Arbitration Provisions Are Challenging To Circumvent

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Florida has a strong public policy in favor of enforcing arbitration provisions.

May 13, 2019
David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates

Arbitration provisions are enforceable and they are becoming more challenging to circumvent, especially if one of the parties to the arbitration agreement wants to arbitrate a dispute versus litigate a dispute. Remember this when agreeing to an arbitration provision as the forum for dispute resolution in your contract. There is not a one-size-fits-all model when it comes to arbitration provisions and how they are drafted. But, there is a very strong public policy in favor of honoring a contractual arbitration provision because this is what the parties agreed to as the forum to resolve their disputes.

By way of example, in Austin Commercial, L.P. v. L.M.C.C. Specialty Contractors, Inc., 44 Fla.L.Weekly D925a (Fla. 2d DCA 2019), a subcontractor and prime contactor entered into a consultant agreement that contained the following arbitration provision:

Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Agreement or the breach thereof shall be subject to the dispute resolution procedures, if any, set out in the Prime Contract between [Prime Contractor] and the [Owner]. Should the Prime Contract contain no specific requirement for the resolution of disputes or should the [Owner] not be involved in the dispute, any such controversy or claim shall be resolved by arbitration pursuant to the Construction Industry Rules of the American Arbitration Association then prevailing, and judgment upon the award by the Arbitrator(s) shall be entered in any Court having jurisdiction thereof.

The prime contract between the owner and prime contractor did not require arbitration.

Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com



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