International Negotiations

In many cases, particularly those regarding international disputes, the most successful path to resolution may not be through litigation or arbitration but may instead be through strategic negotiation. The team of attorneys at Conrad & Scherer is highly experienced in these matters, employing a combination of diplomacy, cultural awareness and legal insight to forge mutually satisfying resolutions and preserve relationships whenever possible. We have successfully represented clients in conflict with foreign individuals, entities and agencies on multiple continents, and as the only U.S. based law firm with a physical presence in Ecuador, we are especially well-versed in disputes involving parties across Latin America.

    • Columbia University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 2006
    • American University, Bachelor of Science, 2000
    • Massachusetts Bar, 2006
    • District of Columbia Bar, 2007
    • United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 2007
    • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 2009
    • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2010
    • District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, 2013

    Eric Hager is a partner in the Firm’s Quito, Ecuador office. His practice includes transnational litigation, appeals, commercial litigation, securities & financial regulatory litigation, consumer finance litigation, general civil litigation, land use litigation, and trust litigation.

    Mr. Hager’s experience in complex litigation is varied. He has played key roles in diverse matters in a number of state and federal courts throughout the country and has managed multinational teams on difficult e-discovery and other discovery projects. Mr. Hager has represented a range of clients from the U.S. and abroad, including the former CEO of a publicly-traded company, small and mid-sized businesses, local governments, and non-profit organizations. He has also led or participated in appeals in multiple state and federal courts.

    Mr. Hager has years of experience working with liability and damages experts in high-stakes commercial litigation. He has also worked closely with experts on foreign law from Ecuador, Colombia and Peru in order to file declarations from foreign law experts in U.S. courts. Mr. Hager has represented clients seeking and opposing discovery in relation to foreign legal proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 1782, which is a statute allowing litigants to obtain discovery related to foreign legal proceedings using the assistance of U.S. courts. An example of a successful request for discovery under Section 1782, done in conjunction with local counsel, is reflected in the magistrate’s report from In re Solines, No. MC 18-3680, 2018 WL 2225134 (E.D. La. Apr. 30, 2018). Also, Mr. Hager has assisted clients with requests for international judicial assistance, commonly referred to as letters of request or letters rogatory. In addition, Mr. Hager provides the firm’s Latin American clients with assistance in cross-border litigation and transactions.

    Mr. Hager has experience briefing a wide range of complicated legal issues. Representative issues include defenses to claims common to commercial litigation, such as claims for breach of contract, fraud, and tortious interference; choice of law, including between foreign and U.S. law; international comity, forum non conveniens, and other defenses typical in transnational litigation; statutory construction of state, federal, and foreign statutes; removal from federal court and remand to state court; the intersection of state property law and federal tax law; standing and capacity to sue; issue and claim preclusion; tolling of the statute of limitations and other timeliness issues; and procedural issues associated with a variety of pre-trial motions, including motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, discovery motions, and motions in limine. Mr. Hager also has experience arguing motions on complex issues before state and federal courts.

    Prior to focusing on commercial litigation and appeals, Mr. Hager spent over six years primarily representing the firm’s clients seeking to hold multinational corporations accountable for human rights abuses. In that role, he took and defended depositions abroad and in the U.S., obtained a reversal on a key issue from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, briefed numerous other appeals, and led discovery-related and other field work in remote regions of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

    Before joining the Firm in 2009, he practiced as a commercial litigator, primarily working on consumer financial services matters in the Washington, D.C. office of a large national firm.

    Mr. Hager is fluent in Spanish, resides in Quito, Ecuador, and has traveled extensively throughout South America’s Andean region on business.

    • Listed as one of the “FACES of Fort Lauderdale” in Complex Commercial Litigation by Fort Lauderdale Illustrated Magazine, 2020
    • Columbia University School of Law, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
    • Columbia University Journal of Environmental Law, Articles Editor
    • Fulbright Scholar, Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program, September 2002 to May 2003


    • Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M. in National Security Law, 2016
    • The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, J.D., 2015
    • The Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, 2013
    • Boston University, M.A. in International Affairs and Intelligence Studies, 2011
    • Boston University, B.A. in International Relations, 2008
    • North Carolina, 2022
    • New York, 2021
    • District of Columbia, 2021
    • Maryland, 2020
    • Registered Immigration Counsel with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and Executive Office for Immigration Review

    Angelica Zolnierowicz is an Associate in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office where she assists partners and senior associates on a variety of complex commercial litigation matters.

    Ms. Zolnierowicz earned her Master of Laws from Georgetown University Law Center and her Juris Doctorate from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. She attended Boston University, where she obtained her Master and Bachelor degrees in International Affairs.

    While studying at Georgetown, Ms. Zolnierowicz was selected by the Department of Defense to represent Georgetown Law Center at the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as a Department of Defense (DoD) Military Commission Observer. As a DoD observer of this select program, she saw live hearings of defendants charged in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks from the U.S. Military Base courtroom.

    While in law school, Ms. Zolnierowicz worked for the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force, The World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency, and Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. Ms. Zolnierowicz has experience working with two prominent law firms in Warsaw, Poland. She also worked on numerous litigation matters, both in the private and government sector.

    Ms. Zolnierowicz has a keen interest in evolving blockchain technologies and criminal securities fraud. While working for a large Washington, DC law firm, she was an invited panelist speaker for multiple cryptocurrency and blockchain conferences.

    Community Involvement/Affiliations
    • Editor of Georgetown’s Journal of National Security Law and Policy – Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M., 2016
    • Presiding Judge for Federal White Collar Crime Invitational Tournaments – Georgetown University Law Center, 2016
    • Vice-President of The Women’s Law Caucus – The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, 2015
    • Dean’s List – Georgetown University Law Center, 2016
    • Recipient of American Council for Polish Culture Scholarship – The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, 2015
    • Exceptional Pro Bono Service Hour Certificate – The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, 2015
    • Dean’s List – Boston University, M.A., 2011
    • Recipient of Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union Excellence Award – Boston University, M.A., 2011
    • Dean’s List – Boston University, B.A., 2008
    • English (native)
    • Polish (fluent)
    • French (proficient)
    • Spanish (proficient)
    • Czech (intermediate)
    • Ukrainian (intermediate)
    • Russian (basic)


    Of Counsel
    • Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Attorney at Law (Juris Doctor equivalent), 2003
    • Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Bachelor in Arts, 2001
    • Ecuador Bar, 2003
    • Of Counsel, not licensed in the United States

    David Garcés is an Ecuadorian attorney in the firm’s Quito office. He focuses his practice on advising U.S. and Latin American clients on international negotiations, mergers & acquisitions, cross-border litigation, family law matters and real estate transactions. He has experience in corporate law, transactions, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, e-commerce, family law, probate and international law. Mr. Garcés regularly advises Ecuadorian and international clients on Ecuadorian and international family law, probate and real estate issues. In addition, he serves as an expert on Ecuadorian law, providing declarations used in federal court litigation.