Tuesday, June 25, 2013

3rd DCA Reverses Itself Over Arbitration Award

The Daily Business Review has an article today titled "3rd DCA Reverses Itself Over Arbitration Award." A subscription is currently required to view the article. The article is about THIS opinion that released last Wednesday by the Third District. The one sentence opinion on rehearing vacated THIS six page opinion by Judge Fernandez. The earlier opinion included a 12 page dissent by Judge Salter. While the new unanimous opinion does not explain its reasoning, presumably Judge Salter's earlier dissent played a part. That dissent began:

I respectfully dissent. We should not engage in the very judicial proceedings that these international companies sought to avoid when they specified in their commission agreement that “[a]ny dispute or controversy arising in connection with this Agreement shall be subject to (and settled by) final and binding arbitration.” The threshold or “gatekeeper” determination regarding Mr. Rondon’s authority to initiate Ventus’s demand for arbitration, made here and now by the majority (after, and contrary to, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution Tribunal’s ruling on that very point), was a “controversy arising in connection with the agreement” that was properly heard and ruled upon by the tribunal and should not be revisited, much less nullified, by a Florida appellate court. The circuit court ruled in accordance with the deferential and extremely limited scope of review specified by the Florida and counterpart federal arbitration statutes (as interpreted by the Florida Supreme Court), such that the order confirming the Tribunal’s detailed and closely-reasoned award should be affirmed.


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