Miami, known as an ideal venue for litigating international disputes due to its geographic location, has also become one of the leading venues in which to conduct international commercial arbitration proceedings.
Specialization in this area of the law has led to the creation of the International Commercial Arbitration (ICA) Court within the Circuit Civil Division of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. The Court, consisting of Sections 46 and 47, hears these types of disputes for the entire State of Florida.
The ICA Court was created in response to a heightened demand for an alternative forum for resolving international disputes involving commercial transactions, and was the result of a collaborative effort among international law firms, the Florida Bar, the Florida legislature, the business community and the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida.
In conjunction with the launch of the ICA Court in January 2017 as its own division, Chief Judge Bertila Soto appointed Judge Jose M. Rodriguez (Section 46) to serve as Administrative Judge and appointed Judge Lisa M. Walsh (Section 47) to also preside over ICA matters. Both judges are specially trained in the laws and procedures that are unique to international arbitration. In addition, both judges are skilled in resolving a range of diverse international commercial disputes involving subjects such as telecommunications, insurance, oil and gas exploration, construction, shipping, aviation, pharmaceuticals, IT, finance, banking, and the like.
Pursuant to the procedural and substantive requirements of Florida’s International Commercial Arbitration Act (Chapter 684, Fla. Stat.) and the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. §1 et seq.), both judges are also vested with the authority to enforce foreign arbitration awards, order interim measures before the issuance of an award, interpret and settle challenges to arbitration clauses, resolve discovery disputes, and even select and appoint an expert or particular intermediary when the parties can’t agree on the selection of a specialist or conciliator to resolve the particular dispute.
For specific information regarding the eligibility criteria for assigning disputes to the ICA Court as well as the internal procedures and policies of the ICA Court, see the Eleventh Judicial Circuit’s Administrative Order No. 13-1A.
International Commercial Arbitration Judges:
Hon. Judge Jose M. Rodriguez (Administrative Judge)