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How Do You Invoke a Mandatory Arbitration Clause in a Contract Dispute?

West Palm Beach Business Litigation Attorney 2023-01-26 16-48-30

Many contracts have mandatory arbitration provisions. These clauses allow parties to force arbitration if a dispute arises over the agreement. This raises an important question: How do you compel arbitration in a contract dispute? The short answer is that you can get a court order if your counterparty refuses to willingly cooperate with the arbitration process. Here, our Miami business arbitration lawyer explains the key things to know about invoke a mandatory arbitration clause in a contract dispute in Florida.

Mandatory Arbitrations Clauses are Generally Enforceable in Florida 

Many commercial agreements contain mandatory arbitration clauses in Florida. These provisions require parties to arbitrate a dispute instead of litigating a dispute. Notably, mandatory arbitration clauses are generally enforceable in Florida. Notably, the enforceability of these provisions is favored by both federal law and state law. Both federal law and Florida law support arbitration as a cost-effective alternative to traditional court proceedings.

Parties to a Contract Dispute Often Willingly Enter the Arbitration Process 

When a dispute arises over these types of contracts, parties to a contract dispute often willingly enter the arbitration process to resolve their issues. In other words, you or your company may not need to take any legal action in order to get the counterparty to arbitrate the dispute. Given the strong enforceability of mutually-agreed upon arbitration clauses in Florida, there is often no dispute as to whether or not arbitration is the appropriate venue.

 Florida Law: Know Your Right to Compel Arbitration

What happens if the other party refuses to arbitrate a breach of contract dispute even though the agreement contains a mandatory arbitration agreement? In Florida, you have the right to go to court and compel arbitration. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 682.03), if one party to an agreement refuses to arbitrate, the other party can petition the court to enforce the arbitration clause. The court—upon finding that the arbitration agreement is valid and the dispute falls within its scope—a court can order the parties to proceed with arbitration. In other words, a Florida court can require a party to submit to binding arbitration for a contract dispute.

How to Prepare to Navigate a Dispute Over the Enforceability of an Arbitration Clause

With that being said, it is essential for businesses and business owners to recognize that there are specific conditions under which a court may refuse to compel arbitration. These include scenarios where the arbitration agreement is found to be:

  1. Unconscionable;
  2. Obtained through fraud;
  3. Outside the scope of the agreement; or
  4. Otherwise invalid.

Consult With Our Miami, FL Business Arbitration Lawyers Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami commercial dispute attorney has extensive experience with arbitration cases. If you have any questions about business arbitration in Florida, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a strictly confidential initial appointment. We are devoted to helping companies and organizations resolve problems. Our firm handles arbitration matters in Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and across South Florida.

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