Jacksonville Securities and Litigation Attorney, Steven J. Gard shares new information regarding Arbitration Clauses in Florida Contracts.
FLORIDA SECOND DCA HOLDS THAT FLA. STAT. §95.011 DOES NOT APPLY TO ARBITRATIONS IN FLORIDA; CERTIFIES ISSUE TO FLORIDA SUPREME COURT
Businesses that have arbitration clauses in their customer or supplier contracts should be aware of a new Florida Court of Appeals decision holding that Fla. Stat. §95.011 does not apply to arbitrations in Florida because arbitrations are neither “actions” nor “proceedings” within the meaning of the statute.
In an opinion filed on November 16, 2011, the Second District Court of Appeals held in Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. v. Phillips, 2011 WL 5555691, that an arbitration was neither an “action” nor a “proceeding” within the meaning of Fla. Stat. §95.011. Therefore none of the statutes of limitation provided within Chapter 95 of the Florida Statutes for various causes of action in Florida apply to arbitrations unless such limitations periods are specifically incorporated into the contract containing the arbitration clause. The Florida appellate decision relied in part on the State of Washington Supreme Court decision in Broom v. Morgan Stanley DW, Inc., 236 P. 3d 182 (2010) that reached the same result. Because of the importance of this decision and the potential wide reach of the result, the Second DCA certified the question to the Florida Supreme Court for review by that Court.
Businesses whose supplier or customer contracts include arbitration clauses should consult their legal counsel concerning the potential effect this decision might have on cases arising out of those contracts.