CARACAS -- The well-known American lawyer John Pate, a US citizen, was stabbed to death by assailants in his apartment at the Vista Real on Avenue Panorama in Lomas de San Román section of Caracas on Sunday evening.
Pate, 71, was a member of the Editorial Board of the Caracas Daily Journal, the predecessor of the Latin American Herald Tribune, and had helped build the fabric of Caracas society. His first wife, Gertie Paez Pate, was a well-known Peruvian painter who died of cancer in 2007.
According to police, the criminals reportedly entered his apartment with the intent to rob him, but instead killed him with multiple stab wounds. His girlfriend, Sally Evan Oquendo, 67, was wounded and is hospitalized.
According to early police reports, the perpetrators entered through a bathroom window and police suggest that they knew the building well. There are apartments being remodeled in the building and police are interrogating workers.
According to police, it is very difficult to access the common areas of the building.
Pate joined law firm De Sola Pate & Brown in 1981, and chaired the international corporate and business transactions practice. His principal areas of expertise were in negotiating international business transactions, commercial and corporate law, foreign investment, licensing, franchising, international banking, project finance, commercial aviation and secured transactions.
The firm was part of the International Business Law Consortium (IBLC) and L2B Aviation Group, international legal networks.
John was registered as an International Advisor in Corporate Finance with the Bar Association of Caracas. He was admitted to practice in Massachusetts (1969) and before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Court of International Trade.
Pate received an A.B. from Brown University in 1966 and his J.D. law degree from Boston University in 1969. He also received an M.A. and an M.A.L.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1971 and 1972, respectively.
Pate was a member of the Massachusetts Bar. He was active in the International (in which he is Vice Chair of the Latin American and Caribbean Law Committee) and Business Law Sections of the American Bar Association. He was also a member of the Inter-American Bar Association, the American Society of International Law (in which he is Corresponding Editor of International Legal Materials), the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, the Latin American Studies Association, and the Advisory Committee of the Tulane Latin American Law Institute. John is a Fellow of the Center for International Legal Studies (Salzburg, Austria), a Director of the Entrepreneurial Center for Conciliation and Arbitration – CEDCA, Director and Secretary of the Venezuelan-American Friendship Association - AVAA, Director of the Centro Venezolano Americano – CVA, a member of the Legal Affairs Committee of VenAmCham, and Director and Secretary of the Valle Arriba Golf Club.
Before joining Desola Pate & Brown, Pate was a professor of International Business and Latin American Integration at the Institute for Higher Administration Studies (Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración – IESA, 1974-1977), manager of the Andean Integration Department at KPMG (previously Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., from 1977-1978), and director of GRANLAW Consultores (1978-1981).
In addition to his work with The Daily Journal, since the 1970’s John had authored a number of articles and given conferences mainly on Venezuelan and Andean business topics. Among some of his more recent publications are the following: “Venezuela: The Law on Secured Transactions” (co-author), in Secured Transactions in International Practice (Oceana) and as “Venezuela: Normas Sobre Transacciones con Garantía” en Trabajos Jurídicos (VenAmCham, Vol. I); “Venezuela: Real Property Security” (co-author) in Comparative Law Yearbook of International Business, 2006 (Kluwer); chapters on Venezuela in Aircraft Finance: Registration, Security and Enforcement, and in Aircraft Liens and Detention Rights (Sweet & Maxwell); and the Venezuelan section in “International Legal Developments in Review: 2005” in The International Lawyer. He is also a regular contributor to Latin American Legal Developments, a monthly electronic newsletter published by the Latin American and Caribbean Law Committee of the Section of International Law of the American Bar Association.
He is survived by his son, Thomas John Pate, a lawyer at international law firm White & Case in Miami.