RECENT FLORIDA ARBITRATION CASES

FEBRUARY 2013

The Third District ruled in February of 2013 that questions of whether an assignment of the right to arbitrate was valid and whether a claimant had standing to arbitrate were for the arbitrator, not the court. Marcum LLP v. Potemkin, ___ So. 3d ___ (Fla 3d DCA 2013).

 

In an unpublished decision [According to Eleventh Circuit rules, "Unpublished opinions are not considered binding precedent, but they may be cited as persuasive authority."] in December of 2012, the Eleventh Circuit confirmed the rule that arbitration decisions can have collateral estoppel effect.  According to Freecharm Ltd. v. Atlas Wealth Holdings Corp. (11th Cir. 2012), “Collateral estoppel applies to prevent [a party] from relitigating factual and legal issues resolved against it in the arbitration if: (1) the issues in this action are identical to those alleged in the arbitration; (2) these issues were actually litigated in the arbitration; and (3) the arbitration panel’s determination of these issues was a critical and necessary part of the arbitration decision. See Greenblatt v. Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc., 763 F.2d 1352, 1360 (11th Cir. 1985) (citing Deweese v. Town of Palm Beach, 688 F.2d 731, 733 (11th Cir. 1982)). In addition, [the party] must have had a full and fair opportunity to litigate these issues in the arbitration. See id.”  Florida follows the same rule.  See Dadeland Depot. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine, 945 So.2d 1216, 1235 (Fla. 2006) (“a determination made during an arbitration proceeding can provide an appropriate foundation for the application of collateral estoppel”).