With its access to South America, multilingual attorneys and the recent adoption of UNICITRAL arbitration rules, Florida is positioned to become an optimal venue for international arbitration. Gov. Charlie Crist signed a new bill into law (CS/HB 821) which changes existing commercial arbitration legislation and adopts the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNICITRAL) rules. The law becomes effective July 1, 2010.
The UNICITRAL rules were created in 1976 and provide a comprehensive and standardized framework for the arbitration of international disputes. This model law, which incorporates components of common and civil law, evens the litigation field for companies from around the world. Florida is the sixth state to pass this type of legislation. Other adopters of UNICITRAL include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana and Texas, and more than 50 countries worldwide.
The new state law includes a Florida Supreme Court rule change that allows for attorneys from other states and countries to engage in international arbitration in Florida. As a result, we look forward to having Florida (and Jacksonville) as the local resource for international arbitration resolution.