Completed case-by-case compliance assessments of technology for global corporation
  • Represented exporter before U.S. Department of Justice in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in enforcement matter, closing the case with no penalties
  • Represented exporter before BIS Office of Antiboycott Compliance in investigation of letters of credit and negotiated reduced penalty
  • Successfully prepared ITAR export license applications and Technical Assistance agreements (TAAs) for U.S. exporter
  • Applied for and received approval of export license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
  • Prepared and filed voluntary disclosure of violations to OFAC with no penalties
  • Completed transfer pricing analysis for purposes of Customs valuation and coordinated with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to confirm appropriate valuation method
  • Represented textile company in complex North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) qualification matter before U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Negotiated substantially reduced penalty for company under investigation for NAFTA marking errors
  • Conducted feasibility study and prepared application for Foreign-Trade Zone to take advantage of inverted tariff benefits
  • Obtained favorable tariff classification ruling from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the oil and gas industry
  • Guided Travel Service Provider (TSP) through implementation of new programs under Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR)
  • Successfully completed Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) application for global importer, including development of C-TPAT compliance manual and compliance training
  • Conducted on-site compliance audit of Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) processes and procedures for large international company
  • Assisting Mexican clients with commercial dispute over custom house brokerage duties
  • Represented whistleblower in export enforcement matter

White Papers

  • Passenger Aircraft Sales to Iran (2016) - On March 24, 2016 the Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control issued General License I authorizing U.S. persons to negotiate and enter into contracts to export parts and services eligible for authorization under the Statement of Licensing Policy for Activities Related to the Export or Re-export to Iran of Commercial Passenger Aircraft and Related Parts and Services.

  • BIS and DDTC Have Harmonized Destination Control Statements (2016) - Effective Nov. 15, 2016, the EAR and the ITAR no longer have separate DCS language, but instead use a harmonized DCS. Also, the newly harmonized DCS is only required on the commercial invoice and not on all export control documents. These changes will eliminate possible confusion exporters may have in determining which DCS to use when a shipment contains goods subject to both the EAR and the ITAR. The changes are part of President Obama’s Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, and were issued on Aug. 17, 2016 in final rules by the U.S. Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) and the U.S. Department of State Directorate of Defense Controls (DDTC). The final rules also clarify that the DCS is only required on tangible shipments. However, the agencies recommend that if a commercial invoice exists for an intangible item, it is good practice to include the DCS. Exporters must include the DCS on the commercial invoice for any shipment of items on the Commerce Control List (CCL), unless the shipment is made under license exceptions BAG or GFT. Exporters must also include the DCS on the commercial invoice for any shipment of items on the United States Munitions List (USML). In addition to the DCS, the commercial invoice must list the ITAR classification for all items and the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) for all 9x515 or 600 series items. Additionally, if both ITAR items and EAR items are shipped together under a DDTC authorization, all ECCNS must be noted on the invoice, including items that are categorized as EAR99.

  • Cuba Sanctions (2016) -  spoke with Women’s Wear Daily about fashion apparel sourcing in Cuba. As a result of renewed relations between Cuba and the U.S., American companies can now take advantage the Department of Commerce’s license exception Support for the Cuban People (SCP), which allows the export of tools, equipment and supplies for use by private sector entrepreneurs. “For example, a U.S. [apparel company] can sell fabric or other materials to a Cuban entrepreneur who owns a dress shop,” said Ms. Manzanares. “Because those goods are authorized for export, there are a number of other activities incident to the export of those items that are also permitted. The U.S. [company] can negotiate and enter into contracts relating to the materials.” “The [company] can also travel to Cuba under a general license to conduct market research and contract negotiations with respect to those goods,” Ms. Schulz added. “Luxury [firms] can also establish a physical or business presence in Cuba to support transactions involving those goods, such as leasing of warehouse or retail space, or establishing a subsidiary or joint venture.”

  • About Michelle Schulz

    Admitted: 2002, Texas

    Professional Webpage: https://www.akerman.com/en/people/michelle-schulz.html

    Honors/Awards:

    • Student-nominated award for excellence in teaching.  The class was International Business Law. , Thunderation Teaching Award, Richland College

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Licensed to practice in the Court of International Trade.

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Treasurer and Chair-Elect of the Texas State Bar International Law Section (ILS). , 2017
    • Michelle is the current Treasurer and Chair-Elect of the Texas State Bar International Law Section.  She also serves as Secretary of the Executive Committee of the French-American Chamber of Commerce. Michelle serves on two federal advisory committees in Washington, D.C.:  the President's Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration (PECSEA), and the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Aerospace. She is a member of the International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA), American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI), the D/FW Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT), and the Society for International Affairs (SIA). Michelle also serves on the board of the nonprofit organization Dallas Challenge. Her past activities include:Vice Chair, Dallas Regional Chamber Trade Development Committee Dallas Regional Chamber International Business Council Dallas Regional Chamber NAFTA Task Force Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) Subcommittee on Bonds and Penalties related to the Proposed Importer Security Filing Requirements (10+2). Trade Support Network (TSN), which Customs established in 1994 to provide a forum for the discussion of significant redesign efforts for the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). VP, Legal, D/FW Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) Co-Chair, Dallas Section of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association (AILA) Adjunct Professor of International Business Law at Richland College and recipient of the 'Thunderation' teaching award.

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Dallas Challenge Board of Directors.  This nonprofit organization provides treatment and counseling programs to youth., 2015
    • Mentor to entrepreneurs around the world through the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). Wills and estate planning for the Dallas Legal Hospice. International trade assistance for small businesses.

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Publication:  “Managing the New Security Requirements of Form I-129 and Other Temporary Visa  Filings,” New Developments in Immigration Enforcement and Compliance, 2012  ed: Leading Lawyers on Navigating Trends (Inside the Minds) in Immigration Law.  Thomson Reuters Aspartore Books (2012). Among other organizations, Michelle has spoken on trade law issues for:The U.S. Department of Commerce, the American Conference Institute, Aviation Suppliers Association, The National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones, The American Petroleum Institute, The International Compliance Professionals Association, The Association of Trade Compliance Professionals, The University of Texas School of Business, The Dallas International Trade Center of the Small Business Development Center, and The Dallas Regional Chamber.

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Appointed to the President's Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration (PECSEA), a senior-level advisory body to the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.  Michelle has served 6 years in this position.

    Newsletters:

    Educational Background:

    • Michelle graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with honors from Tulane University, where she was a member of the Mortar Board National Honors Society. She studied French literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, and German at the Lessing-Kolleg in Marburg, Germany. She was selected for the Fulbright educational exchange program in Vienna, Austria, where she also volunteered her time in a major reconstruction project for Bosnia at the American Embassy of Vienna. Michelle earned her MA in German from Vanderbilt University. She then received her JD from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, where she served on the boards of the Texas International Law Journal, the Asian Law Students Association, and the International Law Society. She studied International Law at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

    Industry Groups

    • Aerospace
    • Banking
    • Chemicals
    • Electronics
    • Food And Beverage
    • Health Care
    • Machinery
    • Manufacturing
    • Oil And Gas
    • Pharmaceutical
    • Technology
    • Textiles
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    Office Location for Michelle Schulz

    2001 Ross Avenue
    Suite 3600
    Dallas, TX 75201

    Michelle Schulz:

    Last Updated: 1/2/2019

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