HB 963

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to dispute resolution; amending s.
3682.01, F.S.; revising the short title of the "Florida
4Arbitration Code" to the "Revised Florida Arbitration
5Code"; creating s. 682.011, F.S.; providing
6definitions; creating s. 682.012, F.S.; specifying how
7a person gives notice to another person and how a
8person receives notice; creating s. 682.013, F.S.;
9specifying the applicability of the revised code;
10creating s. 682.014, F.S.; providing that an agreement
11may waive or vary the effect of statutory arbitration
12provisions; providing exceptions; creating s. 682.015,
13F.S.; providing for petitions for judicial relief;
14providing for service of notice of an initial petition
15for such relief; amending s. 682.02, F.S.; revising
16provisions relating to the making of arbitration
17agreements; requiring a court to decide whether an
18agreement to arbitrate exists or a controversy is
19subject to an agreement to arbitrate; providing for
20determination of specified issues by an arbitrator;
21providing for continuation of an arbitration
22proceeding pending resolution of certain issues by a
23court; revising provisions relating to applicability
24of provisions to certain interlocal agreements;
25amending s. 682.03, F.S.; revising provisions relating
26to proceedings to compel and to stay arbitration;
27creating s. 682.031, F.S.; providing for a court to
28order provisional remedies before an arbitrator is
29appointed and is authorized and able to act; providing
30for orders for provisional remedies by an arbitrator;
31providing that a party does not waive a right of
32arbitration by seeking provisional remedies in court;
33creating s. 682.032, F.S.; providing for initiation of
34arbitration; providing that a person waives any
35objection to lack of or insufficiency of notice by
36appearing at the arbitration hearing; providing an
37exception; creating s. 682.033, F.S.; providing for
38consolidation of separate arbitration proceedings as
39to all or some of the claims in certain circumstances;
40prohibiting consolidation if the agreement prohibits
41consolidation; amending s. 682.04, F.S.; revising
42provisions relating to appointment of an arbitrator;
43prohibiting an individual with an interest in the
44outcome of an arbitration from serving as a neutral
45arbitrator; creating s. 682.041, F.S.; requiring
46certain disclosures of interests and relationships by
47a person before accepting appointment as an
48arbitrator; providing a continuing obligation to make
49such disclosures; providing for objections to an
50arbitrator based on information disclosed; providing
51for vacation of an award if an arbitrator failed to
52disclose a fact as required; providing that an
53arbitrator appointed as a neutral arbitrator who does
54not disclose certain interests or relationships is
55presumed to act with partiality for specified
56purposes; requiring parties to substantially comply
57with agreed to procedures of an arbitration
58organization or any other procedures for challenges to
59arbitrators before an award is made in order to seek
60vacation of an award on specified grounds; amending s.
61682.05, F.S.; requiring that if there is more than one
62arbitrator, the powers of an arbitrator must be
63exercised by a majority of the arbitrators; requiring
64all arbitrators to conduct the arbitration hearing;
65creating s. 682.051, F.S.; providing immunity from
66civil liability for an arbitrator or an arbitration
67organization acting in the capacity of an arbitrator;
68providing that this immunity is supplemental to any
69immunity under other law; providing that failure to
70make a required disclosure does not remove immunity;
71providing that an arbitrator or representative of an
72arbitration organization is not competent to testify
73and may not be required to produce records concerning
74the arbitration; providing exceptions; providing for
75awarding an arbitrator, arbitration organization, or
76representative of an arbitration organization with
77reasonable attorney fees and expenses of litigation
78under certain circumstances; amending s. 682.06, F.S.;
79revising provisions relating to the conduct of
80arbitration hearings; providing for summary
81disposition, notice of hearings, adjournment, and
82rights of a party to the arbitration proceeding;
83requiring appointment of a replacement arbitrator in
84certain circumstances; amending s. 682.07, F.S.;
85providing that a party to an arbitration proceeding
86may be represented by an attorney; amending s. 682.08,
87F.S.; revising provisions relating to the issuance,
88service, and enforcement of subpoenas; revising
89provisions relating to depositions; authorizing an
90arbitrator to permit discovery in certain
91circumstances; authorizing an arbitrator to order
92compliance with discovery; authorizing protective
93orders by an arbitrator; providing for applicability
94of laws compelling a person under subpoena to testify
95and all fees for attending a judicial proceeding, a
96deposition, or a discovery proceeding as a witness;
97providing for court enforcement of a subpoena or
98discovery-related order; providing for witness fees;
99creating s. 682.081, F.S.; providing for judicial
100enforcement of a preaward ruling by an arbitrator in
101certain circumstances; amending s. 682.09, F.S.;
102revising provisions relating to the record needed for
103an award; revising provisions relating to the time
104within which an award must be made; amending s.
105682.10, F.S.; revising provisions relating to
106requirements for a motion to modify or correct an
107award; amending s. 682.11, F.S.; revising provisions
108relating to fees and expenses of arbitration;
109authorizing punitive damages and other exemplary
110relief and remedies; amending s. 682.12, F.S.;
111revising provisions relating to confirmation of an
112award; amending s. 682.13, F.S.; revising provisions
113relating to grounds for vacating an award; revising
114provisions relating to a motion for vacating an award;
115providing for a rehearing in certain circumstances;
116amending s. 682.14, F.S.; revising provisions relating
117to the time for moving to modify or correct an award;
118deleting references to the term "umpire"; revising a
119provision concerning confirmation of awards; amending
120s. 682.15, F.S.; revising provisions relating to a
121court order confirming, vacating without directing a
122rehearing, modifying, or correcting an award;
123providing for award of costs and attorney fees in
124certain circumstances; repealing s. 682.16, F.S.,
125relating to judgment roll and docketing of certain
126orders; repealing s. 682.17, F.S., relating to
127application to court; repealing s. 682.18, F.S.,
128relating to the definition of the term "court" and
129jurisdiction; creating s. 682.181, F.S.; providing for
130jurisdiction relating to the revised code; amending s.
131682.19, F.S.; revising provisions relating to venue
132for actions relating to the code; amending s. 682.20,
133F.S.; providing that an appeal may be taken from an
134order denying confirmation of an award unless the
135court has entered an order under specified provisions;
136providing that all other orders denying confirmation
137of an award are final orders; repealing s. 682.21,
138F.S., relating to the previous code not applying
139retroactively; repealing s. 682.22, F.S., relating to
140conflict of laws; creating s. 682.23, F.S.; specifying
141the relationship of the code to the Electronic
142Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act;
143creating s. 682.24, F.S.; specifying the effective
144date of the revised code; providing for applicability;
145creating s. 682.25, F.S.; providing that the revised
146code does not apply to any dispute involving child
147custody, visitation, or child support; amending s.
14844.104, F.S.; deleting references to binding
149arbitration from provisions providing for voluntary
150trial resolution; providing for temporary relief;
151revising provisions relating to procedures in
152voluntary trial resolution; providing that a judgment
153is reviewable in the same manner as a judgment in a
154civil action; deleting provisions relating to
155applicability of the harmless error doctrine;
156providing limitations on the jurisdiction of a trial
157resolution judge; providing for the use of juries;
158providing for the title of a trial resolution judge
159and the use of judicial robes; amending s. 44.107,
160F.S.; providing immunity for voluntary trial
161resolution judges serving under specified provisions;
162amending ss. 440.1926 and 489.1402, F.S.; conforming
163cross-references; amending s. 731.401, F.S.; revising
164a reference to binding arbitration under a specified
165provision; providing directives to the Division of
166Statutory Revision, including redesignating the title
167of chapter 44, Florida Statutes, as "Alternative
168Dispute Resolution"; providing an effective date.
170Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
172     Section 1.  Section 682.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to
174     682.01  Short title Florida Arbitration Code.-This chapter
175Sections 682.01-682.22 may be cited as the "Revised Florida
176Arbitration Code."
177     Section 2.  Section 682.011, Florida Statutes, is created
178to read:
179     682.011  Definitions.-As used in this chapter, the term:
180     (1)  "Arbitration organization" means an association,
181agency, board, commission, or other entity that is neutral and
182initiates, sponsors, or administers an arbitration proceeding or
183is involved in the appointment of an arbitrator.
184     (2)  "Arbitrator" means an individual appointed to render
185an award, alone or with others, in a controversy that is subject
186to an agreement to arbitrate.
187     (3)  "Court" means a court of competent jurisdiction in
188this state.
189     (4)  "Knowledge" means actual knowledge.
190     (5)  "Person" means an individual, corporation, business
191trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company,
192association, joint venture, or government; governmental
193subdivision, agency, or instrumentality; public corporation; or
194any other legal or commercial entity.
195     (6)  "Record" means information that is inscribed on a
196tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other
197medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
198     Section 3.  Section 682.012, Florida Statutes, is created
199to read:
200     682.012  Notice.-
201     (1)  Except as otherwise provided in the Revised Florida
202Arbitration Code, a person gives notice to another person by
203taking action that is reasonably necessary to inform the other
204person in ordinary course, whether or not the other person
205acquires knowledge of the notice.
206     (2)  A person has notice if the person has knowledge of the
207notice or has received notice.
208     (3)  A person receives notice when it comes to the person's
209attention or the notice is delivered at the person's place of
210residence or place of business, or at another location held out
211by the person as a place of delivery of such communications.
212     Section 4.  Section 682.013, Florida Statutes, is created
213to read:
214     682.013  Applicability of revised code.-
215     (1)  The Revised Florida Arbitration Code governs an
216agreement to arbitrate made on or after the effective date of
217this act.
218     (2)  The Revised Florida Arbitration Code governs an
219agreement to arbitrate made before the effective date of this
220act if all the parties to the agreement or to the arbitration
221proceeding so agree in a record.
222     (3)  Beginning July 1, 2015, the Revised Florida
223Arbitration Code governs an agreement to arbitrate whenever
225     Section 5.  Section 682.014, Florida Statutes, is created
226to read:
227     682.014  Effect of agreement to arbitrate; nonwaivable
229     (1)  Except as otherwise provided in subsections (2) and
230(3), a party to an agreement to arbitrate or to an arbitration
231proceeding may waive, or the parties may vary the effect of, the
232requirements of the Revised Florida Arbitration Code to the
233extent permitted by law.
234     (2)  Before a controversy arises that is subject to an
235agreement to arbitrate, a party to the agreement may not:
236     (a)  Waive or agree to vary the effect of the requirements
237of s. 682.015(1), s. 682.02(1), s. 682.031, s. 682.08(1) or (2),
238s. 682.181, or s. 682.20;
239     (b)  Agree to unreasonably restrict the right under s.
240682.032 to notice of the initiation of an arbitration
242     (c)  Agree to unreasonably restrict the right under s.
243682.041 to disclosure of any facts by a neutral arbitrator; or
244     (d)  Waive the right under s. 682.07 of a party to an
245agreement to arbitrate to be represented by an attorney at any
246proceeding or hearing under the Revised Florida Arbitration
247Code, but an employer and a labor organization may waive the
248right to representation by an attorney in a labor arbitration.
249     (3)  A party to an agreement to arbitrate or arbitration
250proceeding may not waive, or the parties may not vary the effect
251of, the requirements in this section or s. 682.013(1) or (3), s.
252682.03, s. 682.051, s. 682.081, s. 682.10(4) or (5), s. 682.12,
253s. 682.13, s. 682.14, s. 682.15(1) or (2), s. 682.23, s. 682.24,
254or s. 682.25.
255     Section 6.  Section 682.015, Florida Statutes, is created
256to read:
257     682.015  Petition for judicial relief.-
258     (1)  Except as otherwise provided in s. 682.20, a petition
259for judicial relief under this chapter must be made to the court
260and heard in the manner provided by law or rule of court for
261making and hearing motions.
262     (2)  Unless a civil action involving the agreement to
263arbitrate is pending, notice of an initial petition to the court
264under this chapter must be served in the manner provided by law
265for the service of a summons in a civil action. Otherwise,
266notice of the motion must be given in the manner provided by law
267or rule of court for serving motions in pending cases.
268     Section 7.  Section 682.02, Florida Statutes, is amended to
270     682.02  Arbitration agreements made valid, irrevocable, and
271enforceable; scope.-
272     (1)  An agreement contained in a record to submit to
273arbitration any existing or subsequent controversy arising
274between the parties to the agreement is valid, enforceable, and
275irrevocable except upon a ground that exists at law or in equity
276for the revocation of a contract.
277     (2)  The court shall decide whether an agreement to
278arbitrate exists or a controversy is subject to an agreement to
280     (3)  An arbitrator shall decide whether a condition
281precedent to arbitrability has been fulfilled and whether a
282contract containing a valid agreement to arbitrate is
284     (4)  If a party to a judicial proceeding challenges the
285existence of, or claims that a controversy is not subject to, an
286agreement to arbitrate, the arbitration proceeding may continue
287pending final resolution of the issue by the court, unless the
288court otherwise orders.
289     (5)  Two or more parties may agree in writing to submit to
290arbitration any controversy existing between them at the time of
291the agreement, or they may include in a written contract a
292provision for the settlement by arbitration of any controversy
293thereafter arising between them relating to such contract or the
294failure or refusal to perform the whole or any part thereof.
295This section also applies to written interlocal agreements under
296ss. 163.01 and 373.713 in which two or more parties agree to
297submit to arbitration any controversy between them concerning
298water use permit motions applications and other matters,
299regardless of whether or not the water management district with
300jurisdiction over the subject motion application is a party to
301the interlocal agreement or a participant in the arbitration.
302Such agreement or provision shall be valid, enforceable, and
303irrevocable without regard to the justiciable character of the
304controversy; provided that this act shall not apply to any such
305agreement or provision to arbitrate in which it is stipulated
306that this law shall not apply or to any arbitration or award
308     Section 8.  Section 682.03, Florida Statutes, is amended to
310     682.03  Proceedings to compel and to stay arbitration.-
311     (1)  On motion of a person showing an agreement to
312arbitrate and alleging another person's refusal to arbitrate
313pursuant to the agreement:
314     (a)  If the refusing party does not appear or does not
315oppose the motion, the court shall order the parties to
317     (b)  If the refusing party opposes the motion, the court
318shall proceed summarily to decide the issue and order the
319parties to arbitrate unless it finds that there is no
320enforceable agreement to arbitrate A party to an agreement or
321provision for arbitration subject to this law claiming the
322neglect or refusal of another party thereto to comply therewith
323may make application to the court for an order directing the
324parties to proceed with arbitration in accordance with the terms
325thereof. If the court is satisfied that no substantial issue
326exists as to the making of the agreement or provision, it shall
327grant the application. If the court shall find that a
328substantial issue is raised as to the making of the agreement or
329provision, it shall summarily hear and determine the issue and,
330according to its determination, shall grant or deny the
332     (2)  On motion of a person alleging that an arbitration
333proceeding has been initiated or threatened but that there is no
334agreement to arbitrate, the court shall proceed summarily to
335decide the issue. If the court finds that there is an
336enforceable agreement to arbitrate, it shall order the parties
337to arbitrate If an issue referable to arbitration under an
338agreement or provision for arbitration subject to this law
339becomes involved in an action or proceeding pending in a court
340having jurisdiction to hear an application under subsection (1),
341such application shall be made in said court. Otherwise and
342subject to s. 682.19, such application may be made in any court
343of competent jurisdiction.
344     (3)  If the court finds that there is no enforceable
345agreement to arbitrate, it may not order the parties to
346arbitrate pursuant to subsection (1) or subsection (2) Any
347action or proceeding involving an issue subject to arbitration
348under this law shall be stayed if an order for arbitration or an
349application therefor has been made under this section or, if the
350issue is severable, the stay may be with respect thereto only.
351When the application is made in such action or proceeding, the
352order for arbitration shall include such stay.
353     (4)  The court may not refuse to order arbitration because
354the claim subject to arbitration lacks merit or grounds for the
355claim have not been established On application the court may
356stay an arbitration proceeding commenced or about to be
357commenced, if it shall find that no agreement or provision for
358arbitration subject to this law exists between the party making
359the application and the party causing the arbitration to be had.
360The court shall summarily hear and determine the issue of the
361making of the agreement or provision and, according to its
362determination, shall grant or deny the application.
363     (5)  If a proceeding involving a claim referable to
364arbitration under an alleged agreement to arbitrate is pending
365in court, a motion under this section must be made in that
366court. Otherwise, a motion under this section may be made in any
367court as provided in s. 682.19 An order for arbitration shall
368not be refused on the ground that the claim in issue lacks merit
369or bona fides or because any fault or grounds for the claim
370sought to be arbitrated have not been shown.
371     (6)  If a party makes a motion to the court to order
372arbitration, the court on just terms shall stay any judicial
373proceeding that involves a claim alleged to be subject to the
374arbitration until the court renders a final decision under this
376     (7)  If the court orders arbitration, the court on just
377terms shall stay any judicial proceeding that involves a claim
378subject to the arbitration. If a claim subject to the
379arbitration is severable, the court may limit the stay to that
381     Section 9.  Section 682.031, Florida Statutes, is created
382to read:
383     682.031  Provisional remedies.-
384     (1)  Before an arbitrator is appointed and is authorized
385and able to act, the court, upon motion of a party to an
386arbitration proceeding and for good cause shown, may enter an
387order for provisional remedies to protect the effectiveness of
388the arbitration proceeding to the same extent and under the same
389conditions as if the controversy were the subject of a civil
391     (2)  After an arbitrator is appointed and is authorized and
392able to act:
393     (a)  The arbitrator may issue such orders for provisional
394remedies, including interim awards, as the arbitrator finds
395necessary to protect the effectiveness of the arbitration
396proceeding and to promote the fair and expeditious resolution of
397the controversy, to the same extent and under the same
398conditions as if the controversy were the subject of a civil
400     (b)  A party to an arbitration proceeding may move the
401court for a provisional remedy only if the matter is urgent and
402the arbitrator is not able to act timely or the arbitrator
403cannot provide an adequate remedy.
404     (3)  A party does not waive a right of arbitration by
405making a motion under this section.
406     Section 10.  Section 682.032, Florida Statutes, is created
407to read:
408     682.032  Initiation of arbitration.-
409     (1)  A person initiates an arbitration proceeding by giving
410notice in a record to the other parties to the agreement to
411arbitrate in the agreed manner between the parties or, in the
412absence of agreement, by certified or registered mail, return
413receipt requested and obtained, or by service as authorized for
414the commencement of a civil action. The notice must describe the
415nature of the controversy and the remedy sought.
416     (2)  Unless a person objects for lack or insufficiency of
417notice under s. 682.06(3) not later than the beginning of the
418arbitration hearing, the person by appearing at the hearing
419waives any objection to lack of or insufficiency of notice.
420     Section 11.  Section 682.033, Florida Statutes, is created
421to read:
422     682.033  Consolidation of separate arbitration
424     (1)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), upon
425motion of a party to an agreement to arbitrate or to an
426arbitration proceeding, the court may order consolidation of
427separate arbitration proceedings as to all or some of the claims
429     (a)  There are separate agreements to arbitrate or separate
430arbitration proceedings between the same persons or one of them
431is a party to a separate agreement to arbitrate or a separate
432arbitration proceeding with a third person;
433     (b)  The claims subject to the agreements to arbitrate
434arise in substantial part from the same transaction or series of
435related transactions;
436     (c)  The existence of a common issue of law or fact creates
437the possibility of conflicting decisions in the separate
438arbitration proceedings; and
439     (d)  Prejudice resulting from a failure to consolidate is
440not outweighed by the risk of undue delay or prejudice to the
441rights of or hardship to parties opposing consolidation.
442     (2)  The court may order consolidation of separate
443arbitration proceedings as to some claims and allow other claims
444to be resolved in separate arbitration proceedings.
445     (3)  The court may not order consolidation of the claims of
446a party to an agreement to arbitrate if the agreement prohibits
448     Section 12.  Section 682.04, Florida Statutes, is amended
449to read:
450     682.04  Appointment of arbitrators by court.-
451     (1)  If the parties to an agreement to arbitrate agree on
452or provision for arbitration subject to this law provides a
453method for appointing the appointment of arbitrators or an
454umpire, this method must shall be followed, unless the method
456     (2)  The court, on application of a party to an arbitration
457agreement, shall appoint one or more arbitrators, if:
458     (a)  The parties have not agreed on a method;
459     (b)  The agreed method fails;
460     (c)  One or more of the parties failed to respond to the
461demand for arbitration; or
462     (d)  An arbitrator fails to act and a successor has not
463been appointed.
464     (3)  In the absence thereof, or if the agreed method fails
465or for any reason cannot be followed, or if an arbitrator or
466umpire who has been appointed fails to act and his or her
467successor has not been duly appointed, the court, on application
468of a party to such agreement or provision shall appoint one or
469more arbitrators or an umpire. An arbitrator or umpire so
470appointed has all the shall have like powers of an arbitrator
471designated as if named or provided for in the agreement to
472arbitrate appointed pursuant to the agreed method or provision.
473     (4)  An individual who has a known, direct, and material
474interest in the outcome of the arbitration proceeding or a
475known, existing, and substantial relationship with a party may
476not serve as an arbitrator required by an agreement to be
478     Section 13.  Section 682.041, Florida Statutes, is created
479to read:
480     682.041  Disclosure by arbitrator.-
481     (1)  Before accepting appointment, an individual who is
482requested to serve as an arbitrator, after making a reasonable
483inquiry, shall disclose to all parties to the agreement to
484arbitrate and arbitration proceeding and to any other
485arbitrators any known facts that a reasonable person would
486consider likely to affect the person's impartiality as an
487arbitrator in the arbitration proceeding, including:
488     (a)  A financial or personal interest in the outcome of the
489arbitration proceeding.
490     (b)  An existing or past relationship with any of the
491parties to the agreement to arbitrate or the arbitration
492proceeding, their counsel or representative, a witness, or
493another arbitrator.
494     (2)  An arbitrator has a continuing obligation to disclose
495to all parties to the agreement to arbitrate and arbitration
496proceeding and to any other arbitrators any facts that the
497arbitrator learns after accepting appointment that a reasonable
498person would consider likely to affect the impartiality of the
500     (3)  If an arbitrator discloses a fact required by
501subsection (1) or subsection (2) to be disclosed and a party
502timely objects to the appointment or continued service of the
503arbitrator based upon the fact disclosed, the objection may be a
504ground under s. 682.13(1)(b) for vacating an award made by the
506     (4)  If the arbitrator did not disclose a fact as required
507by subsection (1) or subsection (2), upon timely objection by a
508party, the court may vacate an award under s. 682.13(1)(b).
509     (5)  An arbitrator appointed as a neutral arbitrator who
510does not disclose a known, direct, and material interest in the
511outcome of the arbitration proceeding or a known, existing, and
512substantial relationship with a party is presumed to act with
513evident partiality under s. 682.13(1)(b).
514     (6)  If the parties to an arbitration proceeding agree to
515the procedures of an arbitration organization or any other
516procedures for challenges to arbitrators before an award is
517made, substantial compliance with those procedures is a
518condition precedent to a motion to vacate an award on that
519ground under s. 682.13(1)(b).
520     Section 14.  Section 682.05, Florida Statutes, is amended
521to read:
522     682.05  Majority action by arbitrators.-If there is more
523than one arbitrator, the powers of an arbitrator must be
524exercised by a majority of the arbitrators, but all of the
525arbitrators shall conduct the hearing under s. 682.06(3) The
526powers of the arbitrators may be exercised by a majority of
527their number unless otherwise provided in the agreement or
528provision for arbitration.
529     Section 15.  Section 682.051, Florida Statutes, is created
530to read:
531     682.051  Immunity of arbitrator; competency to testify;
532attorney fees and costs.-
533     (1)  An arbitrator or an arbitration organization acting in
534the capacity of an arbitrator is immune from civil liability to
535the same extent as a judge of a court of this state acting in a
536judicial capacity.
537     (2)  The immunity afforded under this section supplements
538any immunity under other law.
539     (3)  The failure of an arbitrator to make a disclosure
540required by s. 682.041 does not cause any loss of immunity under
541this section.
542     (4)  In a judicial, administrative, or similar proceeding,
543an arbitrator or representative of an arbitration organization
544is not competent to testify, and may not be required to produce
545records as to any statement, conduct, decision, or ruling
546occurring during the arbitration proceeding, to the same extent
547as a judge of a court of this state acting in a judicial
548capacity. This subsection does not apply:
549     (a)  To the extent necessary to determine the claim of an
550arbitrator, arbitration organization, or representative of the
551arbitration organization against a party to the arbitration
552proceeding; or
553     (b)  To a hearing on a motion to vacate an award under s.
554682.13(1)(a) or (b) if the movant establishes prima facie that a
555ground for vacating the award exists.
556     (5)  If a person commences a civil action against an
557arbitrator, arbitration organization, or representative of an
558arbitration organization arising from the services of the
559arbitrator, organization, or representative or if a person seeks
560to compel an arbitrator or a representative of an arbitration
561organization to testify or produce records in violation of
562subsection (4), and the court decides that the arbitrator,
563arbitration organization, or representative of an arbitration
564organization is immune from civil liability or that the
565arbitrator or representative of the organization is not
566competent to testify, the court shall award to the arbitrator,
567organization, or representative reasonable attorney fees and
568other reasonable expenses of litigation.
569     Section 16.  Section 682.06, Florida Statutes, is amended
570to read:
571     682.06  Hearing.-
572     (1)  An arbitrator may conduct an arbitration in such
573manner as the arbitrator considers appropriate for a fair and
574expeditious disposition of the proceeding. The arbitrator's
575authority includes the power to hold conferences with the
576parties to the arbitration proceeding before the hearing and,
577among other matters, determine the admissibility, relevance,
578materiality, and weight of any evidence Unless otherwise
579provided by the agreement or provision for arbitration:
580     (1)(a)  The arbitrators shall appoint a time and place for
581the hearing and cause notification to the parties to be served
582personally or by registered or certified mail not less than 5
583days before the hearing. Appearance at the hearing waives a
584party's right to such notice. The arbitrators may adjourn their
585hearing from time to time upon their own motion and shall do so
586upon the request of any party to the arbitration for good cause
587shown, provided that no adjournment or postponement of their
588hearing shall extend beyond the date fixed in the agreement or
589provision for making the award unless the parties consent to a
590later date. An umpire authorized to hear and decide the cause
591upon failure of the arbitrators to agree upon an award shall, in
592the course of his or her jurisdiction, have like powers and be
593subject to like limitations thereon.
594     (b)  The arbitrators, or umpire in the course of his or her
595jurisdiction, may hear and decide the controversy upon the
596evidence produced notwithstanding the failure or refusal of a
597party duly notified of the time and place of the hearing to
598appear. The court on application may direct the arbitrators, or
599the umpire in the course of his or her jurisdiction, to proceed
600promptly with the hearing and making of the award.
601     (2)  An arbitrator may decide a request for summary
602disposition of a claim or particular issue:
603     (a)  If all interested parties agree; or
604     (b)  Upon request of one party to the arbitration
605proceeding, if that party gives notice to all other parties to
606the proceeding and the other parties have a reasonable
607opportunity to respond The parties are entitled to be heard, to
608present evidence material to the controversy and to cross-
609examine witnesses appearing at the hearing.
610     (3)  If an arbitrator orders a hearing, the arbitrator
611shall set a time and place and give notice of the hearing not
612less than 5 days before the hearing begins. Unless a party to
613the arbitration proceeding makes an objection to lack or
614insufficiency of notice not later than the beginning of the
615hearing, the party's appearance at the hearing waives the
616objection. Upon request of a party to the arbitration proceeding
617and for good cause shown, or upon the arbitrator's own
618initiative, the arbitrator may adjourn the hearing from time to
619time as necessary but may not postpone the hearing to a time
620later than that fixed by the agreement to arbitrate for making
621the award unless the parties to the arbitration proceeding
622consent to a later date. The arbitrator may hear and decide the
623controversy upon the evidence produced although a party who was
624duly notified of the arbitration proceeding did not appear. The
625court, on request, may direct the arbitrator to conduct the
626hearing promptly and render a timely decision The hearing shall
627be conducted by all of the arbitrators but a majority may
628determine any question and render a final award. An umpire
629authorized to hear and decide the cause upon the failure of the
630arbitrators to agree upon an award shall sit with the
631arbitrators throughout their hearing but shall not be counted as
632a part of their quorum or in the making of their award. If,
633during the course of the hearing, an arbitrator for any reason
634ceases to act, the remaining arbitrator, arbitrators or umpire
635appointed to act as neutrals may continue with the hearing and
636determination of the controversy.
637     (4)  At a hearing under subsection (3), a party to the
638arbitration proceeding has a right to be heard, to present
639evidence material to the controversy, and to cross-examine
640witnesses appearing at the hearing.
641     (5)  If an arbitrator ceases or is unable to act during the
642arbitration proceeding, a replacement arbitrator must be
643appointed in accordance with s. 682.04 to continue the
644proceeding and to resolve the controversy.
645     Section 17.  Section 682.07, Florida Statutes, is amended
646to read:
647     682.07  Representation by attorney.-A party to an
648arbitration proceeding may has the right to be represented by an
649attorney at any arbitration proceeding or hearing under this
650law. A waiver thereof prior to the proceeding or hearing is
652     Section 18.  Section 682.08, Florida Statutes, is amended
653to read:
654     682.08  Witnesses, subpoenas, depositions.-
655     (1)  An arbitrator may issue a subpoena for the attendance
656of a witness and for the production of records and other
657evidence at any hearing and may administer oaths. A subpoena
658must be served in the manner for service of subpoenas in a civil
659action and, upon motion to the court by a party to the
660arbitration proceeding or the arbitrator, enforced in the manner
661for enforcement of subpoenas in a civil action Arbitrators, or
662an umpire authorized to hear and decide the cause upon failure
663of the arbitrators to agree upon an award, in the course of her
664or his jurisdiction, may issue subpoenas for the attendance of
665witnesses and for the production of books, records, documents
666and other evidence, and shall have the power to administer
667oaths. Subpoenas so issued shall be served, and upon application
668to the court by a party to the arbitration or the arbitrators,
669or the umpire, enforced in the manner provided by law for the
670service and enforcement of subpoenas in a civil action.
671     (2)  In order to make the proceedings fair, expeditious,
672and cost effective, upon request of a party to, or a witness in,
673an arbitration proceeding, an arbitrator may permit a deposition
674of any witness to be taken for use as evidence at the hearing,
675including a witness who cannot be subpoenaed for or is unable to
676attend a hearing. The arbitrator shall determine the conditions
677under which the deposition is taken On application of a party to
678the arbitration and for use as evidence, the arbitrators, or the
679umpire in the course of her or his jurisdiction, may permit a
680deposition to be taken, in the manner and upon the terms
681designated by them or her or him of a witness who cannot be
682subpoenaed or is unable to attend the hearing.
683     (3)  An arbitrator may permit such discovery as the
684arbitrator decides is appropriate in the circumstances, taking
685into account the needs of the parties to the arbitration
686proceeding and other affected persons and the desirability of
687making the proceeding fair, expeditious, and cost effective All
688provisions of law compelling a person under subpoena to testify
689are applicable.
690     (4)  If an arbitrator permits discovery under subsection
691(3), the arbitrator may order a party to the arbitration
692proceeding to comply with the arbitrator's discovery-related
693orders, issue subpoenas for the attendance of a witness and for
694the production of records and other evidence at a discovery
695proceeding, and take action against a noncomplying party to the
696extent a court could if the controversy were the subject of a
697civil action in this state.
698     (5)  An arbitrator may issue a protective order to prevent
699the disclosure of privileged information, confidential
700information, trade secrets, and other information protected from
701disclosure to the extent a court could if the controversy were
702the subject of a civil action in this state.
703     (6)  All laws compelling a person under subpoena to testify
704and all fees for attending a judicial proceeding, a deposition,
705or a discovery proceeding as a witness apply to an arbitration
706proceeding as if the controversy were the subject of a civil
707action in this state.
708     (7)  The court may enforce a subpoena or discovery-related
709order for the attendance of a witness within this state and for
710the production of records and other evidence issued by an
711arbitrator in connection with an arbitration proceeding in
712another state upon conditions determined by the court so as to
713make the arbitration proceeding fair, expeditious, and cost
714effective. A subpoena or discovery-related order issued by an
715arbitrator in another state must be served in the manner
716provided by law for service of subpoenas in a civil action in
717this state and, upon motion to the court by a party to the
718arbitration proceeding or the arbitrator, enforced in the manner
719provided by law for enforcement of subpoenas in a civil action
720in this state.
721     (8)(4)  Fees for attendance as a witness shall be the same
722as for a witness in the circuit court.
723     Section 19.  Section 682.081, Florida Statutes, is created
724to read:
725     682.081  Judicial enforcement of preaward ruling by
726arbitrator.-If an arbitrator makes a preaward ruling in favor of
727a party to the arbitration proceeding, the party may request
728that the arbitrator incorporate the ruling into an award under
729s. 682.12. A prevailing party may make a motion to the court for
730an expedited order to confirm the award under s. 682.12, in
731which case the court shall summarily decide the motion. The
732court shall issue an order to confirm the award unless the court
733vacates, modifies, or corrects the award under s. 682.13 or s.
735     Section 20.  Section 682.09, Florida Statutes, is amended
736to read:
737     682.09  Award.-
738     (1)  An arbitrator shall make a record of an award. The
739record must be signed or otherwise authenticated by any
740arbitrator who concurs with the award. The arbitrator or the
741arbitration organization shall give notice of the award,
742including a copy of the award, to each party to the arbitration
743proceeding The award shall be in writing and shall be signed by
744the arbitrators joining in the award or by the umpire in the
745course of his or her jurisdiction. They or he or she shall
746deliver a copy to each party to the arbitration either
747personally or by registered or certified mail, or as provided in
748the agreement or provision.
749     (2)  An award must be made within the time specified by the
750agreement to arbitrate or, if not specified therein, within the
751time ordered by the court. The court may extend, or the parties
752to the arbitration proceeding may agree in a record to extend,
753the time. The court or the parties may do so within or after the
754time specified or ordered. A party waives any objection that an
755award was not timely made unless the party gives notice of the
756objection to the arbitrator before receiving notice of the award
757An award shall be made within the time fixed therefor by the
758agreement or provision for arbitration or, if not so fixed,
759within such time as the court may order on application of a
760party to the arbitration. The parties may, by written agreement,
761extend the time either before or after the expiration thereof.
762Any objection that an award was not made within the time
763required is waived unless the objecting party notifies the
764arbitrators or umpire in writing of his or her objection prior
765to the delivery of the award to him or her.
766     Section 21.  Section 682.10, Florida Statutes, is amended
767to read:
768     682.10  Change of award by arbitrators or umpire.-
769     (1)  On motion to an arbitrator by a party to an
770arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator may modify or correct an
772     (a)  Upon a ground stated in s. 682.14(1)(a) or (c);
773     (b)  Because the arbitrator has not made a final and
774definite award upon a claim submitted by the parties to the
775arbitration proceeding; or
776     (c)  To clarify the award.
777     (2)  A motion under subsection (1) must be made and notice
778given to all parties within 20 days after the movant receives
779notice of the award.
780     (3)  A party to the arbitration proceeding must give notice
781of any objection to the motion within 10 days after receipt of
782the notice.
783     (4)  If a motion to the court is pending under s. 682.12,
784s. 682.13, or s. 682.14, the court may submit the claim to the
785arbitrator to consider whether to modify or correct the award:
786     (a)  Upon a ground stated in s. 682.14(1)(a) or (c);
787     (b)  Because the arbitrator has not made a final and
788definite award upon a claim submitted by the parties to the
789arbitration proceeding; or
790     (c)  To clarify the award.
791     (5)  An award modified or corrected pursuant to this
792section is subject to ss. 682.09(1), 682.12, 682.13, and 682.14
793On application of a party to the arbitration, or if an
794application to the court is pending under s. 682.12, s. 682.13
795or s. 682.14, on submission to the arbitrators, or to the umpire
796in the case of an umpire's award, by the court under such
797conditions as the court may order, the arbitrators or umpire may
798modify or correct the award upon the grounds stated in s.
799682.14(1)(a) and (c) or for the purpose of clarifying the award.
800The application shall be made within 20 days after delivery of
801the award to the applicant. Written notice thereof shall be
802given forthwith to the other party to the arbitration, stating
803that he or she must serve his or her objections thereto, if any,
804within 10 days from the notice. The award so modified or
805corrected is subject to the provisions of ss. 682.12-682.14.
806     Section 22.  Section 682.11, Florida Statutes, is amended
807to read:
808     682.11  Remedies; fees and expenses of arbitration
810     (1)  An arbitrator may award punitive damages or other
811exemplary relief if such an award is authorized by law in a
812civil action involving the same claim and the evidence produced
813at the hearing justifies the award under the legal standards
814otherwise applicable to the claim.
815     (2)  An arbitrator may award reasonable attorney fees and
816other reasonable expenses of arbitration if such an award is
817authorized by law in a civil action involving the same claim or
818by the agreement of the parties to the arbitration proceeding.
819     (3)  As to all remedies other than those authorized by
820subsections (1) and (2), an arbitrator may order such remedies
821as the arbitrator considers just and appropriate under the
822circumstances of the arbitration proceeding. The fact that such
823a remedy could not or would not be granted by the court is not a
824ground for refusing to confirm an award under s. 682.12 or for
825vacating an award under s. 682.13.
826     (4)  An arbitrator's expenses and fees, together with other
827expenses, must be paid as provided in the award.
828     (5)  If an arbitrator awards punitive damages or other
829exemplary relief under subsection (1), the arbitrator shall
830specify in the award the basis in fact justifying and the basis
831in law authorizing the award and state separately the amount of
832the punitive damages or other exemplary relief Unless otherwise
833provided in the agreement or provision for arbitration, the
834arbitrators' and umpire's expenses and fees, together with other
835expenses, not including counsel fees, incurred in the conduct of
836the arbitration, shall be paid as provided in the award.
837     Section 23.  Section 682.12, Florida Statutes, is amended
838to read:
839     682.12  Confirmation of an award.-After a party to an
840arbitration proceeding receives notice of an award, the party
841may make a motion to the court for an order confirming the award
842at which time the court shall issue a confirming order unless
843the award is modified or corrected pursuant to s. 682.10 or s.
844682.14 or is vacated pursuant to s. 682.13 Upon application of a
845party to the arbitration, the court shall confirm an award,
846unless within the time limits hereinafter imposed grounds are
847urged for vacating or modifying or correcting the award, in
848which case the court shall proceed as provided in ss. 682.13 and
850     Section 24.  Section 682.13, Florida Statutes, is amended
851to read:
852     682.13  Vacating an award.-
853     (1)  Upon motion application of a party to an arbitration
854proceeding, the court shall vacate an arbitration award if when:
855     (a)  The award was procured by corruption, fraud, or other
856undue means;.
857     (b)  There was:
858     1.  Evident partiality by an arbitrator appointed as a
859neutral arbitrator;
860     2.  Corruption by an arbitrator; or
861     3.  Misconduct by an arbitrator prejudicing the rights of a
862party to the arbitration proceeding; or corruption in any of the
863arbitrators or umpire or misconduct prejudicing the rights of
864any party.
865     (c)  An arbitrator refused to postpone the hearing upon
866showing of sufficient cause for postponement, refused to
867consider evidence material to the controversy, or otherwise
868conducted the hearing contrary to s. 682.06, so as to prejudice
869substantially the rights of a party to the arbitration
870proceeding; The arbitrators or the umpire in the course of her
871or his jurisdiction exceeded their powers.
872     (d)  An arbitrator exceeded the arbitrator's powers; The
873arbitrators or the umpire in the course of her or his
874jurisdiction refused to postpone the hearing upon sufficient
875cause being shown therefor or refused to hear evidence material
876to the controversy or otherwise so conducted the hearing,
877contrary to the provisions of s. 682.06, as to prejudice
878substantially the rights of a party.
879     (e)  There was no agreement to arbitrate, unless the person
880participated in the arbitration proceeding without raising the
881objection under s. 682.06(3) not later than the beginning of the
882arbitration hearing; or There was no agreement or provision for
883arbitration subject to this law, unless the matter was
884determined in proceedings under s. 682.03 and unless the party
885participated in the arbitration hearing without raising the
887     (f)  The arbitration was conducted without proper notice of
888the initiation of an arbitration as required in s. 682.032 so as
889to prejudice substantially the rights of a party to the
890arbitration proceeding
892But the fact that the relief was such that it could not or would
893not be granted by a court of law or equity is not ground for
894vacating or refusing to confirm the award.
895     (2)  A motion under this section must be filed within 90
896days after the movant receives notice of the award pursuant to
897s. 682.09 or within 90 days after the movant receives notice of
898a modified or corrected award pursuant to s. 682.10, unless the
899movant alleges that the award was procured by corruption, fraud,
900or other undue means, in which case the motion must be made
901within 90 days after the ground is known or by the exercise of
902reasonable care would have been known by the movant An
903application under this section shall be made within 90 days
904after delivery of a copy of the award to the applicant, except
905that, if predicated upon corruption, fraud or other undue means,
906it shall be made within 90 days after such grounds are known or
907should have been known.
908     (3)  If the court vacates an award on a ground other than
909that set forth in paragraph (1)(e), it may order a rehearing. If
910the award is vacated on a ground stated in paragraph (1)(a) or
911paragraph (1)(b), the rehearing must be before a new arbitrator.
912If the award is vacated on a ground stated in paragraph (1)(c),
913paragraph (1)(d), or paragraph (1)(f), the rehearing may be
914before the arbitrator who made the award or the arbitrator's
915successor. The arbitrator must render the decision in the
916rehearing within the same time as that provided in s. 682.09(2)
917for an award In vacating the award on grounds other than those
918stated in paragraph (1)(e), the court may order a rehearing
919before new arbitrators chosen as provided in the agreement or
920provision for arbitration or by the court in accordance with s.
921682.04, or, if the award is vacated on grounds set forth in
922paragraphs (1)(c) and (d), the court may order a rehearing
923before the arbitrators or umpire who made the award or their
924successors appointed in accordance with s. 682.04. The time
925within which the agreement or provision for arbitration requires
926the award to be made is applicable to the rehearing and
927commences from the date of the order therefor.
928     (4)  If a motion the application to vacate is denied and no
929motion to modify or correct the award is pending, the court
930shall confirm the award.
931     Section 25.  Section 682.14, Florida Statutes, is amended
932to read:
933     682.14  Modification or correction of award.-
934     (1)  Upon motion made within 90 days after the movant
935receives notice of the award pursuant to s. 682.09 or within 90
936days after the movant receives notice of a modified or corrected
937award pursuant to s. 682.10, the court shall modify or correct
938the award if Upon application made within 90 days after delivery
939of a copy of the award to the applicant, the court shall modify
940or correct the award when:
941     (a)  There is an evident miscalculation of figures or an
942evident mistake in the description of any person, thing, or
943property referred to in the award.
944     (b)  The arbitrators or umpire have awarded upon a matter
945not submitted in the arbitration to them or him or her and the
946award may be corrected without affecting the merits of the
947decision upon the issues submitted.
948     (c)  The award is imperfect as a matter of form, not
949affecting the merits of the controversy.
950     (2)  If the application is granted, the court shall modify
951and correct the award so as to effect its intent and shall
952confirm the award as so modified and corrected. Otherwise,
953unless a motion to vacate the award under s. 682.13 is pending,
954the court shall confirm the award as made.
955     (3)  An application to modify or correct an award may be
956joined in the alternative with an application to vacate the
957award under s. 682.13.
958     Section 26.  Section 682.15, Florida Statutes, is amended
959to read:
960     682.15  Judgment or decree on award.-
961     (1)  Upon granting an order confirming, vacating without
962directing a rehearing, modifying, or correcting an award, the
963court shall enter a judgment in conformity therewith. The
964judgment may be recorded, docketed, and enforced as any other
965judgment in a civil action.
966     (2)  A court may allow reasonable costs of the motion and
967subsequent judicial proceedings.
968     (3)  On motion of a prevailing party to a contested
969judicial proceeding under s. 682.12, s. 682.13, or s. 682.14,
970the court may add reasonable attorney fees and other reasonable
971expenses of litigation incurred in a judicial proceeding after
972the award is made to a judgment confirming, vacating without
973directing a rehearing, modifying, or correcting an award Upon
974the granting of an order confirming, modifying or correcting an
975award, judgment or decree shall be entered in conformity
976therewith and be enforced as any other judgment or decree. Costs
977of the application and of the proceedings subsequent thereto,
978and disbursements may be awarded by the court.
979     Section 27.  Section 682.16, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
980     Section 28.  Section 682.17, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
981     Section 29.  Section 682.18, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
982     Section 30.  Section 682.181, Florida Statutes, is created
983to read:
984     682.181  Jurisdiction.-
985     (1)  A court of this state having jurisdiction over the
986controversy and the parties may enforce an agreement to
988     (2)  An agreement to arbitrate providing for arbitration in
989this state confers exclusive jurisdiction on the court to enter
990judgment on an award under the Revised Florida Arbitration Code.
991     Section 31.  Section 682.19, Florida Statutes, is amended
992to read:
993     682.19  Venue.-A petition pursuant to s. 682.015 must be
994filed in the court of the county in which the agreement to
995arbitrate specifies the arbitration hearing is to be held or, if
996the hearing has been held, in the court of the county in which
997it was held. Otherwise, the petition may be made in the court of
998any county in which an adverse party resides or has a place of
999business or, if no adverse party has a residence or place of
1000business in this state, in the court of any county in this
1001state. All subsequent petitions must be made in the court
1002hearing the initial petition unless the court otherwise directs
1003Any application under this law may be made to the court of the
1004county in which the other party to the agreement or provision
1005for arbitration resides or has a place of business, or, if she
1006or he has no residence or place of business in this state, then
1007to the court of any county. All applications under this law
1008subsequent to an initial application shall be made to the court
1009hearing the initial application unless it shall order otherwise.
1010     Section 32.  Section 682.20, Florida Statutes, is amended
1011to read:
1012     682.20  Appeals.-
1013     (1)  An appeal may be taken from:
1014     (a)  An order denying an application to compel arbitration
1015made under s. 682.03.
1016     (b)  An order granting a motion an application to stay
1017arbitration pursuant to made under s. 682.03(2)-(4).
1018     (c)  An order confirming or denying confirmation of an
1020     (d)  An order denying confirmation of an award unless the
1021court has entered an order under s. 682.10(4) or s. 682.13. All
1022other orders denying confirmation of an award are final orders.
1023     (e)(d)  An order modifying or correcting an award.
1024     (f)(e)  An order vacating an award without directing a
1026     (g)(f)  A judgment or decree entered pursuant to this
1027chapter the provisions of this law.
1028     (2)  The appeal shall be taken in the manner and to the
1029same extent as from orders or judgments in a civil action.
1030     Section 33.  Section 682.21, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
1031     Section 34.  Section 682.22, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
1032     Section 35.  Section 682.23, Florida Statutes, is created
1033to read:
1034     682.23  Relationship to Electronic Signatures in Global and
1035National Commerce Act.-The provisions of this chapter governing
1036the legal effect, validity, and enforceability of electronic
1037records or electronic signatures and of contracts performed with
1038the use of such records or signatures conform to the
1039requirements of s. 102 of the Electronic Signatures in Global
1040and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. s. 7002.
1041     Section 36.  Section 682.24, Florida Statutes, is created
1042to read:
1043     682.24  Effective date; applicability.-
1044     (1)  The Revised Florida Arbitration Code takes effect on
1045July 1, 2012.
1046     (2)  The Revised Florida Arbitration Code does not affect
1047an action or proceeding commenced or right accrued before the
1048Revised Florida Arbitration Code takes effect. Subject to s.
1049682.013, an arbitration agreement made before July 1, 2012, is
1050governed by the former Florida Arbitration Code.
1051     Section 37.  Section 682.25, Florida Statutes, is created
1052to read:
1053     682.25  Disputes excluded.-The Revised Florida Arbitration
1054Code does not apply to any dispute involving child custody,
1055visitation, or child support.
1056     Section 38.  Section 44.104, Florida Statutes, is amended
1057to read:
1058     44.104  Voluntary binding arbitration and voluntary trial
1060     (1)  Two or more opposing parties who are involved in a
1061civil dispute may agree in writing to submit the controversy to
1062voluntary binding arbitration, or voluntary trial resolution, in
1063lieu of judicial litigation of the issues involved, prior to or
1064after a lawsuit has been filed, provided no constitutional issue
1065is involved.
1066     (2)  If the parties have entered into an such an agreement
1067and the agreement which provides in voluntary binding
1068arbitration for a method for appointing of one or more
1069arbitrators, or which provides in voluntary trial resolution a
1070method for appointing the a member of The Florida Bar in good
1071standing for more than 5 years to act as trial resolution judge,
1072that method shall be followed the court shall proceed with the
1073appointment as prescribed. However, in voluntary binding
1074arbitration at least one of the arbitrators, who shall serve as
1075the chief arbitrator, shall meet the qualifications and training
1076requirements adopted pursuant to s. 44.106. In the absence of an
1077agreement on a method for appointing the trial resolution judge,
1078or if the agreement method fails or for any reason cannot be
1079followed, and the parties fail to agree on the person to serve
1080as the trial resolution judge, the court, on application of a
1081party, shall appoint one or more qualified arbitrators, or the
1082trial resolution judge, as the case requires. A trial resolution
1083judge must be a member of The Florida Bar in good standing for 5
1084years or more who has agreed to serve.
1085     (3)  The arbitrators or trial resolution judge shall be
1086compensated by the parties according to their agreement with the
1087trial resolution judge.
1088     (4)  Within 10 days after the submission of the request for
1089binding arbitration, or voluntary trial resolution, the court
1090shall provide for the appointment of the arbitrator or
1091arbitrators, or trial resolution judge, as the case requires.
1092Once appointed, the arbitrators or trial resolution judge shall
1093notify the parties of the time and place for the hearing.
1094     (5)  Application for voluntary binding arbitration or
1095voluntary trial resolution shall be filed and fees paid to the
1096clerk of court as if for complaints initiating civil actions.
1097The clerk of the court shall handle and account for these
1098matters in all respects as if they were civil actions, except
1099that the clerk of court shall keep separate the records of the
1100applications for voluntary binding arbitration and the records
1101of the applications for voluntary trial resolution from all
1102other civil actions.
1103     (6)  Filing of the application for binding arbitration or
1104voluntary trial resolution tolls will toll the running of the
1105applicable statutes of limitation.
1106     (7)  The chief arbitrator or trial resolution judge may
1107administer oaths or affirmations and conduct the proceedings as
1108the rules of court shall provide. At the request of any party,
1109the chief arbitrator or trial resolution judge shall issue
1110subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and for the production
1111of books, records, documents, and other evidence and may apply
1112to the court for orders compelling attendance and production.
1113Subpoenas shall be served and shall be enforceable in the manner
1114provided by law. The trial resolution judge may order temporary
1115relief in the same manner, and to the same extent, as in civil
1116actions generally. Any party may enforce such an order by filing
1117a petition in the court. Orders entered by the court are
1118reviewable by the appellate court in the same manner, and to the
1119same extent, as orders in civil actions generally.
1120     (8)  A voluntary binding arbitration hearing shall be
1121conducted by all of the arbitrators, but a majority may
1122determine any question and render a final decision. A trial
1123resolution judge shall conduct a voluntary trial resolution
1124hearing. The trial resolution judge may determine any question
1125and render a final decision.
1126     (9)  The Florida Evidence Code and Florida Rules of Civil
1127Procedure shall apply to all proceedings under this section,
1128except that voluntary trial resolution is not governed by
1129procedural rules regulating general and special magistrates, and
1130rulings of the trial resolution judge are not reviewable by
1131filing exceptions with the court.
1132     (10)  An appeal of a voluntary binding arbitration decision
1133shall be taken to the circuit court and shall be limited to
1134review on the record and not de novo, of:
1135     (a)  Any alleged failure of the arbitrators to comply with
1136the applicable rules of procedure or evidence.
1137     (b)  Any alleged partiality or misconduct by an arbitrator
1138prejudicing the rights of any party.
1139     (c)  Whether the decision reaches a result contrary to the
1140Constitution of the United States or of the State of Florida.
1141     (10)(11)  Any party may enforce a final decision rendered
1142in a voluntary trial by filing a petition for final judgment in
1143the circuit court in the circuit in which the voluntary trial
1144took place. Upon entry of final judgment by the circuit court,
1145any party may appeal to the appropriate appellate court. The
1146judgment is reviewable by the appellate court in the same
1147manner, and to the same extent, as a judgment in a civil action
1148Factual findings determined in the voluntary trial are not
1149subject to appeal.
1150     (12)  The harmless error doctrine shall apply in all
1151appeals. No further review shall be permitted unless a
1152constitutional issue is raised.
1153     (11)(13)  If no appeal is taken within the time provided by
1154rules promulgated by the Supreme Court, then the decision shall
1155be referred to the presiding judge in the case, or if one has
1156not been assigned, then to the chief judge of the circuit for
1157assignment to a circuit judge, who shall enter such orders and
1158judgments as are required to carry out the terms of the
1159decision. Equitable remedies are, which orders shall be
1160enforceable by the contempt powers of the court to the same
1161extent as in civil actions generally. When a judgment provides
1162for execution, and for which judgments execution shall issue on
1163request of a party.
1164     (12)(14)  This section does shall not apply to any dispute
1165involving child custody, visitation, or child support, or to any
1166dispute that which involves the rights of a third party not a
1167party to the arbitration or voluntary trial resolution when the
1168third party would be an indispensable party if the dispute were
1169resolved in court or when the third party notifies the chief
1170arbitrator or the trial resolution judge that the third party
1171would be a proper party if the dispute were resolved in court,
1172that the third party intends to intervene in the action in
1173court, and that the third party does not agree to proceed under
1174this section.
1175     (13)  A trial resolution judge does not have jurisdiction
1176to declare unconstitutional a statute, ordinance, or provision
1177of a constitution. If any such claim is made in the voluntary
1178trial resolution proceeding, that claim shall be severed and
1179adjudicated by a judge of the court.
1180     (14)(a)  The parties may agree to a trial by a privately
1181selected jury. The court's jury pool may not be used for this
1182purpose. In all other cases, the trial resolution judge shall
1183conduct a bench trial.
1184     (b)  The trial resolution judge may wear a judicial robe
1185and use the title "Trial Resolution Judge" when acting in that
1187     Section 39.  Subsection (1) of section 44.107, Florida
1188Statutes, is amended to read:
1189     44.107  Immunity for arbitrators, voluntary trial
1190resolution judges, mediators, and mediator trainees.-
1191     (1)  Arbitrators serving under s. 44.103, voluntary trial
1192resolution judges serving under or s. 44.104, mediators serving
1193under s. 44.102, and trainees fulfilling the mentorship
1194requirements for certification by the Supreme Court as a
1195mediator shall have judicial immunity in the same manner and to
1196the same extent as a judge and are entitled to the same immunity
1197and remedies provided in s. 682.051.
1198     Section 40.  Section 440.1926, Florida Statutes, is amended
1199to read:
1200     440.1926  Alternate dispute resolution; claim arbitration.-
1201Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the
1202employer, carrier, and employee may mutually agree to seek
1203consent from a judge of compensation claims to enter into
1204binding claim arbitration in lieu of any other remedy provided
1205for in this chapter to resolve all issues in dispute regarding
1206an injury. Arbitrations agreed to pursuant to this section shall
1207be governed by chapter 682, the Revised Florida Arbitration
1208Code, except that, notwithstanding any provision in chapter 682,
1209the term "court" shall mean a judge of compensation claims. An
1210arbitration award in accordance with this section is shall be
1211enforceable in the same manner and with the same powers as any
1212final compensation order.
1213     Section 41.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
1214489.1402, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1215     489.1402  Homeowners' Construction Recovery Fund;
1217     (1)  The following definitions apply to ss. 489.140-
1219     (a)  "Arbitration" means alternative dispute resolution
1220entered into between a claimant and a contractor either pursuant
1221to a construction contract that contains a mandatory arbitration
1222clause or through any binding arbitration under the Revised
1223Florida Arbitration Code.
1224     Section 42.  Subsection (2) of section 731.401, Florida
1225Statutes, is amended to read:
1226     731.401  Arbitration of disputes.-
1227     (2)  Unless otherwise specified in the will or trust, a
1228will or trust provision requiring arbitration shall be presumed
1229to require voluntary trial resolution binding arbitration under
1230s. 44.104.
1231     Section 43.  The Division of Statutory Revision is directed
1232to redesignate the title of chapter 44, Florida Statutes, as
1233"Alternative Dispute Resolution."
1234     Section 44.  The Division of Statutory Revision is directed
1235to replace the phrase "the effective date of this act" wherever
1236it occurs in this act with the date this act becomes a law.
1237     Section 45.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.